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How to Stay Sane during These Unpredictable Times

by Harinder Ghatora Mental Wellbeing Emotional Wellbeing


I hope you are keeping well, safe and, quite frankly, sane. We are living in unprecedented times, and there is a lot of fear, confusion and uncertainty in the air.

If you’ve worked with me, you’ll know that I take a holistic approach to problem solving life’s challenges.

Here are some practical mental, emotional and spiritual tips to help you stay calm, balanced and empowered through the current coronavirus crisis.


Physically/Practically

1. Follow the medical advice on handwashing, using tissues when sneezing and coughing, not touching your face, keeping at a metre distance from other people at all times and self-isolating if you have symptoms.


2. Keep well hydrated. Water strengthens the immune system thus reducing susceptibility to colds, coughs and flu.


3. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds which will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs.

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4. Take supplements. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, Vitamin B6 is vital in supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system, and Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. From an Ayurvedic perspective, drinking a quarter teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of pepper in a glass of warm water in the morning will also help to prevent illness due to its antioxidant qualities.


5. Get enough good quality sleep. Synchronising with your natural circadian rhythms will ensure your immune system functions at optimal levels. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Avoid electronic stimulants before bedtime, limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine, and engage in activities that induce feelings of calmness and tranquillity.


6. Keep in touch with family and friends. If you are self-isolating, ensure you stay in regular contact with other people through your electronic devices. A level of social interaction is key to maintaining a sense of wellbeing and happiness.


7. Laugh. Laughter boosts your immunity by causing a reduction in stress hormones, which in turn results in a higher number of immune cells that fight off disease. So, find ways of bringing more of it into your daily life.


If you haven’t already done so, download a FREE copy of my 52-page e-book Balanced Living: The 11 Simple Secrets of a Happy, Healthy Life.


Mentally/Emotionally

1. Acknowledge your anxiety. It’s okay to feel anxious; it is a natural and appropriate response to perceived danger. Covid-19 is, after all, a threat to our wellbeing, our livelihoods, our families, our way of life, and for some, to life itself. The role of fear is to alert us to a problem in our environment so that we can take the right and appropriate action to stay safe (and alive.) The fear itself is not an indicator that you are in danger. It is merely an alert system.


2. Actively deal with the fear. If your fear has got out of proportion and you’re experiencing feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and even panic, then try this ancient Buddhist technique which was designed to help people regain their poise whilst going through a period of emotional unrest. It’s summed up by the acronym RAIN, which represents the following:

  • Recognize what is going on,
  • Allow life to be just as it is,
  • Investigate with kindness,
  • Not-Identify with the experience and make room for Natural Awareness.


The technique involves reflecting on the following five steps.

i. Recognise: Do this by labelling the unpleasant emotion/sensation you’re experiencing. Acknowledge it and give it a name. This engages your prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain responsible for critical thinking and problem-solving. Ask yourself, How am I feeling? What am I sensing? What am I thinking? And preferably, jot these answers down.

ii. Rank: Assign the event that caused the issue a number from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most tragic event that can possibly happen and 10 being the best and happiest event. This will help you put things into perspective. You are ranking the actual event, not the feeling. So unless someone in your immediate surroundings has a) contracted the virus and b) died from it, then the actual event should rank quite low.

iii. Allow: This involves accepting the emotion. Pause for another mindful moment and ask, What would it be like to let this emotion ‘be’ for now and feel it? Instead of resisting the emotion, trying to fix it or suppressing it, just let the feeling be and go where it needs to go. This attitude transforms resistance into curiosity and is likely to diminish the grip that the emotion has on you. This also applies to the accompanying thought and/or sensation.

iv Investigate: Ask yourself, What can I learn from this emotion and this situation or event? This attitude reframes the situation into a learning opportunity. One of the things you are likely to learn is that no matter how fearful you feel right now, the feeling will not ‘kill’ you. Secondly, (as you are doing right now) you can learn about all the things you can do to stay safe and not contract the virus in the first place and/or to recover if you have contracted it. Despite all the scaremongering, the actual facts suggest that whilst transmission rates may be high, mortality rates are still very low.

v. Not-identify: This involves refocussing your attention on the present moment and becoming present to the practical tasks that can be done right now: cooking the next meal, engaging in a hobby, watching your favourite TV series, reading etc.


3. Unplug when you can. Limit your exposure to television, radio, social media and newspaper reporting so that you gather the facts and keep informed of the latest government announcements, but without oversaturating your mind and overstimulating your nervous system.


4. Stay active. Engage in regular aerobic exercise and stretching such as you would do with yoga. These activities will allow you to expend nervous energy and lift your mood by calming you and making you feel good through the release of feel-good hormones.


5. Meditate. As little as 20 minutes of meditation practice can calm your mind, reduce your stress levels and support your immune system. If you’d like to give it a go, you can download my free breath awareness meditation here. You will experience the benefits if you listen to the recording ideally twice a day over a few days.


6. Focus on a hobby. If you are being forced to stay at home and find you have extra time on your hands, then why not spend it on your favourite hobby? Research shows that creative activities have a profoundly positive effect on your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing.


Spiritually

1. Keep your frequency high. We live in an energetic universe where energy attracts like energy. If you’ve worked with me, you’ll know that I often make reference to energetic frequencies. Some energies are high frequency – love, joy, peace – and some are low frequency – fear, guilt, anger, shame. The current health scare has the potential to drag everyone’s energy down to a lower frequency if we are not mindful. If like energy attracts like energy, then someone with a lower frequency is more likely to attract the virus! Be mindful of how you feel and do whatever you can to keep your energetic vibration as high as you can, using the techniques I’ve outlined above.


2. Adopt a deeper philosophical perspective. We are first and foremost eternal beings having a human experience. There is great inner peace to be found when we arrive at the understanding that no matter what happens a) we can handle it, b) it will pass, and c) our Spirit can never be harmed. If we stay aligned with the highest, eternal, spiritual part of our being, we not only raise our frequency but also begin to get a healthy detachment from the lower, egoic parts of our being, where the fear of suffering and death ultimately reside. Read my blog on The Different Parts of Us to find out more.


3. Tune into the higher purpose that is unfolding. Personally, I don’t believe the current health scare is something that is happening randomly. There is a higher purpose at work here. Those of you who work with me will be familiar with the idea that the planet is undergoing a significant spiritual energetic shift into a higher dimension. Spiritual observers, lightworkers, channellers, mystics and astrologers have been busy explaining what is going on. If you’re interested in finding out what is driving recent global events, tune into the work of Elizabeth Peru and Lee Harris. I’ve been following them (amongst others) for many years now, and they help me stay calm, informed, poised and empowered. Their work resonates with me at a personal level, helps me navigate the trends I see in my client work, and helps me contextualise what I observe happening in the world at large. Knowledge is definitely power! You can check out Elizabeth’s blog post on the coronavirus here, and Lee’s take on the current crisis here.

The main message is to slow down, ground, centre, breathe, focus on the basics, keep a sense of perspective, and not succumb to panic.


As with everything, you have the power to handle whatever happens, and this too shall pass.


Stay well.

Harinder


Previous blogs that may help:

Dealing with Difficult Emotions

Alleviate Suffering by Changing Your Perspective

Is it a Crisis or an Awakening

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