If you have experienced devastating loss, it may seem that the world is ending. This post is designed to help you experience life after loss. Now more than ever the most important thing you can do is practice exceptionally great self care.
Yes that is the key. You must first take superlative care of YOURSELF and practice self care and recognize your personal self worth as never before. You’ve been on the airplane and heard the announcement that you need to put on your mask first and then help those that need your help. This well known principle applies when you have lost a loved one, a job, a pet, your health and/or your well-being, too. You need to marshal all of your forces to function effectively during this challenging time. It may be extremely difficult, but following as many of these principles as you can will be very beneficial to you and is likely to make this challenging journey quite a bit easier. No matter what you have been doing up to this point, the good news is that you can make substantive changes starting today.
Before you can deeply and effectively address this major transition in you life you must create a space within yourself from which to draw upon. Here some of the best ways I have found to do this.
1) Reduce Your Stress Level
We keep learning and then forgetting that negative stress has a devastating effect on your body. You may also recall that the death of a loved and other significant losses are the number #1 stressors of all. High stress and “fight or flight” is supposed to be a short term way that our bodies and minds deal with crisis. The plan is that we are then able to resume living in some calm peaceful way. As you know better than anyone, right now this is just not possible. Even in the best of times we are barely capable of doing this.. We often manage our whole lives in a high stress negative way with short bursts of peace, love and joy. The reverse should be our objective. Researchers are continuously finding more and more evidence that our functioning in perpetual fight or flight is worse than smoking, excess sitting, being overweight and many of the other bad habits we have gotten ourselves into and most likely the major contributor to them all.
So what can you do to reduce your stress? Many of the things you can do to reduce your stress are outlined right here on this page – it is my hope that these will get you started:
#1. Find your Stress Hot Spots — like how your personality type interacts with stress and develop effective strategies. For example: just about everyone can benefit by stopping the action and taking a few slow, deep breaths to regain control. Depending on your personality type you will also benefit by either going away from the scene for a while to be by yourself orchanging the what you are doing to be more active or with people. The best idea overall idea is this:
As soon as you discover you are not being your best self, change the action , Instead of road rage, turn up the radio and sing along to a lively song or make a grocery list in your mind. Think some different thoughts, smile, slow down and breathe.
2) Get More Rest
You need 7 or 8 hours sleep every night to rest and restore. At this time, the very best thing you can do for yourself is to get it. Your body is processing a ton of information and activities all the time. At least at night some of these functions shut down, slow down and repair if you let it so that you will be at your maximum total effectiveness the following day. Do not feel like you are getting away with something because you managed to be marginally effective for the days and weeks (or in some cases years), you got so much less sleep. Trust me, you did not. You were not at your best and you are making withdrawals from your health and wellness account that you don’t even know about. You are borrowing from other accounts to function and living on fumes. Don’t do it. If you can’t sleep, recalibrate. Other than the obvious, find out why you can’t sleep perhaps there is a technique or process you can use that can help. This is an extremely important area for you to address and when you do you will reap many positive restorative benefits. Take the action to correct sleep problems. It will give you the gift of you living and functioning at a higher level that would otherwise be possible. Talk to me about recommendations that I use with my clients that will also help.
3) Develop a Daily Spiritual Practice
This is really my number #1. This does not have to be a religious practice. It does need to be a daily practice that gets you off on the right path and can bring you back when you are off track. My having a morning spiritual practice of meditation, prayer and my Ageless Grace* brain and fitness regime has been one of the most effective processes for me in the area of self care. The second regime mid afternoon is meditation and specialty breathing processes. These bring me into alignment and a state of peace for the rest of the day. Even if I “don’t have time”, I take the time and literally ‘make the time’, to make sure these practices take place. I can certainly tell the difference in my day when I have not taken the time to be centered and reaffirm that peace in the world begins with me. Spend as much time as possible in the morning with your morning practices and a few minutes in the afternoon . Make notes throughout the day about how well things things went. Pay special attention to the synchronicities and awareness that will always flood your day as a result. Identify any insights and learning and areas for gratitude and appreciation. Remember, even now, what you appreciate — appreciates. Doing this daily practice will dramatically sharpen your ability to utilize your own inner guidance system and wisdom.
4) Eat Well, Drink Well
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and water. Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Garlic, and more. Lean, light, colorful, variety. You have seen it all Do it. Eat light, with variety, watch how your body responds, become aware. The older you get the more prone you get to dehydration. Drink up good water then get some more. Decaffeinate. Eat for health, beauty and energy. Utilize your own internal guidance systems. Study and find out your truth, then ACT on that truth. Avoid what your body needs to avoid such as sodium, sugar, fried foods, gluten, and so forth. Be moderate with everything else. KEEP IT SUPER SIMPLE. Slow down, plan, enjoy and share the company of others.
Water yourself. Then water your plants.
Do what makes it fun. If you don’t like purposely exercising make it purposeful. Walk to the nearest mailbox, grocery store, bike to the friend’s house. Enjoy those multiple trips up and down the stairs — make unnecessary trips whenever you can. Turn on some music and take a dance break and get away from the office/computer. Set a timer. Find something you love to do, experiment until you find something wonderful. You may surprise yourself. I discovered I love weight training, Tai Chi, Water aerobics, and belly dancing. My friends love NIA, Zumba, line dancing, tennis, stretching, body prayers, running, Yoga, Yoga and more Yoga, Pilates. I rediscover hula hooping. You’d be shocked at which ones of my associates like what. I was. Find your thing. It is the best thing for your Body, Mind and your Spirit. Exercise is even better for your mind than it is for your body and it certainly lifts your spirits.
Walk your pets (or your neighbor’s pets AND yourself!!
6) Get Support
As you are reading this you are likely saying that you do not have time to incorporate these things into your life. I have to repeat that you must incorporate these things or risk failing at the very things that you most want to succeed. You must practice exceptional self care at this time. It will be so good for you. I really want this for you.
This is category is especially important if you find can not do all the things listed on this special report. You must get support. Here is how you can determine what support you need:
- If you want to do these things and you cannot make yourself do them. Get someone to support you, hold you accountable, go with you, check on you, hold your feet to ….your desires.
- If you don’t want to do these things but you know you should, then get help. Find your own coach or therapist to help you find out what is blocking you and to help you develop new strategies and ways to accomplish your objectives.
- If you’ve got so many things to do that you just cannot get to these important things, get assistance.Hire or enlist someone to do the administrative work, the baby sitting, the care-giving, the housework, the technical work, the yard work, the shopping, the accounting, the taxes, the dog-walking most importantly somebody to tell you about the TV programs and news you are (not) missing. Feel free to ask those people who said to you “LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS ANYTHING I CAN DO”. Many of these people really meant it and are eager to help you.
Bottom line do what it takes to do the things on this list for yourself and your family.
7) Know and Understand Yourself
We all have a distinct way of operating in the world. We had have a certain sociological context, our demographics, and positive and negative experiences that have shaped us. We have had certain responses to our environment that have called us to respond and operate the way we do. When we know who we are and can operate as our authentic selves we are phenomenal. This is not possible to do meaningfully if we are operating based on a laundry list of negative cultural conditioning and programming overlaying our true selves. As we learn more and more about our authentic selves we are able to relate and respond to the authentic selves of others and hold them in the truest and highest regard. Learn everything you can about who you really are from many sources such as spiritual guidance, connecting with your inner guidance system, personality assessments and continuous internal reflection. Doing so creates incredible benefits in your life.
8) I’m Here to Help!
Move your emotional scale from Grief to JOY. Get to know the value, benefits and the Healing Power of JOY. De-Stress, Reclaim your Life and Return to Joy. Contact me for a discovery session where you can learn how to go from High Stress to High Joy even at this challenging time.