Happy July! I’ve been a bit negligent in keeping up with newsletter writing, and hope this message finds you feeling healthy and resilient during this extraordinarily curious time we’re living in. Which is exactly what I’m writing to you about today: this extraordinarily curious time.
Remember my new book, Wild World Joyful Heart: Unlock Your Power to Create Health and Joy (WWJH)? You know, the one that outlines exactly how we can become empowered around our well-being, and then how that also ripples out to affect the world at large? The original subtitle of that book was “How to Create Health and Joy in Challenging Times.” I can’t remember for sure why we changed it, but it may have had something to do with me getting my knickers in knot about having negative-sounding verbiage on the book cover. (ie: challenging times) Anyhoo, it is indeed THE book for 2020. Why?
We would be hard pressed to cite a time in history when so much unrest occurred in such a short time span. There’s the actual threat of the COVID-19 virus which, from a percentage standpoint, it relatively small. There’s the widespread FEAR around the COVID-19 virus, which is very large. Add in economic brew-ha-ha—small businesses dropping like flies, large business (except Amazon) struggling, a wild stock market, and the highest unemployment rate we’ve seen in quite a while. Meanwhile, we’re all struggling around PPE use, social distancing, getting tired of our housemates, states closing…opening…re-closing…etc, summer stay-cations, and all the judgement that floats around among us about who should and shouldn’t be doing what.
We’ve had one of the largest (and long-overdue) social uprisings in decades, as brave and passionate people help us understand that systemic racism can no longer be tolerated. We have a lot of listening, paradigm-shifting and work ahead of us, that needs to follow the massive communication that our digital age is supporting around race, discrimination and equality.
Then, of course, there’s the reported uptick in bubonic plague findings and the ga-zillions of locusts that are going to decimate what’s left of Africa’s food supply (after the first wave of locusts earlier this year) as they bloom with biblical proportions, with numbers expected to be 20x that of earlier this year, which is actually really hard to imagine. And yes, that WILL affect the rest of the world. Not only economically, but it turns out that locusts are really great fliers and will happily cross large bodies of water when they run out of food.
Despite all of that, or maybe BECAUSE of all of that, we can create health and joy. This is, indeed, the whole point of WWJH. Our heart and our mind is always ours. We get to decide. Is that easy? No, it often isn’t. Is it worth the effort? 100% yes. Not only for our personal well-being, but for the well-being of this aching planet and our polarized world. Our purpose on this planet is not to come here and be miserable. Our purpose is to exercise our magnificence as the powerful creators of our life experience here on Earth.
This is wonderful and important and I invite you to tell everyone you know about WWJH because what I keep hearing is,
“This is the exact book we all need right now.”
(Someone tell Oprah! Wink.)
I devoted a whole chapter of WWJH to self-care. One of the unfortunate common happenings is that when the going gets rough, we blow off our self-care. We “don’t have time” or we’re too tired or we’re too anxious or depressed or, or. The trick is, is that this kind of large and abrupt constellation of changes is taxing. These times can feel traumatic and exhausting. We are all navigating a great deal of change and uncertainty—mentally, emotionally and relationally. And navigating a great deal of change can erode our physical health, too.
So, I’m here today sending this love note to you because I can really feel the world right now. People are struggling. Heck, I’m struggling at times too. It’s a LOT. And I want to encourage you to put your self-care at the top of your List of Important Things To Tend To. This is important for YOU, and it’s important for others. If we don’t maintain self-care, not only are we neglecting our whole-person health, we’re at risk of projecting and displacing our negative feelings onto other people in our lives, most particularly those people we care about.
If your cup is getting empty, it’s time for a re-fill. In addition to all the suggestions in WWJH, here are:
5 Quick Tips For Health & Joy In Our Wild World:
- Know that your actions, however small, matter. There’s a lot of change going on and many of us want to do our part. It can feel overwhelming. One small, consistent shift can create more change than a one-time event. Let’s keep the momentum going without burning ourselves out.
- Feeling emotional? FEEL the emotions and provide them with a release valve like crying, exercising or being out in nature. As discussed in WWJH, pent up emotions wind their roots into your physical and mental well-being.
- Take a technology/social media break. Daily technology fasts of 1-2 hours can be liberating and many are amazed at how good they feel with their personal technology devices in a drawer for a few hours. The great news is, you can release FOMO (fear of missing out) because all the info will still be there. Overstimulation can create feelings of jumpiness and irritation.
- BREATHE. Several times a day, stop and take 3 breaths, breathing deeply as your belly and ribs expand fully. This invokes the Relaxation Response and gives your fight-or-flight system a much-needed break.
- Prioritize self-care. It’s not selfish, it’s imperative for the health of you, and the health of society. Nourishing foods, movement, 7.5+ hours of restful sleep, and drinking plenty of water (80-120 oz/day). Mindfully seeking out positive input for your psyche like fun music, an up-beat podcast, or reading something that supports you in feeling positive, happy and can-do.
There’s a lot of opportunity in this messy-feeling time that we’re in. Protect your investment in yourself, so you’re up to the task. Let’s fill our cup, make wise choices, love our human family and stick together.
With love and a joyful heart,