I know it can be frustrating figuring out what to eat as our body starts shifting hormonally. Although what works for each person varies, there are some basic guidelines that can be a helpful place to start!
Focus on nutrient-dense REAL foods! Lots of non-starchy vegetables (think eating a RAINBOW!), some whole grains or beans/legumes or fruits, the right amount of lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Prioritize lean protein sources at every meal/snack like poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, and tofu.
Protein supports muscle maintenance and helps manage appetite, crucial for weight loss.
Fiber for Satiety, Digestive Health and Hormonal Balance
Increase fiber intake through vegetables, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and fruits.
Fiber promotes satiety, aiding in appetite control and digestive health.
Eat slowly, savor each bite, and pay attention to hunger and fullness cues.
Create a beautiful, inviting space when you eat.
Sounds silly but put your fork down in between bites and really chew your food (I’m still working on this one!)
Healthy Fats for Hormonal Health
Incorporate sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
These fats are essential for hormone production and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
Include sources of omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish (wild-caught salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Limit Sugar and Processed Foods
Minimize added sugars and processed foods, which can disrupt blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain.
Regulating your blood sugar is probably one of THE MOST IMPORTANT things you can do to support healthy weight in perimenopause and menopause
Meal Planning and Portions
Plan balanced meals so that it is EASY and enjoyable to eat well
Aim for about half or more of your plate as vegetables, palm-size of protein, small amount of starches and 1-2 T. of healthy fats per meal
As always, each body is different so it’s important to listen to what YOUR body is telling you!
Because, as you know, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
And we do better together.
What if you could remove BURNOUT, OVERWHELM, and FATIGUE from your day?
What if you could change the world AND take good care of your health and well-being?
WHOLE LIFE NOURISHMENT!
Connect with me today to be added to the waitlist!
Want to know more?
Watch this Welcome video to learn all about Whole Life Nourishment!
Note: dates are different, but the information is otherwise the same!
This four-month online coaching program is specifically designed for changemakers to support you in optimizing your health and well-being—mind, body and spirit!
Imagine this . . .
Moving through your day with CLARITY and CONFIDENCE of your food plan because you are all prepped and ready to go with nutritious, delicious food that works for you and your body.
Waking up with plenty of ENERGY and MOTIVATION to not only get your work done with ease and focus, but you also have enough left in your tank at the end of the day to do the other things that bring you JOY.
Connecting with an AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY that not only SUPPORTS your health challenges and goals, but also INSPIRES you!
I know these are EXTREMELY challenging times and I know you are all feeling overwhelmed most days with burnout looming . . .
AND here’s the deal . . . . even in the midst of such uncertainty, you can take small steps on a daily basis
to better support your health and well-being so that you can show up with energy, focus and vitality for your
mission, yourself, your team, your relationships, and our planet!
Join me! Let’s do this together!
The WHOLE LIFE NOURISHMENT program has eight key pillars:
* Establish more clarity and confidence around your FOOD/NUTRITION choices and routines so that you can feel more energized, balanced, and nourished all day long and continue to support your immune system.
* Practice effective strategies to support better quality SLEEP/REST because sleep is essential to having vital health, more energy, less cravings, and more resilience in handling the big changes you are facing.
* Prioritize more daily MOVEMENT into your routine so that you can be more present in your body, relieve stress, support immune health, and feel stronger.
* Create the healthy SCHEDULE/HABITS/ROUTINES that allow you to move through your day with greater ease, energy, and focus. These times have highlighted the importance of routines more than ever!
* Cultivate ways to have moments of meaningful CONNECTION TO SELF in the form of self-care practices, self-love mindset, expressions of creativity, and opportunities for pleasure and joy, even in the midst of the unknown.
* Focus on your MINDSET and create more mindfulness practices and cultivate rest. This is key to being present each day, even when there is a lack of clarity in the larger world. This time in our history is asking us to slow down while also continuing to be focused and effective in our work, our relationships, and our communities.
* Continue to build meaningful CONNECTION TO OTHERS (your community, family, personal and professional relationships, social justice movements, our planet) from a place of authenticity, giving from the overflow, and healthy boundaries. This group is also an opportunity to make meaningful connections with people who get what you’re going through.
* Continue to develop and nurture your sense of PURPOSE/MISSION because I know you came into this world at this time to make the largest positive impact! If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be healthy and strong to really show up for ourselves, our students, and our community. Let’s do this together!
What you receive when you join Whole Life Nourishment:
Small-group coaching callstwice a month (TBD): total of NINE 90-minute calls plus a BONUS call via Zoom to build community, support, accountability, and clear guidance to meet your health and wellness goals. We do better when we’re connected together and can support each other! Groups will be limited to 8-12 people so we can create meaningful connections and community.
Specific coaching and support on my signature WHOLE LIFE NOURISHMENT program where we’ll focus on all areas of your life–nutrition, sleep, movement, connection, etc.–to holistically support your wellness. Let’s do this in manageable, achievable, small steps!
Private group “classroom” (not on Facebook) to easily stay in contact with each other in between calls to ask questions, receive ongoing support, share wins, and stay connected.
Accountability partners to help you stay on track with peers who can celebrate your wins and understand your challenges.
Theconvenience of anonline group so that you can be in the safety of your home but we can be connected from anywhere in the country!
For FOUR months of Whole Life Nourishment support, your investment is $1199.
Payment plans available upon request. Venmo, PayPal, or a personalized invoice are also options–just contact me! Note: consider using your HSA to enroll. I am committed to making this group program affordable and accessible, so if you are in financial need, I offer sliding scale options. Please reach out.
If you want to learn how to optimize your health and well-being so that you can continue to be an energized, healthy changemaker even in the midst of so much change, aggravation and uncertainty then . . .
Here are some of the benefits of joining today . . .
* More energy, better quality sleep, and practical ways to nourish yourself with food (even in the midst of such challenging times)!
*Greater ease in creating healthy habits that support your well-being on a daily basis. Small steps lead to great shifts!
*Practical tips and suggestions that you can apply immediately. Let’s stop waiting for “when” or “if” and take action today!
*Personalized guidance in how to make small changes that yield big results. Every body is different and I’m here to support you through a model that works for your unique body, lifestyle, and situation.
*Opportunities to set practical goals/action steps that you can actually achieve to keep you on track with your health and well-being (so you can keep being an amazing changemaker!).
*Ongoing accountability, encouragement, and connection so that you can really show up as your best. This is key! We can’t do it alone! We need connection and community more now than ever!
*The support and wisdom of your fellow group members who know exactly what you’re going through!
For those of you new to me, my name is Michelle Dwyer and I am a Holistic Health Coach and Certified Nutrition Consultant. I have a Master of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education and I’m Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition.
I am also committed to various social justice issues and see myself as an agent of positive change. I am excited to serve my fellow changemakers in your health and well-being so that YOU can show up in all the ways our world needs you . . . whether that’s at a grassroots level or more global. For more information about my larger vision and the causes I support, please go to my blog post here.
Looking forward to connecting with you soon!
Michelle Dwyer, Transformation Coach, Holistic Health Coach and Certified Nutrition Consultant, MS in Health and Nutrition Education, Former Educator, Agent of Positive Change
Do you ever get messages from multiple sources and they are all telling you the same thing? Well, I have and the message is SLOW DOWN and be in the flow!
I love the holiday season . . . the lights, the songs, the gatherings with friends and family (safely), the holiday cheer! It’s a truly beautiful and magical time of year.
However, it can also be very challenging for many people. We can often feel overwhelmed, rushed, tired, and stretched too thin. And certainly, celebrating in 2022 comes with its own sets of challenges.
This time of year, we are meant to slow down, go within more, start hibernating a bit. In Feng Shui, we will soon be moving into the Water element which is all about stillness, quiet, self-care, contemplation, and rejuvenation.
And yet society asks us to DO MORE this holiday season. More parties, more obligations, more presents, more cards, more eating, more drinking, more “things” on the to-do list. No wonder so many people get sick once the holidays are over. Their bodies are exhausted by all the pushing and over-doing! (And really, now with this updated version in 2022, we REALLY want to support your immune health!)
Instead, what if we focus more on doing less, taking items off our to-do list, creating more opportunities for self-care, being present with our loved ones, and maybe even saying NO to anything that does not truly lift our spirits.
I know I need my own reminders to slow down and so I got inspired to do my “Twelve Ways of SLOWING DOWN this Holiday Season.” I hope they inspire you!
May your holiday season be filled with love, laughter, and peace.
In health and gratitude, Michelle Dwyer
On the 1st day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . a minute break to do nothing!
I know slowing down can be challenging, especially during this time of year. So I thought we’d start small: let’s take a ONE-MINUTE vacation right now!
Today, for *just one minute* practice taking a break. You can look at something beautiful, close your eyes and just breathe, or do nothing.
On the 2nd day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . a moment to fill up your own cup first so that you can give from the overflow!
It may be helpful to take a moment to scan and see how full is your cup right now. If it’s feeling a little empty and depleted, see if there are some small ways to nourish yourself and fill it back up. Could be a chat with a friend, a walk around the block, a delicious and nourishing meal.
And remember, self-care is not selfish. If you are not taking care of yourself, then it is hard to show up in all the ways you want to as a person, whether that’s at work, with your family, or for your community.
On the 3rd day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . the encouragement to schedule ONE treat for yourself some time in the next few weeks.
Could be an acupuncture appointment, a massage, a pedicure, a hike with a friend, a restorative yoga class, or some time at an (outdoor) cafe to just read a book. You don’t have to necessarily schedule this for now (although you could!) but take a moment to get something on your calendar. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
On the 4th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . do some stretches or a little yoga!
Doing the “legs up the wall” pose or Viparita karani is one of my favorite suggestions for lowering our cortisol (stress hormone) levels and resetting any time of day! Take just 2 minutes to do this pose and I promise you’ll feel better. Child’s pose is another pose and relaxing to do. Not into yoga? How about a few stretches while on a quick break from work or while you’re waiting in line? Doing a few yoga poses or stretches are great for a little mid-day break, as a way to unwind when you get home from work (or holiday errands), or right before bed.
On the 5th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . the idea of giving presence instead of presents.
A recent study “suggests that small acts of kindness, not grand overtures, make people feel most loved and supported.”
Check out this great article to help bring some perspective this holiday season about gift-giving. It’s a great breakdown of how many people experience more stress during the holiday season and how the antidote is slowing down, connecting with people more, and taking good care of yourself.
What is your favorite way to connect with people during the holidays?
On the 6th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . a moment to contemplate the beauty of nature!
Connecting with nature is a beautiful way to slow down and be more present. And it can be free and easy! This can be as simple as noticing the sunrise or sunset, a bird in a tree, the way the light comes in your kitchen in the afternoon. I’ve personally been watching the hummingbirds outside my work desk window!
What sights of nature have you noticed lately and how did you feel?
On the 7th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . new and old traditions!
One of the things that can make the holidays so special are the traditions that are passed down. Whether it’s lighting the candles, singing songs, decorating the house, or making special foods, most of us can think fondly of new or old family traditions.
That said, certain traditions, when they start to feel like a “should” rather than a true heart’s desire can take some of the magic out of the tradition and make it feel more like a chore or creates stress instead of joy.
So I encourage you this holiday season to check in on your traditions . . . what makes you feel joyful? What’s fun and easy? What feels truly special? And what maybe just doesn’t anymore? Maybe it’s time to release a tradition that is no longer serving you or anyone else.
Or maybe it’s time to make a NEW tradition, one that creates more moments of calm and presence and joy and ease!
I would love to hear what traditions you cherish and maybe which ones you have let go of.
On the 8th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . the gift of reading a good book!
Reading a really great book is personally one of my favorite ways to slow down and get some time for myself.
Many of you may not know, but before becoming a holistic nutritionist I was an English teacher and have MA in literature. I love love love books!
I usually read fiction over non-fiction but I do love a well-written memoir or biography. Women’s lit, multicultural American lit, African-American lit, Sci-fi and dystopian lit, spiritual books, modern lit, chick lit—I love it all! I love when I can fall into a book, and I love when I am so into a book that I can’t wait to get back to it.
Do you love to read? Do you find it relaxing? What is one of your favorite books?
On the 9th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . a great online program about how to LIVE IN THE FLOW and create more happiness, wealth, health and love in your life!
On the 10th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . 50 ways to take a break!
Really. Go take a break. You’ll be glad you did! What’s your favorite way to take a break? I love these ideas because they can be really simple.
What’s your favorite way to take a quick break, even in the “busy” holiday season?
On the 11th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . a simple, nourishing meal.
I know with the rush of holidays and the onslaught of sugar everywhere, it can feel challenging to take the time to slow down and eat a nourishing meal. But trust me, your body will thank you for it!
One of my favorites is this Tuscan Bean Soup with Kale. I usually use poultry seasoning instead of the individual spices and it turns out great.
This recipe is vegan (minus the parmesan cheese) but you can also add grilled chicken or use bone broth if desired.
On the 12th day of SLOWING DOWN, my true love of self gave to me . . . wishes for a wonderful Winter Solstice!
Usually around December 21 is the first day of winter and from this point forward, each day we will have more light. Although many traditional celebrations this time of year focus on the importance of bringing the light into the darkness, I think it’s important to also honor what darkness brings as well: rest, rejuvenation, magic, mystery, and dreams.
And just like the new year celebrations, the Winter Solstice is also a time to focus on all the good things to come in the new year. I wish you and your loved ones all the love, joy, and peace of the holiday season!
Thank you for joining me for the Twelve Ways of Slowing Down and enjoying the holiday season! I hope you received a helpful reminder or inspiration along the way.
YES, AND! Been thinking about this phrase a lot lately . . . Many of you may not know that I did improv for quite a few years and I loved it. It was purely recreational for me, a way to have fun, meet new people, and get creative.
And it brought SO MUCH to my life: it helped me release “perfectionism,” it taught me how to stay present more, it helped me be more empathetic and listen better, and it also introduced the concept of “Yes, and . . .” to me.
For those of you not familiar, the concept of “yes, and” is foundational to improv. It means that when your improv partner offers you a scenario, you respond with something that affirms their offer and builds off of it.
For example, if you’re in a scene together and your partner says, “Hey Samantha, pretty awesome space-ship you just built there!” you might say, “Yeah, can you believe I ordered it on Etsy and it only took 2 hours to build? Want to take a ride?” Your partner would then “yes and” you back and say, “Yes, that’s sounds like a great idea! Do you have any bike helmets?”
You see where I’m going . . . What you don’t say is “But my name isn’t Samantha” or “What space ship?” or anything else that blocks the offer.
So where am I going with this and how does it relate to health and wellness?
We can embrace the “YES, AND” concept in so many ways: * YES I can be an effective _________ (progressive leader, teacher, nurse, parent . . .you fill in the blank) AND prioritize my health and well-being. * YES I can eat nutrient-dense foods most of the time AND enjoy special treats now and then. * YES I am able to love and appreciate my body AND want to make healthy shifts and changes.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking!
“YES AND” gets us out of perfectionism or “black and white” or “all or nothing” thinking. It embraces possibility and nuance. It builds on successes and taps into our creativity.
What’s a “YES, AND” that you are practicing right now? Would love to hear!
October is a poignant month for me. You see, my mom passed away on October 15, 1995 from complications from metastatic breast cancer. I was 21 years old. She was only 48.
Way too young. Both of us. Me, too young to lose my mother. My mother, way too young to die.
And ironically October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, I like to call it BREAST HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH instead.
This is more than an abstract pink-ribbon month for me. It’s personal. For me, I’d rather focus on having a healthy and balanced body.
At the age of 21 I made a choice. I was not going to go down the road of my mother’s body. I was going to do what I could, on a daily basis, to take good care of myself. I realized I had two choices: I could choose FEAR or I could choose LOVE. I chose LOVE. Love for myself, my body, my breasts, my health, my future.
And so, decades before I would eventually become a holistic health coach and nutrition consultant, I started to pay attention to my health in a way most 21-year-olds don’t. For years I’ve been clearing out potential carcinogens like harmful beauty products and cleaning supplies, unnecessary plastics, toxic food, and even harmful stress and mindsets (and people). I wasn’t anywhere near perfect (and I’m still not) but I have been making a conscious effort to be mindful of what goes on my body, in body, near my body.
Let me take a moment to tell you a little about my mom because I don’t want her to be defined by how she died. My mom was a strong woman and taught my sister and me to be strong women, too. She put herself through college at UC Santa Barbara and taught high school her entire adult life (first home economics and then history when they began to phase out home ec classes). She loved to shop and had a great eye for color. She was a fantastic gift giver and would shower us with presents at Christmas, often with gifts she had been collecting for us all year. She was actually very “crafty” and made all sorts of decorations (many of which we still have). She loved going to Hawaii, visiting historical sites, and planning amazing trips for our family. She could be incredibly “thrifty” but also was incredibly generous. We didn’t always agree (what mother and daughter do?) but I never doubted that she loved us deeply. Or that she continues to watch over us.
This is a picture of my family at my sister’s graduation from high school, just four months before we’d lose our mother. (My sister asked me to crop it! LOL!)
FIVE steps you can take TODAY to support HEALTHY HAPPY BREASTS:
1. Eat a healthy diet: Did you know that increasing your fiber intake can help lower excess estrogen levels and decrease your risk of breast cancer? Best way to get that fiber is to eat at least 3-8 cups of organic, seasonal vegetables every day (along with 1-3 servings of fruit)! Think dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, bok choy and other colorful foods. And if you’re eating all those veggies, you probably will have less sugar cravings too because your blood sugar will be more stable. Avoiding processed sugar and other foods that spike your insulin levels is another helpful thing we can do for our breast health every day.
2. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise has numerous benefits: we feel good, it helps us manage our stress levels, we often do it with others so we get to connect, it can help decrease excess estrogen levels, and it lowers the risk of breast cancer. Find something fun to do! And do it often.
3. Be social: As humans, we need connection to our “tribe.” We are social creatures and it’s important to cultivate meaningful relationships with others as part of our health and wellness plan. Women especially need to connect with other women often.
4. Be mindful of the chemicals you bring into your home: How toxic are your cleaning supplies? How about the beauty products you put on your skin every day? What’s in that lotion? Or your shampoo? Check out the EWG’s Skin Deep Database to find out more.
5. Practice Self-Care and Self-Love Every Day: As Dr. Christiane Northrup, women’s health expert and OB/GYN, so beautifully states: “This is the most important factor in creating health because carving out time to care for and love yourself unconditionally feeds your cells the positive thoughts and emotions they need to reproduce in a healthy way.” I love this and in fact this exactly what I guide people through in the Whole Life Nourishment for Changemakers group program!
Each year I choose a different way to honor and celebrate my mother.
BCPP works to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease. They are a founding member and national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition working to eliminate dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products.
In the midst of so much uncertainty and daily changes to our reality, I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to share with you that might be helpful. I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt almost bombarded the last few weeks with so much information, ideas, tips, resources, and suggestions. Some I have felt truly helpful and grounding. I wanted to share a few of my personal commitments and take-aways that I am doing my best each day to truly PRACTICE . . . with grace, kindness, and compassion. Perhaps you might find them helpful, too.
The Simple Practices (or scroll below for more details):
Eat to NOURISH your body
Honor your need for sleep and rest
Move your body every day
Be in nature
Express gratitude and appreciation
Affirm the importance of creativity, play, humor, and love
Welcome opportunities for empathy, compassion, kindness, radical acceptance, and receiving/giving support
Create healthy boundaries through discernment
The Practices in More Detail:
Eat to NOURISH your body: Foods that support your immune system include colorful, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein, and healthy fats. Adding spices and fresh herbs can also be beneficial (think onion, garlic, fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, and spices like turmeric). Fermented foods like raw apple cider vinegar, raw fermented vegetables, and kimchi may also be beneficial–a happy belly supports a strong immune system. Be mindful of sugar and processed foods as these can deplete your immune strength. If you are feeling “phlegmy” I also suggest taking dairy out for a while since it is quite mucous-producing. Most importantly, if you do find yourself stress-eating, be kind to yourself and reach out for support.
Stay hydrated: This one may seem obvious but I added it to my personal list when I noticed early last week that I was not drinking enough water. I think I got thrown off my routine. So now I’m making a conscious effort to drink plenty of water and herbal tea throughout the day. A cup of nourishing broth works too! I try to use a colorful cup for my water so that it catches my eye and I’m reminded to drink. Adding a little lemon or lime to water can also make it more enticing to drink (plus a little vitamin C!). Herbal teas like ginger, licorice, and mint would be beneficial too.
Honor your need for sleep and rest: You might be finding that as we adjust to our new routines and ways of working that you have more energy fluctuations. Be gentle with yourself in this time and rest when you need to rest. It’s okay to need a break. I also encourage you to keep to your regular sleep times as sleep and rest are also an important part of supporting our immune system. If you can sleep in a little now that you don’t have to commute, do so! But still go to bed at your regular hour to keep consistency there.
Move your body every day: There are absolutely no shoulds on exactly how to move your body every day. Have a dance party, join a streaming fitness class, create your own home workout, walk your neighborhood, go up and down the stairs in your home, do some stretches. Just move!! Many of us are sitting way more than we usually would, so you might need to be more conscious about body your body daily. Beyond my daily walks and fitness routine, I have also found it helpful to take mini-breaks through the day to stretch, grab a cup of tea, sit in a different location or sit in a different way (like on the floor instead of at my desk).
Practice mindfulness: Again, there are a myriad of ways to do this including meditation, yoga, taking a hot bath, reading a comforting spiritual book, taking 5 deep breaths throughout the day, using essential oils for aromatherapy, coloring, knitting/crocheting, walking, gardening. New to meditation and want to give it a try, Deepka Chopra and Oprah are offering for free their 21-Day Meditation Series “Finding hope in uncertain times.”
Be in nature: If you feel comfortable doing so, get out into nature every day. Find nature in small places like your neighborhood (the flowers are glorious here in Oakland right now!), your backyard, your patio. Plant and grow something, if you can. Garden. Get your hands in dirt. Watch the sun rise or set. Look at the stars. Connecting with nature on a daily basis is one of the most important things we can do right now.
Express gratitude and appreciation: My husband and I have made it a daily practice to share each day: one “win” from the day, one challenge, one gratitude, and one appreciation to the other person. It’s become a lovely ritual, one I hope to continue. Gratitude is key right now. Even on the most challenging days, we can find something to be grateful for. Some days it might be something big like, “I’m so grateful for the health of my body” and other days it might be simple like, “I’m grateful for running hot and cold water.” Even in the midst of great unknowns, we can practice expressing our gratitude. Appreciation is slightly different in that it is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. If you’re co-housing and co-working suddenly with a lot of people, a little appreciation can go a long way: “I appreciate that you gave me space to do my video meeting today” or “I appreciate how you cleaned up our morning dishes today.” If you live alone this appreciation might extend to a friend, family member or neighbor: “I appreciate you checking in on me.”
Affirm the importance of creativity and humor and love: Even in the midst of great challenge and difficulty, there are opportunities for laughter, joy, and pleasure. Take these moments and cherish them. I truly believe this time is calling on us to get creative. This may look like actually creating some piece of art like music, painting, knitting, writing, cooking, etc. Or it can be about having a creative mindset and getting innovative with solutions. And humor is also so important right now. Not only does it feel good to laugh but it can also boost our immune system! Lastly, and most importantly, these times are calling on us to CHOOSE LOVE. This might be love for our families and loved ones but also radical self-love. Love is the antidote to fear.
Welcome opportunities for empathy, compassion, kindness, radical acceptance, and receiving/giving support: I know I’m not alone in appreciating the myriad of stories out there of someone expressing kindness to strangers in these difficult times. I believe that what we give our attention to expands, so I am choosing to focus on places where I can be compassionate to myself and others. We are all handling this major event in different ways and I know I handle it differently depending on the day, the hour, the minute. That is all ok. Radical acceptance is about fully being with what is happening right now. It doesn’t mean you have to like it, but you stop resisting or denying it or wishing for a different outcome. Letting go of expectations or the sense that we can control things can be challenging, but it is good work to practice right now. Lastly, if you are in a place to give support right now, please do so: donate to a favorite non-profit, buy gift certificates to your local businesses who are closed right now, call a friend or neighbor to check on them. And if you need support right now, practice receiving kindness and generosity.
Create healthy boundaries through discernment: Right now we are all being asked to create a physical boundary for the well-being of our society, but remember to also create healthy boundaries mentally, psychically, and spiritually. This might mean being careful about how much news you watch (or when you watch it), being mindful about time spent on social media, choosing thoughtfully what shows you are watching, or even being more conscious of your own thoughts and where you place your attention and intention. Discernment is about consciously deciding what you bring into your world . . . whether that’s food, people, information, or your own thoughts. I find this to be very empowering.
Like all of you, I’m taking my life day by day right now. What this time of sheltering at home amidst a global pandemic seems to be highlighting for me are my daily practices of self-care so that I can show up for the world feeling as healthy, strong, energetic, clear, and grounded as possible. I hope you have found some of these to be helpful, too.
I would love to hear from you in the comments below: What daily practices are working for you and your household?