Maintaining My Peace During This Current Season
How’s your heart doing?
2020 has been an emotional roller coaster for me and I’m sure it has been for you as well – some days seem to be going well, fantastic even, and other days are not so good, and the weight of the world seems super heavy, exhausting, and completely draining.
This season of global pandemic, social unrest, and lost has lasted longer than we all expected, and even forever FLOTUS Michele Obama recently shared in her podcast that she was going through a period of what she called “low-grade depression” (click here to check it out the podcast episode). And much like Auntie Michele and others, I am starting to settle into the idea that we might be here a wee bit longer than we first imagined.
I’ve found that during this season that it is important to find and protect my peace, and that to maintain some form of joy (and sanity), I need to find healthy ways to uplift and recharge despite my external environment. Since we’re all trying to figure out how best to cope with our current realities, I thought I would share some of the things that’s kept me sane (at least somewhat) during this time.
1. Wake Up, Look Up, and Give Thanks
One of the things that I think that’s helped me the most is switching up my morning routine. Up until recently, I was one of those people who grabbed their phones first thing in the morning (whether that is to check the weather, scroll social media, or read the news, we’re tethered to the gadgets that seemingly make our lives easier). But, I started a practice that I have fallen in love with where I skip the morning scroll, and head straight outside to sit on my front porch. There is something about waking up and stepping out into true morning glory that opens my mind and heart, and prepares me to tackle another day. It is refreshing, calming, and puts my mind at ease – all it takes is 10 – 15 mins to start your day off with better vibrations.
Another practice that I have been engaging in during this season is yoga. Before this year, I had not really incorporated yoga into my fitness routine, though I’d tried it a few times, I wasn’t consistent by any means – it might have had something to do with knowing that I wasn’t going to win a medal for calorie burn in yoga class. But there is something about the movements and the use of the breath through those movements that makes me feel centered and free, which ultimately brings a calm presence to my body. Plus, Chelsea Jackson Roberts on Peleton is amazing, her words are inspiring and uplifting, and her yoga class playlists are almost better than the class itself.
Speaking of clearing your mind, let's talk about meditation. In Western culture, I think we spend a lot of time praying and talking to our Creator, and very little time actually listening. I am not suggesting that God will speak directly to you every time you meditate (although He just might), but what I am saying is, only talking and not listening does not set you up for hearing how you should move (or not move). I know you’re saying, but I do not know how to meditate – well, lucky for you, there are a ton of resources and apps online to help you. My go-to is Peleton, but there is also Calm, Headspace, and a ton of free guided meditations on YouTube. Most people don’t meditate because they think they are doing it wrong, but there isn’t a right or wrong way, just the way that works best for you and your spirit.
The last and most surprising gem for me lately has been hiking. I’ve been spending more and more time embedded in nature, and I’ve found myself exploring various hiking trails in my area. To me, there is something magical and refreshing about hiking outdoors; maybe it’s the open sky or the way that nature makes me feel so small, or maybe it’s when the suns hits my face just right and it feels like my inner battery is being recharged by the divine. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but what I know is the “Great Outdoors” touches my soul and provides comfort in a way that reminds me that no matter what’s going on outside of nature, all is well, and the Creator has a plan.
These are a few of things that have been keeping me grounded lately, feel free to drop a note in the comment section and let me know what’s helped you doing this time. It is my hope and prayer that we all continue to find ways and find spaces to help us through 2020 and this current season of life.