I recently had the great opportunity of hearing one of my mentor/teachers, Dr. Maria Sirois, speak on an Action for Happiness Webinar. I am always blown away by this woman’s heart, knowledge, wisdom, charisma, and ability to share stories and information that we all can use. Maria was discussing happiness in dark times, which has caused shifts in all of us. We have been living with uncertainty with work, family balance, concerns about finances, health, death, schooling and we have no idea what life will look like in the future. Learning to be resilient during these times and holding the space for suffering and sadness as well as growing and surviving. Maria noted that we consider our response, our action, individually and communally to sustain the world. How can we cultivate hope through action?
Maria offered three practical actions that we all can consider to help our families and ourselves during this time of crisis.
- Self Care
I am a big proponent of self-care as part of the foundation we all need to remain resilient in times of stress. Maria added that we need to be prepared internally. She said to put a notepad by our bed, which has these three questions to consider each morning when we wake up.
What can I do today to nourish myself? (Calm, soothe)
What can I do today to strengthen myself?
What can I do to inspire myself today?
Choose one each morning and throughout the day take the opportunity to put yourself in your own good hands giving yourself fortitude to face the overwhelm.
Being reminded about the power of AND was great for me to hear again. Our brains are hardwired for fear. In order to be resilient we do not want to get stuck in the rumination it brings. If you have a negative thought name it out loud, give it a voice, then write the word AND following with a written a phrase that is positive and true. For example:
I’m not doing enough every day AND I know that everyday I am doing my best to manage the big things and I am worthy.
We are all human and giving ourselves permission to feel all of our feelings – sadness, fear, anger, – we do not want to deny, we just do not want to get stuck in them. Forgive yourself for being human.
We have the choice, always, to shape our own days. Stress will come; it’s how we choose to respond to these stresses that matters. This is going to be a marathon and we need to figure out how we are going to last through it in the best possible way. Even in the darkest moments there is a bright light. Maria shared some of her own personal stories to make that point. She may have quoted this
“I’m facing the darkness as best as I can
I’m turning myself toward the light”
In the evening writing your gratitude journal and noting what went well that day could give you fortitude and perseverance. Celebrate the small gains and recognize the good moments. Mark them down so you may notice where you have been and where you are going. We all have a choice as to where we put our attention.
Consider doing these three things Maria shared to help you persevere and manage the times we are in.
- Begin your day with Self Care
- During the day celebrate the small gains and use the power of AND
- At night what went well
She also shared this video, which I loved so I am going to pass it on to you! I am sending you all a virtual hug! If anyone needs to talk during these times I am doing zoom, face time, and phone calls to maintain social distancing. My clients and I are continuing forward. May you all too…..