You're Okay. Things Aren't Okay, But You're Okay.
*This blog post was originally created as a sort of love blast to my email list. These are hard times for all of us though. I felt compelled to share it here on the blog as well. We need more light everywhere. May these words spark the light within you.
I’m here today, because I want to remind you of who you are. Normally, I drop in every month, but these are some overwhelming times. To me, it seems like we’re getting new information every few hours. Plans are changing. We’re being called to pay attention. We’re being asked to look out and look within all at once.
You are here. Right now. Reading this. I’m here with you. Take a slow breath.
A few days ago, I could feel this mounting tension. Questions swirled in my brain. I was trying to understand. Trying to plan ahead.
On Friday we found out that schools would be closed. I’ve been figuring out what this means for my therapy practice and childcare. I’d been working really hard to force it all into place.
Maybe you have been feeling that way, too? Here’s a thought that helped me:
“This situation isn’t happening to me. These are just facts. I can choose my perspective.”
So this is what I’ve done:
1. I am creating a peaceful environment in my own home.
Even though the outside world is uncertain right now, I want my home to be a sanctuary. I want my family to feel safe, and loved, and cared for. I want them to learn how to handle hard things with softness.
I’m doing this by diffusing essential oils. Playing relaxing music. Making time to snuggle and watch movies.
Living in close quarters we’re prioritizing, “Excuse me. Good job. I love you.” We’re talking about having grace and patience and kindness for the next few weeks.
2. I’m prioritizing self-care.
This weekend my home was filled with the scent of homemade bone broth, chicken noodle soup, and citrus smoothies. I want to feel healthy during this time of fear. In crisis our numbing behaviors come knocking (overuse of social media, consuming excessive sugar, drinking too much, etc.). Numbing behaviors make us feel defeated and depleted. I choose to feel empowered so I’m taking in positivity instead.
I want my nervous system to calm down. Stress levels are so high in all of us. We can think more clearly when we’re calm. For me that means rolling out my yoga mat and tuning in. After my practice today, I felt like, “Oh hey, there you are, Love. Let’s spread this goodness around.”
If yoga is your thing or you’d like to start, here’s my advice: try easy.
3. I’m choosing where I place my energy and how I respond.
This might be the hardest thing so far. I have adopted the idea that this situation is not happening to me. This situation is happening and I can choose how I handle it. This means that I’m not diving deep into social media and letting fear take over. Nope. I’m being mindful about what I read and how long I spend on the topic. Sometimes too much information is too much.
I’m focusing my energy on being present. I’m putting lots of love into my family. I’m using this time to slow down. Time is our greatest gift. I want to use it well.
When my kids look back at this time, I want them to remember how safe and connected they felt. I don’t want their stomachs to drop every time someone mentions COVID-19 in the future. As the mama, I’m my family’s thermostat.I stay grounded so that they feel grounded. In order to do this I have to be mindful of my energy. I have to be careful to respond and not react. I have to be slow and soft.
This situation is really hard. We’re not sure when things will be okay again. But I believe and know that YOU WILL BE OKAY. You were made to handle hard things. You were built to lead. Be what you need right now so that you can be what your family needs.
Add some love into your space.
Plan your self-care for the day.
Decide where and how you’ll spend your time.
Try easy with every step.
Lastly, I got such great feedback about the graphic I created for social media that reads, “You are safe. You are loved. You are cared for.” Earlier this year I printed off this message to hang in my kids’ rooms so that they are forever reminded of this truth. I want to remind you of this same truth today.
Slow it down. Do the things that are within your control. Seek helpful information. Use this time to set things in place so that you feel safe. Create a caring atmosphere in your home and trust that you will be cared for as well. Take time to love yourself so that you can share this love with your people.
Together we will lead with love. I’m taking care of myself so that I can support you. It’s time for you to take care of yourself so that you can offer your care to others.
Jen Padilla-Burger helps perfectionists heal. She supports overfunctioning perfectionists with developing self-care practices, meditation, hypnosis, and self-compassion. Jen is a lover of coffee, plants, and podcasts.