Stepping Into Change

It’s safe to say the world today—life itself—has changed completely, leaving behind one phase and stepping into another. From routines and schedules to jobs, cities, and babies, everyone everywhere is facing newness right now. New phases mean change, which is often overwhelming for many in a regular world, let alone a post-COVID one. So, if you’re feeling super-anxious with fear of the unknown right now, maybe feeling a myriad of emotions, take a breath and find comfort in knowing you are not alone. Here are a few tools to help guide your journey.

Embrace–Like the monthly new moon, new phases signify new beginnings and offer us the chance to reinvent, set new intentions, work towards new goals, and start new projects. Simply acknowledging you are in a new phase is the first step to embracing change and regaining control over what you are feeling. Did you know emotions only last in the body for 90 seconds? Neuroscience shows it is only when we attach thought to them, they persist. Mind-blowing, right? Also, eye-opening because you just got some of your control back. Next time you find yourself riddled with emotion, acknowledge it, breathe deeply, then reinforce with positive affirmations, breath counting, or focus on something you see outside so emotion can pass through your being with no attachments. 

Breathe into Mindfulness–Using the breath to relax body and mind is an ancient practice you can do anytime, anywhere. Simply taking five minutes to sit and breathe helps calm the nervous system and refocus the mind. While there are many variations of breathwork, I recommend starting with Box Breath for control:

1.     Slowly, inhale through the nose for four counts, feeling the three-part expansion of your belly, ribs, then chest

2.     At “the top” of that breath, hold your breath for four counts

3.     Slowly, exhale (sigh it out) through the mouth for four counts, feeling the contraction of your chest, ribs, then belly

4.     At “the bottom” of that breath, hold your breath for four counts

5.     *Bonus Mantra—my breath is my anchor; my anchor is my breath

You can also benefit from any one of the meditation apps out there, like Calm, Headspace, or Happier.

 Self-care A tough one for most of us, because as women we tend to give our all to everyone else. If you’re busy filling up everyone else’s basket o’ love, who’s filling yours? If there is anything positive to come out of the pandemic, it’s the simple fact that taking time to care for yourself is now commonly prescribed as a daily practice and not just an afterthought. The goal is to make sure you do something every day to take care of you, whether that be checking in with yourself with intention, engaging in breathwork, taking time for quiet walks or exercise, journaling, reading, or engaging in a hobby. Self-care is crucial to maintain as we move into post-COVID life. In order to care for others, one must first lovingly care for the self.