I want to invite you to take a time out from everything that’s going on in the world right now to catch your breath, and to give your self-care and well-being focused consideration. On the one hand, you may be thinking, “Focusing on self-care feels so frivolous right now,” and on the other hand, practicing good self-care is key to navigating challenging times as well as possible. 

So, let’s begin with a few deep, relaxing breaths. I invite you to breathe in through your nose a slow, deep, and replenishing breath…and then out through your mouth, exhaling slowly, letting the stress fall away… If you like, close your eyes as you take a second breath, breathing in through your nose, a slow, deep, and replenishing breath and out through your mouth, your face relaxing more and more with each exhalation. 

The wonderful thing about relaxed, focused breathing is that you can take it with you anywhere, using it whenever needed for whatever stress you may be facing during a particular moment. 

Slow, focused breathing is in itself an act of self-care, but it also creates a space where we can tune into what we need most for our self-care going forward. With that said, what are you needing right now for your well-being? 

Maybe, like so many, it’s more peace. If so, what can you do today to invite more of that peace into your life? Perhaps, it’s consciously limiting the amount of news media you consume, or playing some upbeat music that’s sure to lift your spirits, or taking a walk through your neighborhood while keeping social distancing in mind and soaking in the signs of spring — the trees and flowers in bloom. 

As you navigate this time, I invite you to make periodic self-care check-ins a regular part of your daily life. Begin each check-in with a few relaxing breaths, and when you feel ready, ask yourself, “What am I needing right now? Is there something I can do for myself to meet that need, or a request I can make of someone else?

If you would like some solid support for meditation and mindfulness as a way to reduce stress and invite more peace into your life, I recommend a book called, “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.  

So, before we wrap up this self-care check-in, what is it that you are needing right now? Is it something you can give yourself, or is there a request you can make of someone else? Think about it, make a plan, and take action. You’ll feel so much better if you do. Take care of yourself. It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself during difficult times.