A Healthy Mindset… in Difficult Times

2020 and now 2021 have been difficult years for all of us but in different ways.

The pandemic has kept us inside and away from people and places we used to go to regularly. Even if it’s only the gym or a favourite breakfast restaurant, we have lost our freedom to move and do what we want. Inevitably, this causes stress, but in the end, it is our health and the people at home who live with us that need protecting the most.

And yet, there are other years and times in our lives when we have encountered similar disruptive years. There are those years when we have carried the burden of family illnesses and loss of loved ones after long battles with terminal cancer, degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, or just old age. As painful as these things are to see, they represent just a part of our daily lives.

So, when our lives as a whole are disrupted, can we stay on an even keel? 

The first is to recognize how you feel about what is happening. Difficult times generate difficult emotions and feelings. Do not try to hide them or hide from the senses. Recognize the feelings and how you feel about the feelings that have manifested. Being frustrated and then being frustrated at how you think that way will not benefit you, but you need to understand the two different feelings and why they are there.

Give yourself a break from how you feel. You may not know anyone who feels the same as you but understand you are part of the human condition, as is everyone else, and there will be others like you, handling the same way and perhaps for the same reasons. So, be gentle with yourself and do not let things build up to a point where you cannot tolerate the compounding feelings. By being soft on yourself, you diffuse the negative energy in the feelings you have.

Exercise is good for the body; we all know that. Physical movement, gentle or intense, helps move muscles and blood and sends signals to the brain that reduce anxiety and focus your mind on something repetitive and familiar. Walking is a basic human form of locomotion and a way to get from one place to another. Running is walking speeded up. Working in the garden is not just exercise but being out in nature. Connecting with nature, helping plants grow that bees can pollinate or take nectar from. 

What you do not want to do is become overly competitive in your exercise. Competitiveness is a form of stress, maybe a good one for some, but it can be destructive if they do not have the ability or capability to better themselves on successive days.

If you have loved ones around you, pets count as loved ones. Make sure you spend time with them, listen to them, watch their body language, and become more familiar with them and their feelings and concerns. You will benefit from the more profound knowledge and benefit from expressing themselves and know they are being listened to.

While you are listening to and learning about your loved ones, now is also the time to spend time alone, intentionally to learn about self, your hopes and dreams, your goals and past things in your life that have deep meaning for you. Examine them, and understand why. You may say that the pandemic is forcing you to be by yourself but consider this. What I am saying is purposeful and intentional, and it is voluntary, an excellent voluntary. It is for you and is not imposed on you.

Lastly, if you have a connection to a Reiki professional, ask for a remote or distance Reiki session for yourself. Reiki does not have to be done in person; the remote session is valuable or sometimes more valuable because it happens at home in your space. There are no physical distractions of another person.

Be well, stay safe. Above all, look at this time as a new way to live, interact and be yourself. Use this time to love yourself free from the distractions of having to be somewhere, with someone or for someone other than you.

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This post is taken from our Reiki Level II Student Manual

Mark is a Registered Reiki Teacher and Practitioner under the Canadian Reiki Association – CRA.

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Mark is a Usui Tibetan Reiki Master Teacher under the International Association fo Reiki Professionals Click here for more information

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