Small rituals for big impact
So, today’s COVID-19 news is horrible. Switch off the TV and radio and put down the newspapers. Take on board what you need to, and then let the rest go. Give yourself a break from the doom and gloom.
It’s that simple.
In times of distress, small things have the biggest impact on our emotional wellbeing.
There is a lot of fear in the community currently. Frustration, anger, resentment, sorrow, grief, anxiety. Emotions that are difficult to control. Emotions that are normal in a stressful environment.
Allow yourself to feel these emotions, acknowledge them, accept them, and then release them. Embrace this time of inner reflection.
Now is the time for simplicity. Small mind shifts, small adjustments.
Break down your day into simple routines, and create small rituals for yourself and your family. This gives you a sense of purpose, and a sense of being in control, and therefore perhaps, a sense of calm. That is the desire.
Include gratitude, empathy, and mindfulness in your every day.
Gratitude gets us thinking about the good stuff. What are we grateful for? What makes us happy?
Empathy makes us feel good about ourselves. When we reach out to others, help others, appreciate others, those warm fuzzy feelings are reciprocated.
Mindfulness creates space within ourselves to feel. To acknowledge our thoughts and emotions, and to act on them, or let them go.
Change is enough to make people feel fearful or hesitant. But if we can embrace change, meet it head on, take control of the changes within our own home, we can thrive with change.
Align yourself with the potential for growth during this time. Through diversity we learn, and when we learn we grow.
Lean into family, and community. There is so much value in raising each other up. Also in helping others. When we help others, we help ourselves.
Take a positive out of every day. Negative thoughts weigh you down, positive thoughts lift you up.
We are all making some form of sacrifice right now, but with sacrifice comes opportunity. The opportunity to grow, to learn, to develop. Look at this time as an opportunity and the sacrifice will seem less.
In my family home since March we have, like so many, lost work and income, lived through lockdown and homeschooling, felt anxiety, fear, frustration, and guilt.
We live in regional Victoria, so right now we aren’t in lockdown like our Melbourne family and friends, but we are still living with restrictions and the fear and uncertainty of what may or may not happen in coming weeks.
Some of the small rituals and routines we have implemented in our home, with our children, has helped with our emotional state and overall wellbeing.
We have kept up exercise, because body movement is as important for the mind as anything else. And if it’s outside, fresh air and sunshine is even better.
We have introduced bedtime meditation for our three children as a way of calming them and guiding their thoughts in a positive direction.
We have planted a vegetable garden and begun work on a treehouse for the kids, creating outdoor jobs that keep us active and focused.
We have brought more card games and board games to the kitchen table, as a way to connect us all through fun and enjoyment.
We have stepped up the use of essential oils, and vitamins. My wife hands out our “medicine” in the morning, and makes up vaporises for bedrooms at night.
And we ask the kids each day about how they feel, and what they did that day to make them feel good or happy. And we talk openly about what we are grateful for, to highlight the positives in our life.
These are the small things my family is doing to give us a sense of purpose, because that’s what we need right now. The purpose of keeping our children and family safe and healthy and happy. They may seem insignificant or even silly to some, but to us these are the small things that have big importance in our life.
Find what works for you. What is important to create your purpose and your calm? And then devise and implement those small routines and rituals into your every-day life.
Remember, nothing ever stays the same. This too shall pass. But how we handle this time, what we do for ourselves and our family today, all those small things are an opportunity to grow and to evolve. And that has to be a good thing. Think of it this way, and it will be a good thing.