Make no mistake, there is nothing "normal" about 2020 thus far. At least not "normal" in the sense that we have grown accustomed.
Yet, this "different" is not what anyone anticipated.
Keep reading to discover the four things that can help keep you grounded during these times while helping to increase calmness and simultaneously build flexibility during these stressful times.
For the past year, I have been trying to remain aware of how I name things.
Words create thoughts that then create actions or beliefs within my head.
Different, unknown, altered, scary and new, as words, can stir up different emotions for people. I am choosing to focus on the names and words that I want to use during this time.
This is different.
Family dynamics are different.
Business dynamics are different.
Front Office staff are technology coaches, physical therapists are virtual shoulders to lean on and Patient Accounts personnel are story gatherers for all the ways people are affected by this time being different.
Yet, no matter how different these times may be, I continue to turn to these four things to remain calm and flexible.
I simply choose to "Z-O-O-M"
The Four Pillars Of Remaining Calm And Flexible During Stressful Times
1. Zoom In, Zoom Out
The ability to zoom out and in on any event or task or problem can help to shift your perspective and see other solutions.
Zooming in to the tiny details of what is needed to help someone or complete a task could sound like this:
Someone’s hungry, what can I make?
Someone needs information, where can I look begin to look for it?
Something is not working, what is the first step I can take toward a solution?
Zooming Out requires floating above or even thinking of a 50,000 foot view of what is needed. This group needs information, who would we assign to lead it?
This new home-schooling thing is different, how much of it can I change right now? Zooming Out allows us to look at something with a wider perspective for what may or may not need to happen.
2. Orientation - Wiggle Your Toes
If my thoughts float toward the future, the unknown, the scary I repeat in my head, “wiggle your toes”.
This involves me placing my feet flat on the ground and wiggling my toes.
I then remind my self that my feet are on the ground and I can feel it. My feet are connected to a large rock with billions of other people on it, that has been circling and dancing with other large rocks for a long time.
This moment of wiggling is real, not good or bad, and I am grounded where I am instead of in some future event that will likely never occur.
3. Onto Paper
Write, not writing as in start a novel but writing with a physical pen and paper.
Writing allows me to release the pressure valve of my thoughts.
I can visualize all the information that I take in on any given day from people, from what I read and from what I work on being filtered into my brain.
There are days when I would like to place a thumb drive into my ear and copy over what is not needed in the immediate future in order to make more space.
I know this is not possible because what I take in colors every decision I make after from that moment on. Writing thoughts onto paper allow for some flow of information out from my brain instead of in.
Sometimes it is a list, in darker times it can be a worst-case scenario exercise.
Sometimes it is just a sketch of words that are appearing often in mine or other’s stories, sometime doodles.
Putting thoughts on paper can give them a home outside of my brain.
4. Mindful Breathing
Simple yet powerful.
I stop and listen to my breathing multiple times per day.
I make myself aware of the depth of my breath.
I purposefully fill my air with lungs as full as possible and then slowly breathe out until completely empty.
I repeat this a few times until I can do the full breath pattern to a count of 10, 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out.
ZOOM can help anyone. Just refocus on the now and the controllable. When times are different applying these four tips can help you return to the present.
These times are different. What works for me to remain calm and open does not differ.
Consult with a health care expert of you are struggling with a serious anxiety concern.
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