Practicing Self-Care in the Face of COVID-19
I know it’s not an easy moment. We all recognize the global landscape is shifting and I join most of you I imagine in wondering how our individual and collective reality will be forever changed as a result.
I’ve been reminded in recent days and weeks where we started as a company – a health scare that prompted our family to search for tea, made in a way that maximized its life-giving antioxidants. I mention our story because, although the circumstances are altogether different, the “feeling place” was the same…
FEAR. Fear of the unknown. Of moving into unchartered waters and not able to see the destination.
So, what do we do when we’re ruled by fear? We get in the boat and paddle up stream. We fight the current. We develop resilience and courage, and community.
Even so, if left unchecked, fear will take its toll. It increases stress, impacts sleep and, by extension, impairs judgement and negatively impacts our immune system.
We lived in that place of fear being the driving force in our business for a long time. And there are so many people in our communities and around the world experiencing that wave of fear that’s more than uncomfortable – it’s downright debilitating. In light of what we’re living right now, it seems entirely justified to feel disappointment, worry, and even really acute fear.
I share our experience so it can serve as an encouragement.
In our business we planned for the worst and we got it. It felt physically crushing.
I remember the moment I decided acting out of fear was stealing my joy and taking us further from our mission of fueling wellness.
Shifting focus to “the now” stops the downward spiral of fear
Something that shifted for me was the act of getting intensely present. Physically paying attention to my breathing and to my body. Becoming conscious of the soundtrack playing in the head and the negative self talk on repeat in my mind.
In those early days as a new entrepreneur, I would say things like, ‘this is really hard,’ and ‘every time we think we’re making progress something else happens to throw us off course.’ I was continuously reinforcing negative beliefs.
Today, whenever I start feeling afraid, or overwhelmed, or uncertain, or unworthy, I pull out my list of mantras (yes, it’s an actual list, hand-written on a cue card I carry in my pocket). These are the self-affirming beliefs that keep me from going down the rabbit hole of fear.
Affirmations to increase self love and confidence in the future
Things happen for me, not to me.
In this moment, I am safe and everything is all right.
I am loved.
I am worthy.
People want to help me.
Things are always working out for me.
Business is fun and I love a good adventure.
There is joy to be found in every day and every experience.
… and the list goes on.
When things feel particularly stressful or overwhelming and I have to make decisions in that environment, I ask myself (sometimes even out loud), ‘What would the highest version of me do? That person who acts from a place of love, not fear .. what would she do?’ And it helps.
It doesn’t necessarily change the situation. But it has been my experience time and time again, that if we consciously try to change our lens and start looking for the good… it manifests in heightened self care. And from a place of strength and health – the ability to hold each other in a benevolent place of love and compassion.
From that conscious focus on well-being, I believe we’ll start to see examples of universal connectedness and collective healing.
Our hearts go out to the families impacted by this virus, and to small business owners already feeling the heavy weight of what’s going on.
How we’re helping at Millennia TEA
At Millennia TEA, we feel passionately about being helpers and fueling wellness. We’re hearing from lots of people doing their research and wanting to know more about tea’s role in supporting a strong immune system.
To that end, we’ll share information to help people understand the science of tea. We’re doing our best to keep our retail partners stocked while social distancing. We’re looking at other ways we can help outside of people going into stores. We’ve reduced our shipping fee and we’re exploring opportunities for local deliveries. We’ll share more on those as we figure them out.
In the meantime, could I encourage you to remember to guard your thoughts and emotions… especially before bed and first thing in the morning. Be really deliberate in your efforts to feel love and appreciation as you drift off to sleep so your body is able to rest, rejuvenate, and stay strong for what’s next.
Try this in the morning to experience a better day
In the morning, this is a mental checklist I run through to prioritize my self care:
- Appreciation (I start counting my blessings before my feet hit the floor)
- Affection (dogs, kids, partners – just keep it in the family right now while we’re social distancing)
- Activity (moving our bodies, preferably in nature -> remember how good that feels?)
- Accomplishment (work or personal, make it an easy win to jumpstart your day)
- Affirmation (consciously shape your beliefs with some positive “I am” affirmations… I am worthy. I am healthy. I am deserving of my dreams etc.)
We come from generations of survivors, friends. Be kind to each other. We’re all part of the same TEAm, and, together, we’ll get through this.