Sometimes life hits us over the head, leaving us dazed. That sense of inertia and confusion is common during times of major transition. According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, developed in the late 1960s, the biggest life stressors are consistent among us: death of a spouse, divorce/separation, imprisonment, death of a family member, personal injury or illness, marriage, being dismissed from work, reuniting with a spouse, and retiring. And then there are other, well-documented big stressors, such as moving from one home to another; starting a new job, or starting your own business. Blood pressure goes up. Sleeplessness nights become the norm. Nutrition... what’s that? For this week’s Healthy Habit, let’s look at three ways you nurture yourself during a time of major upheaval, no matter what the universe is serving up.
Bring on the hygge!
This Danish word, pronounced “hoo-gah,” celebrates all things cozy and comforting. Steal a page from the Scandinavians by lighting candles, wrapping yourself in soft, warm fabrics, drinking a warm cup of tea. Put on the fuzziest, silliest socks you can find. Mull the wine. Eat the soup. Shelter in place!
Proceed in short bursts
If you’re doing something challenging—whether that’s trying to figure out the computer system at a new job, or packing up your deceased mother’s belongings, take a lot of frequent breaks. You are either taxing yourself emotionally, cognitively, or both, and it’s okay to acknowledge this. Stop every 20 minutes, step away, deep breaths, have a short walk or a glass of water. Regroup. Then proceed.
Rely on a mantra
A mantra can be as simple as “I am strong.” But choose one that has meaning for you. When I’m facing challenges, I like Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah, a devotion to the Hindu god Ganesh. I love how the blog Shakti Womyn describes Ganesh, “He is at once a wise and gentle confidant, a fierce protector, a bestower of breathtaking blessings, and he who removes obstacles.”
Tell us, how do you nurture yourself in times of great transition?