Finding Calm in the Chaos

Finding Calm in the Chaos
I can’t breathe.
 
A man’s final words that have become the mantra of a renewed civil rights movement; right on the back of a global pandemic.
Our way of living has significantly changed forever.
How do we find calm in all the chaos?
 
Whether you’re on the front-lines, side-lines, or somewhere in between, you’ve been touched by the tragic events that have plagued our nation. 
 
Chaos is natural – if you look at the world. It’s everywhere – but to find you peace in the midst of chaos is something that you have to do for you. Life is unpredictable, if the year 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that fact. Some of us have faced the most difficult and challenging times in our lives. But beneath it all, there is a still and calm place you can rest in.
 
1. Meditation
Meditation has been known to have the following effects:
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Lower heart rate
  • Less perspiration
  • Slower respiratory rate
  • Less anxiety
  • Lower blood cortisol levels
  • More feelings of well-being
  • Less stress
  • Deeper relaxation
Where do you begin?
 
  1. Sit or lie comfortably. 
  2. Close your eyes. 
  3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
  4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.

Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods. 

There are many meditation apps that offer guided meditations and music. I prefer the CALM app.
 
2. Maintain a routine
When things get hectic people to tend to abandon what they’ve been doing. Control what you can control. Start a new morning routine if you didn’t have one.
 
Where do you begin?
1. Wake up in the morning and SMILE. It may seem like a small thing but it will give you a happy boost.
2. Express gratitude: write 3 things you’re grateful for in a journal that you keep by your bed.
3. Move your body in a way that feels good – morning stretches, yoga, etc.
4. Make your bed.
5. Write down your to-do list
6. Nourish your body with a healthy breakfast.
 
3. Keep Perspective
You cannot solve all the world’s problems. When the world is in a panic, you can’t afford any effort to be wasted. Choose your part in the fight, whether it’s protesting, donating, or distributing information; find your lane and stick to it. There are multiple ways to participate in your community.
 
Additional Resources:

#blkSAPblackout List of Resources
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G9iGnw36kZC7gFINmqKxKmxfiJvY8DRKU1BN43NhKt4/edit

FREE BOOKS in PDF form to educate oneself on race, gender, sexuality, class, and culture – Tyree Boyd-Pates
http://tyreebp.com/2016/01/14/free-books-on-race-gender-sexuality-and-class-that-are-bound-to-get-you-woke/

Self Care For People of Color After Psychological Trauma – JustJasmineBlog
http://justjasmineblog.com/self-care-for-people-of-color-after-emotional-and-psychological-trauma/

Concrete Ways to Be an Actual Ally to Black People – Avital Norman Nathman
http://www.maximummiddleage.com/right-now/alton-sterling-philando-castile-how-to-be-an-ally-to-black-people

Diversity – The First Work is Within – Jane Fried
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/diversity-first-work-within-jane-fried

Aisha A. Picott, LMSW

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