If you live on the West Coast, you are privy to the wildfires that have devastated many communities within our region. The smoke from our burning land has blanketed the nation, and rumor has it is polluting the skies across the pond in Europe. Pretty tremendous!
We all deal with the external circumstances of our lives in our own unique ways. We make meaning of these circumstances by creating stories about them. We interpret what the events mean, what could come from them, and what it means about individuals with the thoughts and ideas we have about these external circumstances.
Millions of acres burning in wild fires is a circumstance which is common to feel stress over (not to mention the simultaneous changes from a global pandemic). This is totally normal! It is common for stress to pair with fear, anxiety, and overwhelm; however, everybody reacts to these circumstances differently. Coping in a healthy way in these types of circumstances is remarkably beneficial.
The following is a short list of recommendations from Jonah and Brittany on coping through chaotic times:
- Take breaks from watching, listening, or reading the media. Yes, including Social Media. Give your mind a break from all the input, and the space to process. This was extremely challenging especially when the fires were at their peak—we were incessantly checking our phones and the news. Taking time away with a bath, shower or comedy movie helped a lot.
- Take care of your body. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, hydrate, take vitamins & supplements, breathe deeply, meditate, and move/stretch your body. These are simple tasks that may come easily when times are not as challenging. However, when times get chaotic, even remembering to drink water can be difficult. Back to the basics. Ask your body what it needs. We all know we can function so much easier with our bellies full, bodies hydrated and minds clear.
- Make the time to relax and unwind. Do something that you enjoy that isn’t too stimulating. Brit’s go-to is taking a hot, dead sea salt bath infused with essential oils while listening to binaural beats.
- When times are chaotic, meditation is the MOST important, but often the most difficult thing to do when we are in discomfort. Brit meditates regularly and often guides herself. In chaotic times however, she reaches out for support through guided meditations and recorded yoga nidras. Here are a few she loves
- Laughter is also fantastic medicine! Watch your favorite comedy movie to get some good laughs.
- Connect with your community. Show up in support of your loved ones and lean on them in return. It was beautiful to see the Eugene community come together to support the firefighters, first responders and evacuees. We were continuously checking in on all of our family, friends and loved ones. Others were also checking on us. However, reaching out to people who aren’t directly in the chaos felt helpful for us. People in our Fit For Service community and friends not directly in the ‘line of fire’ were really able to hold space beautifully for us. So much gratitude for that.
- Express yourself. Talk about your feelings with a loved one. Journal about what your experience is. Get your thoughts out of your head, and into the world.
- Remember the power of sound. Music is one of the most powerful tools to help us through the chaos. Listen to your favorite music to help brighten your day. We had multiple indoor dance parties with our favorite artists blasting through our home speakers. Brit also played her sound tools for her own personal sound bath experience. Music improves mood, reduces stress, lowers anxiety, eases pain, provides comfort, the list goes on. Crank some tunes and move your body around!
- Inhale essential oils. Especially with the smoky air we are experiencing, essential oils are powerful allies to help literally clear the air. Diffuse them to help purify and freshen the air while simultaneously reducing stress, promoting sleep, and reducing anxious feelings. dōTERRA’s ADAPTIV blend is a life saver. It helps to boost mood, increases feelings of tranquility and soothes difficult emotions. The other oils we used a ton with the smoke was eucalyptus radiata to help promote feelings of clear breathing, as well as dōTERRA’s BREATHE respiratory blend which also promotes feelings of clear airways and easy breathing. Depending on what your current experience is, there is an essential oil that can assist with easing the emotions associated with the challenge. Reach out to us if you have any questions or want to acquire some of these powerful tools.
If you fancy one of these recommendations, put it into practice as soon as now. We suggest you do whatever healthy coping tool feels appropriate to aid you in this moment and continue to practice it. Jonah’s personal favorite coping technique is Journaling. He uses it as a way to express his thoughts and feelings, capture his grand ideas, or to lock something into his memory. He finds it quite valuable.
In what ways can you cope with your stress in a healthy way, today? What works for you when you are really in the ‘thick of it’?
Jonah and Brit