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It’s easy to know when stress gets the best of us. Irritability. Fatigue. Anxiety. Panic. Procrastination (or more than usual). Forgetfulness. Upset tummy. Insomnia. Big mood swings.
And now… we’re living through one of the most stressful events in recent memory. Such stress triggers are hard on our brains, which predictability and constantly scan for danger. And to add insult to injury, high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, may weaken our immune system.
So what do we do to manage this stress? We need to be as healthy as we can, for our own well-being, for our family’s well-being, for our colleagues and communities. What are the emotional resilience practices to help us stay grounded, practical, and positive when the stakes are unusually high?
1. Do what you already do to reduce stress
This is the biggest choice you can make. What are your existing practices to manage stress? To help you feel grounded and capable when things go sideways? To help you absorb and adapt to new information?
Before this did you do yoga? Walk? Pray? Practice gratitude? Practice mindful eating? Set intentions? Meditate? Watch old episodes of your favorite show? Bake macarons?
All this time, you have truly been practicing. Now, we’re in the real deal. As Meg Donahue, one of our co-founders, says:
“Times like this are what you have been practicing for. Double down on what works for you. Pray more, meditate more. Move. Eat well. Drink water. We’re in the game now, so take what you’ve been doing and step up. The other option? It’s to spiral into stress. You know what to do.”
2. Add a mantra
Keeping things simple is the name of the game.
Download a 25-part meditation series and vow to do three lessons a day? Eh, not so much. Swear off coffee, or start training for a marathon? Noble goals, but high intensity, big bandwidth. Maybe save them for later? (Unless they are already part of your life.)
However, adding a simple mantra to repeat throughout the day can truly help you stay emotionally resilient. We’re talking about one little sentence that holds a little information to route your brain to its calmer track.
You want simple, easy, and actionable. Here are some mantras to try out:
- Keep your head where your feet are.
- Inhale, exhale.
- Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
- And still, I rise.
- I change my thoughts, I change my day.
- Right now, it’s like this.
- Kind heart, fierce mind, brave spirit.
- Feelings are not fact.
- One day (or hour or minute) at a time.
- We’re in this together.
3. Connect where you can
Emotional resilience gets stronger when we have positive connections. It really doesn’t matter if they’re in person or online. Wherever you can be with people whom you enjoy, who support you, and to whom you can extend your gifts — make sure you spend some time with those people.
One great place? The MamaSezz HeartBeet Club! Our Facebook group is safe, warm-hearted, and helpful. And everybody loves whole food plant-based food! Join the gang. We can’t wait to hang out with you!
We can’t know what’s going to happen next with the pandemic, or the economy. We can’t ensure that things will be okay.
But we can take care of our emotional health so we can make practical, grown-up decisions day by day. We are in this together.
Emotional resilience means you can adapt to new information and manage stressful challenges.
Now’s the time to use your practices that support emotional resilience.
Adding a mantra can be a simple, helpful tool.
Social connections support emotional resilience. Come hang with us at the HeartBeet Club!
By Becky Karush
Becky Karush is a writer, copywriter, and family woman. She came up through newspapers and magazines, including Disney FamilyFun and Martha Stewart Whole Living, with road trips to teaching and farming. She’s run BeckyK Creative Marketing since 2012. She hosts and produces READ TO ME, a literary podcast that ends the cult of the critic and surfaces the power and beauty in great writing.