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Finding ways to honor myself in uncertain times

By Faria Sharmeen

FRI JAN 29, 2021

Sending you greetings of peace and love today. Pandemic have opened not only my eyes but also my heart and mind to all that is – the joy, the grief, what I have, what I miss and so much more. We are all so crunched with our time yet somehow, we have more time to reflect on our life. When the pandemic hit – there was a lot of anxiety with all the uncertainty. Now we have a vaccine, but we still do not know when we would get it, when the new normal would arrive and how the new normal would look like! It took me sometime when COVID came and everything shut down to find my new normal of gliding through the day. There have been challenges every single day, but I also learned to find joy to navigate through the days. What helped me is a routine and going with the rhythm of the day. For me it helps to stay with the flow of a routine. At times when emotions are intense, it always helps to tune into myself through some self-care practices that nurtures and nourishes me – from inside-out. Whether it is to go out for a walk just to get some fresh air, taking time to enjoy a warm cup of tea, go out in the sun to feel the warmth of the sunlight on my face along with the cool breeze, or take a mid-day nap.

At times of intense emotions when the mind runs wild, it is a challenge to bring the monkey mind to a place of steadiness, stability, and ease. We often forget the things and practices that help us, nurtures us, and support our whole being when such emotions arise. Making a list of all the things that bring comfort and find grounding in such times can be helpful - to remind ourselves in times of need. I tend to go to the following practices over and over as I strive to come back to myself - to honor myself and find ease:

· Not check my phone until I have done my morning prayer, meditation, and a few pages of reading from the Quran

· Limit phone usage

· Take a bath every morning and change into fresh clothes

· Use light perfume – lifts my mood 

· The practice of abhyanga – oil massage

· Spread self-care practice through-out the day instead of just at the beginning or the end of the day

· Yoga snacks – 10 minutes or even shorter practices of movement, breathwork, or meditation

· Get some fresh air and a walk outside

· Move – Yin or Yang depending on the mood and energy level

· Pay attention to the little things when out in the nature

· Immerse in the moments of the daily doings

· Remembering Him (swt) and praising Him for all that He has provided

· Listen to my body when it’s time to put away all screens and take a stretch break

· Honor the fact that I need more rest than I think I do, be it to just sit down and find 5 minutes of pause or just a few minutes of savasana

· Protect an hour of my afternoon time and not schedule any meetings/calls or not get caught up with anything: just rest

· Nourish myself with healthy meals & on time (on time is a work in progress)

· Daily journaling

· Hydrate myself more often with warm water

· Mint tea, Apple Cinnamon tea, Ginger tea

· Stay away from news – and be extremely mindful of how I consume social media

· Set limits and honor my boundaries on how often to engage with people/issues that doesn’t stir joy

· Connect with friends and family and find time to nurture the relationships

· Connect with family – for short but meaningful moments

· Remind myself that I am doing the best I can

· Daydream of a near future when I can go out and do all things, I want to do

· Come back to routines and practices that stabilize my nervous system – yoga nidra, breathwork, restorative yoga, walk outside, short meditations

· Ask for help – delegate tasks and responsibilities

· Let go of perfectionism

· Cultivate self-compassion

· Pause, breathe, reflect before I respond

· Did I mention tea?

I know it is a long list - it does take a lot of work to keep the nervous system stable. There’s no one way or other to cultivate that calm nervous system to find ease in the mind and body. We all need to allow ourself to slow down and come back to our essence and take time to check in with the self - not just once but several times throughout the day. The time we spend in self-care reenergizes and rejuvenates us and allows us to pour from our cup. The time we spend in self-care not only benefits us – but all those around us!

What helps you find your grounding? What resonates with you from the list I shared? I would love to hear what helps you feel tethered.

Time for my stretch break and then I'll get to my journaling. Until we meet again my friend...

Sharing a picturing a picture of my favortie set up for rest.