For the past year, life has been at a new normal. That easy, relaxed way of living we perhaps took for granted has been replaced with a roller coaster of fear and uncertainty. Even with new hope in sight in the form of COVID-19 vaccines, it’s easy to fall into a funk and forget how to access joy in our daily lives.
While the pandemic has brought unthinkable pain and tragedy for many, it also has forced us to be creative in how we find daily fulfillment. Many of us have revived old friendships, strengthened relationships with family members near and far and explored new interests and hobbies. One of my clients, Elizabeth, exchanged her usual one-hour morning commute for an early morning piano session, a ritual she accompanies with a fancy coffee made at home. This simple act invigorates her and helps start her day with soul-filling music and a feeling of accomplishment.
How can we rekindle our sparkle and reach for hope and joy right now? Here are five ideas that have helped my clients honor our new reality and continue to find joy in their daily lives.
Add Creativity to Your Day – It’s important to remind ourselves to focus on what we can do, rather than what we can’t. Committing to a daily expression of creativity can help lift our spirits and fill our bodies with light and refreshing energy. Play with crayons, clay or finger paints, write a poem, create a centerpiece with objects found in nature, build a snow fort – any small activity done simply for fun will add to our sparkle. Whether dancing, writing or doing puzzles appeals, make a list of activities that can be done without pressure for accomplishment and commit to pursuing one every day. This new, playful energy will help us feel focused, peaceful and in control.
Limit News Consumption – There is such a thing as too much news. Being informed is different than being saturated by fear-laced news stories. The media we consume can have a negative impact on our mood and emotions. Research shows that negative news consumption can increase our feelings of stress and anxiety after only 14 minutes of viewing.* Seek out only the news programming that will help keep you and your loved ones safe and limit overall news intake to once a day or less.
Nourish Our Bodies and Spirits – One thing we have control over is what we put in our bodies. If we are using food with high sugar or fat content to soothe our fears, we will only add more disease to our bodies. Whenever possible, choose to eat healthy food, drink lots of water and take the supplements our health practitioners recommend. And remember to get outside! Being in nature replenishes us, body, mind and spirit. Try an Abundance Walk: while you’re strolling outside, notice all the abundance found naturally in nature around you. Acknowledge the abundance of grass, trees, leaves, snow, sand, water, etc., and remind yourself we live in an abundant, joyous universe. We can fight the emotional drain of this pandemic by staying mentally and physically healthy.
Connect Outside Ourselves – Looking forward to a weekly online date with friends or far away loved ones over lunch or at the end of the day can lift our mood and reduce stress. Organize a weekly online day party or “DARTY” as I like to call them. Encourage your friends to get dressed up and to make their favorite meal or beverage. Spend time together celebrating everyone’s wins and challenges. Or reach out to an elderly loved one and ask them to tell you a story about an important milestone in their lives or a time when they went through equally difficult circumstances. The energetic feeling of connection can fill us with joy and help us get through these challenging times.
Breathe – When we hear the word meditate many of us tell ourselves we don’t have time. But we don’t have to commit hours to meditation or be on a mountain surrounded by angelic monks to gain the benefits of being present with our breathe and with ourselves. We can start by focusing on our breathing for as little as five minutes. One of my favorite breathing methods is my 5 5 7 Sparkle Breath.
Breathe in for 5 seconds and imagine a golden light from above enveloping you in warmth and comfort, hold your breath at the top for 5 seconds and feel the shimmering light embrace you, exactly as you are in that moment, then exhale for 7 seconds and recognize this light is your own and is with you always. Repeat until you feel more grounded and experience a sense of calm in your body.
One day we will look back at this time and reminisce about how creative we became to hold onto joy and hope in the face of sorrow and uncertainty. Remember we are all experiencing this moment in time together. Next time you’re walking down the street wearing your mask, seek out a stranger’s eyes, say hello and smile. A simple acknowledgement can change everything.
*Johnston WM, Davey GC. The psychological impact of negative TV news bulletins: the catastrophizing of personal worries. Br J Psychol. 1997;88 ( Pt 1):85-91. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1997.tb02622.x
Sarah Vie is an Energy Healer, Meditation Guide Embodiment Mentor, and the author of the children’s book, “Let Your Inner Golden Sparkle Shine.” For more information, go to her website SarahVie.com/shine and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo credit: Hannah Duncan