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  • Writer's pictureTracey L. Kelley

It's Okay Not to Be Okay

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with recent events such as coronavirus, police brutality protests, political unrest, economic challenges, and other issues is that we're just supposed to soldier on with it all.

Being a fully-present human is to experience a range of emotions. While optimism is certainly helpful, no one can be expected to stay "up" for an unlimited amount of time when the hits keep coming.

Recognizing the need to be kind to yourself and make space for all thoughts and emotions is a vital self-care approach to overall wellness.

How can yoga help you navigate your feelings with clarity and balance?

1: Mind your energy. Follow a practice that provides stability and grounding if you're feeling anxious, a lift if you're a bit down, and so on. If you're not able to work with your regular instructor, you'll likely find what you need online.

2: Focus your breath. What is yoga without breath? Aerobics. :) If you've been in my classes, you're experienced with numerous breathing techniques to help not only influence your physical practice, but also calm your nervous system by stimulating your vagus nerve.

3: Improve your sleep pattern. It's not uncommon to have weird dreams and wakeful nights during this time. This means you have to pay more attention to your sleep hygiene. Instead of a glass of wine, choose relaxing yoga poses about an hour after your last meal -- the breath intention combined with gentle movement lays the foundation for better rest.

You can also use the emotional health management technique of labeling, then relabeling, your emotions so you're not criticizing how you feel and why. I recently wrote a little about this process and other ways for cultivating calm.

Most importantly, if you need assistance coping, there are numerous online therapeutic services available if you can't see someone in person right now. Asking for help is healthy, so don't hesitate to reach out.

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