With the Coronavirus pandemic, have you felt something “off” in terms of your energy or vibe?
Are you not as stressed or panicked as everyone else, but you can literally feel the frantic energy in the air?
Have you been pretty optimistic, but still feel “heavy” amid the outbreak and don’t understand why?
There’s a reason for this.
- Energy is 100% contagious- we can literally absorb the fear in others. “Emotions can be contagious, so you can potentially ‘catch’ fear, anger or joy from people without realizing it.” [Judith Orloff MD]
- Constant consumption of bad news does indeed affect our mental health. “Bingeing on the news cycle can be bad for mental health. … “Our brain is predisposed to go negative, and the news we consume reflects this.” [Time Magazine]
In addition to these things, you may be an empath like me.
Empaths are “highly sensitive individuals, who have a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling.”
I get more in detail about what an empath is in this blog post: [Are you an empath?]— you can save this read for later as this is a more generalized post about empaths!
With that being said, it’s so important to protect your energy (especially if you have or work with kids), so that we can go about this pandemic in a less worrisome manner.
Because during these trying times, we need to keep our lights shining- that’s what will get us through this.
Also with quarantine in full affect, taking care of our mental health should absolutely be a priority.
I literally felt a shift in my energy last week and knew I had to do something about it before the weight of the world around me got heavier and heavier.
Here are some of the things I did that completely shifted (& continue to protect) my energy:
Limit my consumption of bad news
I unfollowed media outlets via email & social media.
By doing this, I controlled how much news I was consuming- I was checking the updates on my own terms instead of having it fed to me.
Take social media breaks
Okay I know during this time it’s hard to stay off social media, and I have never taken social media breaks before until this pandemic, but trust me- it works.
These breaks are obviously not a one-size-fit-all deal, so choose the length you feel is best.
Last weekend, I deleted all my social media apps & turned my phone notifications off for half a day (of course, I told those closest to me I was taking this break so they wouldn’t freak out).
I took a break for around 8 hours to recharge, but even just going for a few hours at a time will get you at a better head space!
Also, as of last week I have turned my notifications for my social media off completely- just like what I previously mentioned about controlling my consumption.
I’m normally the type that checks every notification as it pops up (I’m trying to be better at this), but for this season we’re in, I felt it was necessary because what word do you see immediately after opening up an app? “Coronavirus.”
Again, the recurring theme is “choice”- we not only have to choose what we take in, but when we do too.
Create boundaries with friends, family, coworkers about discussing the virus
“I actually don’t want to talk about the coronavirus right now”
“I appreciate how informed you are, but I don’t want to receive links to articles and media coverage at this time.”
Or simply mute group chats if the virus is the topic of discussion.
My family’s group chat is currently on mute because my mom freaks me out with how overly-cautious she is.
She sends me multiple updates a day and voices her concerns in a stressful manner, so I had to mute the chat for my sanity (if you’re reading this mom, sorry! Gotta protect my energy lol)
Meditate or practice mindfulness for at least 5 minutes PER day
Stretch, breathe (5 seconds in, 5 seconds out), read, color, paint- even going outside and naming the things you can hear, smell, see is a form of mindfulness.
I’ve been using the [HeadSpace app] for short meditations. This app can be used by absolute beginners by the way! It guides you every step of the way.
Don’t consume other people’s projections or fears and make them my own
I ask myself: “Does this emotion belong to me?”
Then, I say this out loud: “This negative energy is not mine. I am releasing it.”
There’s power behind your words yall.
Speak kindly to myself and to other people
I’ve been leading my actions and thoughts with compassion, and have been trying to use more positive words.
Some examples of positive words:
Spend some time in sunlight
- The sun gives you positive mood swings– The sun helps release certain hormones that up your mood
- The sun provides some of the same effects of a workout– sun exposure increases the oxygen content in our blood
- The sun gives your immune system a boost– Skin reacts to the sun’s ultraviolet-B radiation by creating vitamin D
Stay away from people who drain my energy
Pay attention to your energy and how your body feels when you’re around a person/talking to a person.
If you feel “drained”, limit your time and contact with them.
You don’t have to tell them you’re distancing yourself, but just fall back a bit until you’re mentally ready to engage with them.
Also, stay away from complainers during this time. These are what I call “energy leeches”- they will literally suck the energy outta you.
If someone came to mind while you read those statements, chances are- they are an energy leech!
“A handy form of protection many people use, including health care practitioners with trying patients, involves visualizing an envelope of white light around your entire body. Think of it as a shield that blocks out negativity or physical discomfort but allows what’s positive to filter in.” [source]
This practice may seem silly, but visualization is a cognitive tool that can actually combat negative thoughts.
I use this tool for different aspects of my life and it really makes a difference.
For further reading, read here [GoodTherapy].
Indulge in uplifting content
- Watching YouTube videos of Ellen’s inspiring videos (she literally has a playlist called “Inspiring Videos” on her channel!)
- Watching funny movies
- Watching “Soldiers coming home” videos (if you wanna cry! lol)
- Family Feud
Just to throw a few out there 🙂
Those are the most effective tools I used this past week. I felt a literal weight lift from my shoulders and my mood is back to where it used to be before the pandemic.
One of my favorite quotes is “Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them.”
Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.
Protect that beautiful energy of yours sis! We need that the most right now!
If you loved this post, you’d love my[Self-Care: Setting Boundaries] post!