The “C” Word…

Admittedly, and I’m sure like everyone else, I’ve been both a little distracted (understatement) and somewhat concerned about what is unfolding, and what the imminent (and long term) future may hold.
Let’s just say my focus has been redirected elsewhere to prepare for what realities that may lie ahead.

Having said that though, here are some shared thoughts, in light of the ‘C’ word…

As hard and as overwhelmingly challenging the coming days, weeks and months ahead could potentially (most-likely) be for all of us, it is now, during these times that we must, must fully exercise self-care, whilst stretching out and exercising our kindness-muscle.

We are all experiencing varying levels of fear, anxiety, inertia, panic and uncertainty. 

What goes on between our ears will either manifest an ability to deal with the challenges at hand, or further distract us and only add further turmoil and challenge during these difficult times. Our own reactions to this new reality is completely understandable, however sustained anxiety and panic plays havoc with not only our mental wellbeing, but also our immune system. Consistent and elevated levels of stress raises blood pressure and impacts the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers cortisol. In short, sustained cortisol release suppresses our immune system by displacing white blood cells, the cells that fight-off viruses and exposure to infection.

We must actively pursue not only methods that reduce our stress response, but instal daily routines and rituals that will best propagate a mindset that keeps you focused, less distracted and ultimately more aware and mindful when the feelings of panic, despair and anxiety arise…because given the new reality, those feeling will rise again, and again and again.

So what can we do?

  • Stop obsessively checking the news, and reduce exposure to sensationalised ‘fake news’, and false reporting from our TV’s and social media platforms.
  • Take time each day to relax the mind. Download a guided relaxation or meditation app such as ‘Headspace’.
  • Resist contributing to the environment of fear and panic by either posting or sharing social media and hyper-sensationalised fearful content.
  • Focus on maintaining healthy communication with your love-ones
  • Establish or revise your daily routines and rituals – such as a morning ritual of quietude, reflection, journaling, exercise etc
  • Social distancing does not mean being stuck indoors. Get outside, get some some and witness nature. The term here is called ‘soft fascination’, being outdoors and mindfully absorb what nature has to offer. Both stress relief and exercise combined. (HOT TIP: leave the phone at home)
  • Exercise, move and get sweaty. Sedentary behaviour is a segue to poor self-care practices such eating the wrong foods, consuming too much alcohol, and being consumed and distracted with smartphone’s, or other compulsive behaviours. Exercise produces neurotransmitters that regulates serotonin.
  • Limit the booze intake. Alcohol will rob you of your motivations and cognitive capacity or desire to do the above. (Also ruins gut health, and predisposes those who especially ‘binge drink’ to “metabolic syndrome”…no, not a movie staring the Rock, but a insulin bred health disorder that manifests into heart disease, obesity, hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, and a penchant for wearing Crocs)
  • Master your sleep, rest, recovery and quietude
  • Consume whole, nutrient dense foods whilst avoiding processed, highly refined packaged foods, refined carbohydrates and toxic vegetable oils…that crap fucks your gut…gut-fuck = brain fuck…yes crude i know, just making the point crystal
  • Focus, and remind yourself daily, to only work on the things in your life that you have control of, the things only found in your sphere of choice. Your thoughts, your choices in what you consume, move, sleep, communicate, footwear etc

The Time is Now!

As hard as it may be…This is a time for altruism.
This is a time to extend the (very washed, sanitised) hand of help…to smile, say hello, and ask “are you ok?”

It’s by pulling together that we will not only overcome this challenging period, but come out the other-side stronger, more resilient, more connected and more gratefully aware of what is truly important.
Primarily, our health and the health of our love-ones.

‘Social distancing’, ‘isolation’, ‘quarantining’ and all the other, in my opinion, awful new ‘terms’ describing the ‘new normal’ run the real risk, again in my opinion, of creating a greater problem for individuals who are struggling with depression, loneliness, anxiety, grief, loss and all those other social problems that arise from isolated humans. 
If you’re feeling vulnerable, alone, need some shopping done or have unwanted Crocs to be properly disposed of… or just need someone to connect with, talk to, email, FaceTime…I am here…we are here.

The Kindness Project
For those that may be interested, late last year I created a Facebook community page “The Kindness Project”. This is a private, closed group that is available to anyone. This community page is dedicated to highlighting, promoting and delivering messages of support and kindness. 
During this incredibly challenging time, I’ve recommitted my energies to this page and am promoting here for anyone that would like to connect and join in the this small, but fast growing community.
Feel free to invite others on board
Only this week I uploaded a new video (me acting) welcoming one and all to the group. The video can be watched on the Facebook group page (link below) or you can click HERE to watch it on YOUTUBE
Click HERE if you would like to join

Luke Brennan
luke@myfutureself.com.au
+61 (0)435 264 307