Our skies here in Southern Oregon have been filled with smoke from the forest fires that surround our small valley. It’s been this way for weeks, with no sign of letting up.

 

You can probably imagine the vibe. The dark smoky haze gives tangible form to a gloom many of us are feeling. We’re all sensitive to what’s happening around the globe, from Korea to Bangladesh, from Charlottesville to Houston.

 

How great would it be if we could each take time away from work and our daily demands to attend to self-care, prayer and meditation in the midst of this?

 

Unfortunately, this isn’t a practical option for many of us. While our hearts are digesting and processing a lot for the world, we still have much to manage in our own lives. There are work concerns, financial matters, relationship challenges and health demands.

 

In the midst of – and perhaps even more so because of – all that’s happening, you need to make yourself a priority!

 

Get the support you personally need.

 

Don’t underestimate the toll that the spiritual, emotional and physical demands of our time can take on your health and wellbeing.

 

If you have a budget to get support, then set up some time with a favorite therapist, counselor, guide, etc. I’m here too, with techniques like Hakomi Therapy and Family & Systemic Constellations.

 

If you don’t have the means right now, there are still great resources for you. Here are three free tools that can help you ease tension and discharge distress. (I’ve been using them myself for years and they’re extremely helpful):

 

  1. “The Work” by Byron Katie – A simple, powerful process you can do on your own, with a friend, or via a free helpline. I’ve found this tool to be most helpful in two scenarios: 1) When my mind is swirling, and I need to sort out my thoughts and feelings. 2) For loosening the grip of a stuck belief that’s causing me pain or discord (e.g., “My husband always does ______ (insert frustrating behavior),” or “I’ll never be able to _________(insert important achievement).”

 

  1. Co-Counseling (or, Re-Evaluation Counseling) – An elegant, loving way to connect with other human beings who can hold space for you to process and discharge difficult emotions. It does take a little bit of effort to learn the guidelines and techniques, but then you can connect with other co-counselors anywhere you are in the world. I’ve found this to be helpful for everything from grieving childhood losses to gaining more clarity on my life goals.

 

  1. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – An easy tool you can use anywhere to move stressful or negative energy through your nervous system and release it. I’ve found this technique is most effective when I’m extra agitated about something and am feeling angry, anxious, worried, etc. Some people use a lot of words while they’re tapping. I don’t – I simply feel the intense emotion and start tapping, sometimes in silence and other times while voicing all my concerns aloud. Within ten minutes, I feel more calm and the issue is easier for me to revisit from a more level-headed perspective.

 

If you have any questions on these, or if you’ve been working with a free technique that’s been helpful, leave a comment and let me know! I love learning new tools to share with others.

 

Love, Lexi