4 things we all need more of to better care for others.
By Amy Crawford
It's the beginning of a new decade, and for those of us in Australia one of the most harrowing many of us have experienced. At the time of writing, fire has destroyed an area of land almost twice the size of Belgium. Scientists are now saying that up to a billion animals may have been killed; some are worried entire species may have been wiped out. Thousands of homes and buildings have been destroyed with many, many families displaced. 24 people are dead, with grave fears for more. And, to make matters worse, we still face 2 months of summer and many, many hot days ahead.
Right now, more than ever, there are many thousands of people and animals that need us to pool our collective energies, to come together in support of what will undoubtedly be a long and painful road to recovery.
With the horrific nature of this situation, it is easy to feel utterly overwhelmed and so full of fear that we become almost frozen with helplessness. Many I know, are also at the point of emotional exhaustion.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
None of us can pour from an empty cup. It is therefore vital, now more than ever, that we properly nurture ourselves in order to continue to better care for others.
Focussing on the below four things will I believe, help us move forward in a way that is of immense value to all.
Our emotional muscle, our resilience, is the inner glue that holds us together when things start to unravel, when we feel helpless, when we feel like we are about to break. People and animals need us right now, so we need to strive to keep this muscle strong. The first step towards resilience is to become emotionally aware. It's when we become so overwhelmed with our emotions that we become almost 'frozen with fear'.
So, regularly check in with yourself and assess how or what you are feeling. Is it guilt as you sit in your home, untouched by the lick of a flame? Sitting in guilt is not serving you, nor anyone else. So acknowledge it, thank it for visiting but politely ask it to leave. Sitting in scathing anger will not serve anyone either, unless of course you can channel it for good. If you feel angry at the negligence of people, of our government, don't let this anger tare you up from the inside out. Put that energy to good use, pour it into doing good in the world, to inspiring positive change. If it's sadness you feel, as I am certain you do, allow yourself to sit and process this sadness, don't push it away.
Just know that you are needed, so get the support you need and take another step forward. If graphic images and much of the media coverage is hampering your ability to move forward, to serve others, consider limiting what you choose to view.
You can read more about building your emotional muscle here.
Now more than ever, we need much kindness. Kindness for those we know are suffering, whether directly impacted or not. Kindness for businesses back at work, needing to continue to make money to feed their families and to continue to give to those in need. Kindness to those who have selflessly given up so much to help protect our nation. Kindness to the person you eyeball on the street.
With this in mind, we also need to remember to think before we speak. Are the words you are about to speak (or hurl) constructive? Are they serving anyone but your need to vent?
Kindness of course, includes giving whatever you have. Cash donations, if you can afford them. Time, if that's all you have. Giving to others at a time like this is one of THE best things you can do to build good energy within yourself. As you give, you receive after all. But, a groundswell of kindness across our communities helps foster and inspire more of the same, and that's what truly matters.
Whether you're part of a local suburban community, a yoga community or an online community - this is something that needs to be fostered. As human beings we need to feel a sense of belonging because that sense of belonging is what connects us to the many relationships we develop.
And, within these community relationships, we become so much more powerful and capable of positive change.
So, be outward thinking, look to the communities in your life. Do you need to feel better supported to help you cope? Do you need to feel like you belong to something more? And remember, connecting with others does need to come from us. So be brave, reach out, initiate conversations, suggest a coffee with someone in your community who needs a hug. Organise a fundraiser in your local community. Join in on an existing fundraiser. Offer a helping hand. Connect.
Again, you've nothing to give if you've an empty cup. So, where possible see if you can adhere to the following:
- Prioritise adequate sleep, above everything else.
- Eat more plants, and a diet that is as close to nature as possible. During stressful times your immune system needs extra help. You'll find stacks of inspiration here.
- Drink lots of filtered water.
- Exhausted? Get some rest to build up the coffers, as and when you need to. (But do so, guilt free).
- Back off from the destructive vices, such as booze, if you can. You may feel that they are helping in the given moment, but I can promise you, they are not helping you at all. If you need inspiration to help you there, read this.
- Get some exercise to help better manage stress. Did you know walking is consider the superfood of exercise? Move, to help shake things off.
- Use essential oils to support your emotional, physical and mental health. Science tells us they heal, so use them. Reach out to me if you'd like to know where to start.
- See a therapist to support you through this time. Lean on them. I can help you with some EFT and Reiki, or a CTC session.
What else do you feel we all need more of? How else can we better strengthen ourselves and our communities at this time? If you've anything you'd like to add in support of others, please share below. In the meantime, I am sending everyone all the love and light I can muster at this time.