If you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything going on right now, I’d like to share a strategy that’s really helped me.  I used to wake up every day filled with anxiety.  But when I landed on this morning routine, it became much easier to cope with my negative feelings.

To create more time, I’d set my alarm to get up just a little bit earlier.  Then I’d get dressed, jump in the car and drive to a nearby city park.

I’d sit for 10 minutes, outside if it was nice, and write down all the things that went through my head.  All the anxious thoughts.  All the worries about things that might happen or not happen.  And, sometimes, even the good things I was noticing, sitting out there in nature.

I’d allow whatever I’d written to be OK.   No judgment about what it turned out I was thinking about.  Since what I wrote often surprised me.   Thoughts that were more negative than I’d realized.  Feelings I hadn’t allowed to surface until I saw them on the page.  I decided not to resist any of it.  I decided to just allow my brain to be doing whatever it was doing.

Then I’d walk for 20 minutes.  I’d breathe in the clean air.  I’d clear my mind by repeating these words over and over: “Light, love, joy, gratitude, forgiveness, trust, peace, still, calm”.

As I walked, and I said each word in my mind, I’d conjure up the feeling of that word.  I’d let the feeling penetrate my being.

The results were remarkable.  No matter how terrible I’d felt before, after my routine I’d notice at least a sliver of lightness in my body.  I’d feel more capable of handling whatever came up that day.

If you like the concept of doing something like this, but you also know you’re unlikely to commit to a 30 minute routine, I have a simpler suggestion.

For the next 9 days, commit to walking outside for just 5 minutes and to repeating just one of these words as you walk.  Focus your mind on feeling that word deeply in your body.  As other thoughts surface, let them drift by and refocus on your word of the day.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram (@gracedcanvascoaching), for the next 9 days, I’ll be posting an image to convey the feeling of one of these words.  As a reminder for you to try it out.

Just 5 minutes.  See what happens.  You might be surprised at how much changes.

If you’d like just a little bit of extra help coping with the crisis right now, I can help.  For the next several weeks, in addition to my usual 10 week coaching program, I’m creating some extra time in my schedule for clients who’d like just a one hour session.  If you’re interested, just send me an email to heather@gracedcanvas.com to find out cost and arrange a time that works for both of us.