For many of us, right now is some of the most challenging times we have encountered in a long time, if not ever. We need tools to help us stay grounded right now as we work our way through this collective hardship. The following are some tools that I have found to be most helpful, and have certainly gotten me through challenging times in the past:

1. Stop and breathe: place both feet firmly on the ground and feels your sits bones in the chair. Now count to five inhaling, then hold for a count of 3, then exhale for another count of 5. Do this 20 times at least. It will have a marked effect on any anxiety you might be feeling. Then, stop and look around at your surroundings, focus on one thing, perhaps a painting or an object and describe it to yourself in detail, outloud if possible. Notice what you appreciate about it, anything at all. This will dramatically help to bring you into the moment.

2. Explore what it is that is bothering you. This is best done via a journal or talking it out with a trusted partner. If we have a chance to get it all out, list out all our fears, then we can look at them rationally. Notice many of those fears are projections into the future. Right now, right here, notice how much peace and well being there actually is. But expressing them can help diffuse the emotional energy around them.

3. Focus on what you can change. In life usually there are so many things we cannot control. But what CAN we control. Ask yourself, what’s the next right action? Let it be simple, the simpler the better. Just put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. It may be as simple as doing the pile of dishes in the sink, making the bed, walking the dog. Whatever it is, simply put your attention on the task and let everything else go.

4. Focus on something that makes you feel calm or lighter. Comedy can be the BEST medicine for this. Seek out funny movies, watch those silly animal videos that get posted all the time on social media. Listen to your favorite calming music, take a bath or hot shower. Step outside and smell the roses. Listen to an inspirational speaker.

Most of all, reach out to your loved ones, friends, family and offer support and encouragement to them. Often times helping someone else will help you feel all the better.

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