SproutStep provider spotlight
- Sunny Fischer -
These are very trying and unprecedented times. Essentially, we’re being asked to muster up a lot of courage, faith, and trust that everything is going to be okay.
Not everyone has ventured so deeply into their heart of hearts recently and developed a solid reservoir of stress-reducing practices and a solid foundation to depend on. When the world comes to a screeching halt, so many things rise to the surface and suddenly come to light.
This can lead to even more anxiety, fear and depression. Spiritual coaching, and counseling in general, exist so people don’t have to weather the storm alone. But if hiring someone isn’t an option, and you feel like you’re in a bind, there are many hotlines where you can reach out to a trained professional, such as this national one.
Otherwise, if you’re ready to make a few changes, here are some good ideas that may set your sails in a new direction!
1. Clarify your intention set a clear goal – such as to reduce stress, instill a sense of calm, make conscious healthier choices, maintain faith and trust, get mentally healthier.
2. Limiting all recreational drugs, alcohol and unprescribed medication can help tremendously when it comes to harnessing positive thinking. Alcohol in particular is a depressant, although it doesn’t quite feel like one all the time. Removing it clears the mind quickly.
3. Sleep well! Making a good night’s sleep a priority every night cannot be overrated. Many times, stress prohibits sleep and that’s a very common problem, unfortunately. You may be surprised what a little extra attention to sleep can do to improve your mood. Things to try:
• Having a comfortable bed, pillow and blanket is important. • Reading non-fiction is not nearly as stimulating as a page-turning novel and can relax the brain tremendously. • Listening to free guided meditations on YouTube, specifically designed to calm the mind and body to prepare for sleep are also really helpful at times. • Exercise or take a walk early in the morning to get energy out, release positive endorphins and avoid overstimulation in the evening.
4. Create a space that is designated for praying, meditating, relaxing, contemplation and/or for simply doing breathing exercises. It doesn’t have to be a large space. Make it special by including a picture of someone you love, a candle, a symbol of something that brings you joy, any kind of spiritual item(s) that inspire hope, love and faith.
5. Write in a journal or on a secured computer or phone. Sometimes people are afraid of others reading their work so they hesitate to really pour their heart and soul out. But if you have a Gmail account, you can use Google Docs for free. Word also has the ability to save documents with a secured password. It’s most important that when you write, you are able to be honest and real with yourself. Go back and reread on a weekly basis to see your progress and topics that keep reappearing. 6. Design a spiritual practice that feels 100% authentic, genuine and real to you and your belief (or non-belief) system. Don’t force yourself to say prayers that honestly don’t ring true in your heart. On the flip side, allow yourself to pray to God, Jesus or Mother Mary for example, even if you haven’t been to church in 20+ years – IF that’s what truly feels good to you inside your heart and soul. The most important thing is to honor your truth so that meditating, saying affirmations and/or praying will be effective in lifting your spirits during this personal “time out.”
7. Set Reminders. Try setting your alarm or calendar notification to go off a few times during the day to remind you of something lovely, uplifting, maybe a saying, a Bible quote or a picture of a dream destination, a loved one or a wonderful past experience. Keep those good thoughts and feelings coming!!
Activating a heightened awareness of what's going on in the mind develops slowly. However, more choices typically begin to present themselves as we go about our days and momentum increases. With focus, you'll notice the negative self-talk, the anger, worry, paranoia or whatever doesn't really serve your best & highest interest. Take each new opportunity to precisely inject positivity by flexing your mental muscles and stay on the path. The only thing in life that’s constant is change itself. This too shall pass. Start where you are and be gentle on yourself. You’re worth it!
Peace & wellness to all! Sunny Fischer