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5 Ways to Deal with Highly Charged Situations


Sitting around the house in closed quarters can have its pressure cooker moments. It’s really good to plan in advance for when those moments arise, and have some go-to strategies at the ready whenever you may need them. Today, I want to give you 5 ways to handle whatever comes your way, specifically in the form of 5 questions you can ask yourself:


1. What am I feeling in this moment?

This activates your awareness, not only about what is going on around you, but also about what is going on inside of you: your sense of safety, your feelings, the tensions in your body, and your mood. This is really important, as when we’re aware of something then we have the option to leave it as is or to change it up. Awareness leads to choices.


2. What is within my control and what is not?

Right now many people are being furloughed or losing their jobs. Of course, that was not in their control; neither was the pandemic. But we all can control is how we show up for uncertainty. We can wash hands, we can walk our dogs, we can make decisions through the lens of kindness. We cannot control other people’s energy. What we can control is how we react to a situation. Are there any rituals that help? Meditation, exercise, banging pots to honor the essential workers at 7 pm – what works for you?


3. What can I let go of?

There is a LOT of guilt many people feel for not being the perfect: parent, partner, worker, self-starter… In high-stress situations, can you forgive yourself for not being "perfect"? Let that go!! This is not a time for perfectionism or guilt. It’s a time to do what you can to make sure you are OK, and those around you are too.


4. What’s the most important thing that I will remember 5 years from now?

How we can ride this wave and realize that it is a wave? You have a choice: to react to annoyances and take it personally or let most of it go.

What really matters is not if your kids have the perfect schedule, and keep up with their grades, but how they will remember this time. Your priority is to provide connection, and to provide a sense of continuity and remind yourself and your loved ones that we will all get through this, and maybe in the meantime, to rediscover what is most important on a deeper level. What if you could remember this time as when you hatched a plan to express your passion and creativity, and bring that out in the future?


5. What practices help me return to myself?

  • Walk away if the tension is escalating. Let’s talk later- get outside if you can.
  • Movement; exercise; plant an herb garden; play, listen or dance to music to release the emotion.
  • Journaling – write down a question or an emotion you have, and free write your answers as if they were coming from your wise self 20 years from now.
  • To come back to the moment, do the 3-3-3, notice 3 things you see, 3 things you hear 3 small movements in your body.
  • Have a favorite breath you rely on.  The Box Breath, used by Navy Seals, is highly effective. It consists of an inhale for the count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale for 4, and hold for 4. Repeat this 5 times.


Try these and notice how you feel. Ask the questions and discover that you have more inner resources than you may realize. 


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