As our world continues to change in unpredictable ways, we are all trying to find ways to cope with our feelings of uncertainty. For many, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought on increased stress and anxiety. Some may even feel as though they no longer have control over their lives. These feelings are fueled by ruminative thinking and fixating on the future and on hypotheticals. This loop of thoughts perpetuates our emotions of anxiety and stress. Instead we must break this cycle and try to ground ourselves in the present moment. Fortunately, there are many mindfulness practices for coping with Covid-19 that can help us redirect our negative thoughts.
Supporting your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being
Dr. Ginny Baro, an international executive coach, motivational speaker, leadership expert, author, and CEO and founder of ExecutiveBound has been practicing mindfulness and self-care as her way of coping with pandemic-related uncertainty.
“For approximately the first three to four weeks, adjusting to the shelter-in-place order was tough,” says Ginny. “Other than to go food shopping, it felt like I was under house arrest. I soon realized that more than ever, paying attention to my self-care was going to be critical.”
Her executive coaching and career advancement company, ExecutiveBound, offers a plethora of resources to individuals looking to accelerate their professional growth and strengthen their leadership skills. One of these resources includes Ginny’s Inspired Morning Practice, which Ginny herself has been doubling down on since the pandemic began.
The program focuses on grounding activities such as meditation, journaling, reading, eating healthy foods, and exercising. Practicing these activities for at least 14 days will help you build a consistent routine that supports your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
“These are activities I can control,” Ginny says, “which help me ground to perform my work and feel my best.”
While this practice was not created specifically for the Covid-19 pandemic, it is exactly what we all need right now.
Medical experts agree that practicing mindfulness has been found to reduce stress and increase well-being. Additionally mindful practices have been shown to help in the treatment of many mental and physiological problems such as addiction, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, cancer, and chronic pain.
Extending mindfulness to others
Being mindful also means being mindful of others. During this pandemic, both personally and professionally, Ginny has also worked to reach out to others and offer support and resources.
“My focus has been on reaching out to friends, family, and colleagues to check-in with them and let them know I’m here for them,” she says.
Like many of us, she has been connecting with friends and family, networking, and engaging virtually. On April 10th, she and her family members gathered via Zoom to celebrate her mother’s 75th birthday over cocktails.
“It was all we could do, given the circumstances.”
On social media, Ginny has been intentional about providing as much value as possible to her professional network.
“I find solace in sharing motivational messages along with tools and strategies to help us cope and continue to lead and manage our teams while taking care of our loved ones and our well-being,” says Ginny.
During this time, Ginny has also experienced a surge in creativity which she has channeled into expanding her virtual offerings. From writing multiple blog posts about leading, managing, and motivating remote teams to her FearlessLeadershipMastermind course through which she is donating meals through Feeding America, Ginny has used her creative spark to help others stay grounded and cope during Covid-19.
“From my perspective, this global health crisis is a wake-up call to super-size our faith, our gratitude, and our commitment to make this life count,” Ginny says. “I’m grateful for friends, family, clients, a budding loving relationship, and rejoice in the fruit of a long-standing mindfulness practice that allows me to be fully present for all that surfaces, with love, compassion, and curiosity for myself and others. To all reading this, I wish that you are safe and your loved ones healthy.”
You might be interested: How mindfulness meditation changed a Latina entrepreneur’s life
Tips for practicing mindfulness each day
In addition to Ginny’s Inspired Morning Practice, here are a few other mindfulness practices for coping with Covid-19.
- Practice S.T.O.P. This stands for Stop, Take a breath, Observe your feelings, and Proceed. This method helps you to slow down, stop your anxious thoughts, and bring you back to the present moment. Whenever you feel like your thoughts are taking over, take a moment to S.T.O.P.
- Try a guided meditation. There are many videos available online where you can follow along as well as countless apps that offer short meditations to help you center and refocus.
- Go for a walk (while practicing physical distancing). Walking and hiking with her son has been another one of Ginny’s go-to practices during quarantine. Together they have explored the many parks and woods in their area.
A change of scenery and soaking up that much-needed vitamin D, is great for your mental health. When you walk, take note of what you see. Take deep breaths. Observe your surroundings and be present in the moment.