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Dr. Ginny Baro shares mindfulness practices for coping with Covid-19 stress

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.  

Dr. Ginny Baro, CEO and Founder of ExecutiveBound

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. 

Preparing healthy meals as part of the Inspired Morning Practice program

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.  

Ginny at home with her son

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. 

    Ginny and her son on a nature walk

     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. 

Ginny taking in the beautiful scenery at Stoke States Forest, Sussex County, NJ

For additional self-care and mindfulness practices for coping with Covid-19 check out these resources

 

How mindfulness meditation changed a Latina entrepreneur’s life

When she was diagnosed with two debilitating diseases, Jayshica Amargos found in mindfulness meditation the therapy to help her change her challenging life. Now she has decided to give back the gift of healing as a Latina entrepreneur.

mindfulness meditation

Jayshica Jay Amargos, founder and chief mindful officer at I’MINDFUL

It might seem a far out way to use this practice to treat the roots of serious diseases that plague our everyday life such as anxiety, worry and fear. Millions are suffering from depression, autoimmune and self-inflicted diseases –such as heart conditions and high blood pressure–, in hospitals or at home, because of the chaos and worry our work and urban hectic life bestow on us.

In truth, many of these conditions could be healed or at least managed properly by practicing mindful-based stress reduction therapy –a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga based on the Buddhism traditions of meditation.

In 2006, Jayshica (Jay) Amargos was diagnosed with depression but it was not until 2012 that her causes of depression were discovered when she was diagnosed with both lupus and fibromyalgia.

She quickly learnt that the available drug treatments of both these disorders were associated with adverse effects and complications. Serendipity struck – Jay had been a regular practitioner of meditation and she discovered that it also helped relieve the pain of lupus and fibromyalgia.

Along this rehabilitation journey, she discovered mindfulness meditation, which had a significant positive impact on her mind and body. Ever since then, mindfulness meditation has been her passion and is an essential component of her life.

“With this practice, I began to understand  human behavior and how it could be used to bring out the best in people,” she told LatinasinBusiness.us. “I truly believe that regular mindfulness meditation practice can change lives and allow everyone to enjoy their journey in a more peaceful, loving and centered way.”

Today, Jay is the co-founder  and chief mindful officer of I’MINDFUL Studio in Arkansas. I’Mindful  was created to guide and support individuals who want to learn the practice of mindfulness meditation to ease the pressures of modern life.

 Jay decides to enter the world of business with mindfulness meditation

Once Jay realized the benefits of this therapy, she decided to learn more about it. She researched the topic, attended seminars, and even took online courses. With her self-feeling better from the ravages of fibromyalgia and lupus, she decided to share it with others.

Practice of mindfulness meditationAnd in April 2016, she opened up a mindfulness clinic  in her hometown of Fayetteville, AR. Within a few weeks of opening, she already had a large following of clients who wanted to learn about the benefits of mindfulness.

Today her clinic  offers guided group meditation, private mindfulness sessions, MINDFUL@ WORK  programs, and programs for children and teens . Her practice is based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance, Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting, and Mindfulness-Based Resilience Therapy.

“The eventual goal of the program is to lower stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as to improve the quality of life of all my clients,” Jay said. “Studies that address this question are just in, and the answer is impressive: mindfulness really can help workers cope with high levels of psychological distress.”

Obstacles and struggles to overcome in business

Jay was well aware of the difficulties starting a new business venture might bring in a small town.  However, she was not fazed with what could go wrong. Instead, she focused  on all the positives. She had already overcome several serious medical disorders a decade before. At that time her life had crumbled into many pieces.

With mindfulness meditation, she regained her self-esteem, confidence and passion for life –she was now ready to face the world of business.  She prepared and researched the topic well before opening the business. The biggest obstacle was funding and finding a place to offer her practice .

Fortunately, she had solid family support to help her achieve her dreams. Today she feels truly blessed in life, and knows that with her strength, talent and ability to solve life’s every  problem, she can help others succeed.

While her business is still relatively new, it is not too early to foresee the future. She is taking situations as they come,  fully prepared, and is  keeping her options open.

Being mindful about strengths and weaknesses in business

Mindfulness meditation studio

I’MINDFUL Studio

“I have three inherited traits that have played a key role in my success and they include grit, perseverance and compassion,” she explained. “I consider myself to be a problem solver and a life-long learner so I try to incorporate these qualities in everything I do.”

One of the biggest motivator is her 19-year-old autistic son. She is ultimately devoted to the well- being of her son and wants to ensure that he has the best quality of life . Jay stated, “He inspires me every day with his persistence, his hunger for knowledge and for doing things right.”

Jay is grateful that throughout her life, she has been surrounded by people who inspired her. Now she made it a mission to help others.

About Jay’s origins and her previous journey

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Jay moved with her parents to Arkansas in the 80s. Several moves to other states followed before finally settling in Arkansas definitely.

Jay completed her bachelor’s degree in Business in Puerto Rico  and then completed a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. Along the way, she worked for several major business organizations but after she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and lupus, she decided to take a break from the business world.

Aside from running her brand new business, she is also a former volunteer with ALPFA, the Association of Latin American Professionals for America, and she was on the board of Northwest Arkansas Emerging Leaders.  She functions as a mentor for young entrepreneurs and assists them with their career pathways.

“I’m at a point in my life where I have to give back and play a bigger role in the Hispanic community to help it reach its full potential,” she shared. Jay was honored as one of Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty under Forty in 2011 and recently honored as one of Celebrate Magazine 16 to Watch in 2016.

You might be interested: Ileana Musa developing ALPFA Latina leaders for a global society

 

Share your questions with Jay on mindfulness meditation or depression here:

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