Protecting Your Spirit and Your Sanity

This certainly isn’t a think piece on solutions to defeat a system of operation and “legal lynchings”. This is a concerted effort and commitment to support mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

I know in theory what a tragedy is but still took a moment to look up the definition. A tragedy is “an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.” We have all have dealt with immense stress at times. Some of us may be currently dealing with it. Suffering in silence while some in our networks stay quiet about our collective destruction. When dealing with stress, self-care can be the sole facet of our day that brings internal peace.

Here are some reminders of things we get to do today (any day) to protect our spaces.

Take 5 minutes to do nothing. Stop reading this. Go outside. Breathe, meditate, get really back to basic nothingness. You have no obligations but to your 5 minutes moment. See you when you get back.

Eat a satisfying, nourishing meal with actual vegetables in it. It is super easy to fall into the trap of comfort eating; I have a pint of ice cream calling my name right now. But what will serve me? All my healthy shit. Yep. All of it. Quinoa. Chia Seeds. Coconut Oil. Some healthful and helpful foods for stress: blueberries, bananas, avocados, herbal teas, ginger tea, etc. the running theme: essentials fatty acids and antioxidants protect your heart and nurture your mind. My herbs like St. John’s Wart to boost my mood, Kava Kava tincture or chamomile tea helps mellow out and relax. Yes, I’ll have a cup of that ice cream after I do all my healthy shit first. I’m stressed.

Take a social media time out. Cut off your computer. Put down your phone. Being connected isn’t making this life easier and trust you aren’t missing out. aSeeing the similar context and stories up and down your timeline is not changing your context and may be increasing your level of discomfort. The cost of caring is costing you. You get to refresh and return later. “Stress is not associated with the frequency of people’s technology use, or even how many friends users have on social media platforms. But there is one way that people’s use of digital technology can be linked to stress: Those users who feel more stress are those whose use of digital tech is tied to higher levels of awareness of stressful events in others’ lives. This finding about “the cost of caring” adds to the evidence that stress is contagious.”1

Have you been outside today other than that 5 minutes I told you to take? Get some Vitamin D. See and feel the sun. Put on some organic sunscreen first.“A new study shows that the brain produces more of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin on sunny days than on darker days.”2

Break up. Block. Disown. Do all of the above to those who are not invested in their well being or yours. We don’t have time nor space for detractors, emotional debt, or doubters. Ta ta now.

Get a good night’s sleep. That means don’t drink anything at least an hour before bed. Avoid tv if you can. Avoid technology period. Read a book. Write a letter to someone you love or appreciate. Breakdance. Meditate. Yoga. You name it…but do it in the name of relaxation and preparing for rest. Cover up all sources of light so that your room is as dark as feasible because in the blackness is your source of renewal.

This isn’t new information. Just a long overdue check-in and note from a friend saying, “Hello. By the way, don’t forget to protect your spirit and your sanity. Love, Yoli.”

Yoli Ouiya

Yoli Ouiya is a spokesperson, consultant and speaker on sustainability initiatives. Yoli is an omnipresent part of the Green movement. She has been dubbed the “Queen of Green”, noting her function as the go-to social media presence for everything “green”.