On Protecting Your Peace

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

Now, more than ever, it’s important to create — or maintain — practices that allow you to protect your peace. Although I know how to find my calm when I feel overwhelmed or frustrated most of the time, I have to admit: Lately, it’s been somewhat of a challenge. I’m determining what works best for my business now, figuring out what my work-from-home situation will be with my 9-5, being a mama/teacher and just trying to process everything happening. It’s been a lot. So I’ve had to be more intentional about maintaining and protecting my peace. Here are some things I’ve been doing:

Starting my mornings peacefully.

Because everything has been so different, my usual routine had fallen off a few times (which is understandable). However, I know how important it is for me to set the tone for my day, and having a morning routine helps me maintain my peace or find it when life throws me curve balls. To start your mornings on a peaceful and positive note, create a practice you can do in (at minimum) 5 or 10 minutes, preferably in a quiet and distraction-free space. Some ideas to get you started: meditation or deep breathing, yoga, gratitude journaling, say/write affirmations, visualize, read something inspirational.

Taking social media breaks.

It can be tempting to scroll on Facebook and Instagram all day if you have more free time in the house. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with spending time on social media (because I do), too much time can cause you to feel anxious, overwhelmed and even depressed with all of the not-so-great news or even comparing yourself to other people. To protect your peace, you can:

  • Take a break for half a day, a whole day, a weekend or a week (or several).
  • Choose how much time you’ll spend on social media per day. 
  • Place your phone across the room or in another room so you won’t be tempted to pick it up just because.
  • Use an app to restrict your usage.

Don’t consume so much news.

Since the info surrounding COVID-19 changes multiple times a day, you may want to stay informed about what’s going on which I totally get. However, think about how much news you really need and limit how much you consume so that it doesn’t amplify any stress or fears you have.

Chat with a friend.

Since many of us are distancing ourselves and may have family that’s driving us crazy (hey, I’m just keeping it real), reach out to a friend to say, ‘Hey’ and catch up as you support each other through this.

Ground yourself.

In these uncertain times, there are moments when I feel ungrounded and all over the place, and my energy has been off. When this happens, I take a minute (or several) to ground myself. Some of the things I do:

  • Stop what I’m doing, relax my body, close my eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  • Do some yoga (practicing mountain pose in particular).
  • Take in my surroundings with my senses.
  • Slow down and focus on the task I’m doing

Practice self-care.

These days, I’ve been listening to my body and intuition and giving myself a lot of down time when I feel it’s necessary. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, watching Netflix, playing with Nailah, listening to music and older episodes of The Read podcast. Do whatever you need to to take care of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being and do things that bring you joy (and make you laugh) often.

Flow and embrace what is.

I’m naturally someone who likes to be in control, but one thing that I’ve truly come to understand is that there are so many things I can’t control. So I’ve been making more of an effort to go with the flow of whatever is happening, doing my best to accept what is and being in the moment. One mantra I use to help with this is, “I surrender and let Spirit do her thing.”

Give yourself (and others) grace.

There are times when I have good intentions about crossing things off my intentions (to-do) list, and when I’m not able to get it done, I might beat myself up about it or feel bad because I’m not being “productive enough.” I have to remind myself that I’m only human and that sometimes, life just gets in the way. Plus, things are different at the moment, so I have to be extra gentle and compassionate with myself now.

One final note: It may not be possible for you to feel 100% peaceful and positive all the time (I don’t either), but it is possible to feel a little bit better and a little more calm than you did before your practices.

Allow yourself to feel your feelings then move to one that feels better. Do your best to maintain your peace, focus on the good and take it one day at a time. We got this. 💙