Updated: Mar 15, 2020
As you may have heard, this past week, Nepal and China each decided to close their sides of Mt. Everest in response to concerns regarding the current health pandemic. So if climbing Earth's highest mountain was on your bucket list for this spring, you'll have to choose another option. But rather than feel alarmed by this news, it's an opportunity to consider what it represents for us and our planet.
Folks, this is the time to slow down like never before. It’s more important than ever that we take care of ourselves and listen to what our bodies need, so that we bring ourselves and planet earth, into a greater state of balance. We are truly one and the same.
Brendan Kelly, a practitioner of TCM- Traditional Chinese Medicine, writes in his book, "The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis," ...."Personal health comes from balance and ... if we are to address the destabilization of the climate, we need to address the condition of our internal environment."
I know from my studies in nutrition and #TCM that our lungs and respiratory system are especially reactive to the drastic temperature changes and poorer levels of air quality that we are experiencing. It is no coincidence that the current worldwide virus, relates to the health of our lungs and respiratory system.
In TCM, the lung meridian is a Yin organ, and is best supported by slowing down, resting, turning inward and letting go of grief and other emotions that no longer serve us,
So what can we do to help bring ourselves and our planet into greater balance? Well, if Yang is all about being busy and active (hot) and Yin is our sense of contentment and relaxation (cool), we (including the planet) need more of the Yin. In other words, less doing and more being. As in, it's definitely not the time to be doing the strenuous work of climbing Mt. Everest, for example. As I write this, many of us have no choice but to temporarily slow down from our everyday routines as we practice social distancing and schools, universities and businesses are closing their doors and offering online services and classes.
So as we bring ourselves and our planet into greater balance, here are my tips for doing less and being more and embracing your Yin side:
1. Warm baths with Epsom salt or sea salt mixed with #essential oils. (Eucalyptus oil can help to relieve congestion in the chest and lungs.)
2. Walks in nature
3. Gentle movement and exercise such as Qi Gong and Yoga help the body to move and release stagnant energy and strengthen our organ function. Websites like Gaia, https://www.gaia.com/ offer Qi Gong and Yoga videos for a monthly fee, or there are many free options online through YouTube.
4. Meditation. If this word scares you, don't let it! You can do this- like, even at your kitchen table or at your desk or in your bed, or pretty much anywhere! Begin by finding 1 minute in your day to close your eyes and focus on your breath. You can gradually move to 2-3 minutes a day and see what you notice. And if you skip a day, don’t judge yourself! Pick it up again when you can. I like the Insight Timer meditation app. https://insighttimer.com/
5. Drinking plenty of good quality water and herbal teas, such as ginger and peppermint can help to support our respiratory health.
6. Taking flower essences to help release stress and anxiety. Check out my previous blog post: https://inspiredwellness.co/post/the-power-of-flowers
7. Giving yourself permission to rest when your body is telling you that you are tired.-This is so important and you are worth it!
8. Loving and accepting yourself and connecting with others. Need help remembering that you are totally awesome? Check out Louise Hay's affirmations: https://www.louisehay.com/101-best-louise-hay-positive-affirmations/