With an intention of sharing illuminating ideas for alleviating challenges and elevating you, I offer ‘Calm Balming.’
When a crisis occurs – maybe a tragic car accident, frightening diagnosis, job loss, death, divorce, or other major life stressors – anxiety, alarm, anger, loneliness, depression, shock, or more – understandably – may arrive on life’s scene. Calm can diminish or even slip away.
What to do when these feelings with corresponding behaviors arise in response to profound stressors? Perhaps consider Calm Balming…
The ‘Steady Your Nerves’ chapter of The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday notes that “stress puts us at the potential whim of our baser – fearful – instinctual reactions.” I’d say that can be accurate, at least in my experience. Ahem.
Although there are opportunities within obstacles, Calm Balming may help when pain is crescendoing – and may even aid in uncovering a previously unknown strength. Truly.
Calm Balming, I found, takes practice. Consider going gentle on your dear self; with Patience, Persistence, and a Process over Perfection approach. It grows increasingly possible to, in time, “keep [more] Calm in a crisis.” Thanks, Laila Gifty Akita.
Here are some Calm Balms to mull:
• Acceptance. This starting point – albeit less than comfortable – was or is to accept being exactly where you are. Because in the alternative of “failing to accept your suffering, the pain you feel will be much more acute and harsh,” per Chesbon Hanefesh. I’ve tried both and found Acceptance “freed my mind up to pursue my healing. It opened new doors to the spiritual realms, new doors to contemplation and meditation. There is a deep connection between brokenness and Spirit” per Elizabeth Lesser’s book Broken Open. Praying, meditating, and therapy supported me in this,
• Sleep. If/when possible. To zzzzz at a reasonable hour and refresh with enough rest is surprisingly effective. Naps or sitting with closed eyes may be easier rest options if nights are sleepless and tough,
• Self-Care Breaks. From exploring nature, standing in the sunshine – or rain – looking upward, to playing tag with a wee – or not so wee – one. Painting, driving windows down with music up, or singing count. These can be itty bitty or longer. Be creative, playful even, and follow your heart,
• Connect. Talking to a trusted advisor, therapist, four-legged dear, partner, Holies, spouse, or a friend. “Your connectedness to other people is so key to buffering any current stressor… Relationships are absolutely key,” per Bruce D. Perry, MD, Ph.D., in his and Oprah’s book What Happened to You?,
• Pray/Meditate. This, for me, is a major path to Shalom, Hebrew for Peace. ‘Our Daily Bread’ by Bill Crowder describes how a Holy Connection at Shalom House in Perth, Australia helps men with varying addictions. At this special place, lives dismantled and nearly crushed transform via Divine love by “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding…” per Philippians 4:7,
• Journal. To liberate issues onto paper. A friend shared, burning (safely) these pages afterward may be cathartic. Just an idea. A small 2009 study found expressive writing may provide short term psychological relief,
• Nourish the Body. An occasional meal of copious peanut butter? Cest la vie. Adding back in healthy-ish options soothes inside,
• Silence is Golden,
• Move that Precious Body. Stretch, yoga, run, scooter, walk, bike, swim, personal dance party, surf… However, feels good. Research even found physical activity reduces depression and anxiety,
• Solitude to Sit with It. Lying down, sans phone or devices, tuning out the world, just being with one’s self and the Ugh can do wonders. Sound scary? Incredibly, gradually, Calm can arrive amidst a storm,
• Structure. Chaotic schedule or lacking structure can reduce peace. Schedules – pondered Sundays for the upcoming week, for sleep, self-care, and/or mornings – set boundaries which Calm. Habits feel almost meditative as it’s less to think about, and/or
• Gut Knowing. Noticing and Listening to this, I think, Divinely provided information lets “inner Light be my beacon,” Lesser notes. When aligned with Grace, I’ve found, peace flows in.
Calm Balming can be done gradually, working one’s way into it. I truly believe that you have the Power to find your fitting Calm Balms. No matter what the situation – perhaps give yourself time especially when the road is profoundly hard. It is possible – even if you doubt it.
I much hope you’ll consider compassionate Calm Balming for dear you.
Hoping you find your way through, to Higher and Higher ground, lovingly applying some yummy Calm Balming,
Original Email Date: June 18, 2021
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