By Nancy Minges, MA, 2001
Director, Restorative Fitness
CLAREMONT RESORT & SPA — BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
Tip # 1
Vary the pace of your day with different rhythms. Find moments of stillness throughout the day. Let yourself feel what it is to not have to be “productive” for short increments of time, a couple of times per day. Try focusing on completely enjoying the feeling of breathing. Or let your mind come to rest in great expansive spaciousness.
Hang out in that feeling for five or ten minutes. This gives an already overwhelmed nervous system time to digest and integrate all of your experiences, all of these radical changes.
Tip # 2
Make sure to get some aerobic exercise. Even if it’s just a ten-minute brisk walk around the block, it works. It will help you to keep your energy up, and circulate your system with more oxygen. Exercise also helps to boost your endorphin levels.
Tip # 3
Grief comes in waves. You can feel very heavy and bogged down for quite awhile, and then suddenly fine for days, only to feel depressed again, for seemingly no reason. This is a natural healing process. Don’t try to prop yourself up with caffeine, sugar, or over-busyness.
Trust that your emotions have wisdom and that they will cleanse your system, if you let them. Let yourself go through the whole cycle, without imposing a timeline on when you are supposed to feel good again.
Tip # 4
Get plenty of sleep-at least 8 hours, more if possible. After 8 hours of sleep, you get the best release of growth hormone, which is responsible for a lot of healing and repair.
Tip # 5
Reduce or eliminate your use of sugar and heavy fats. Eating lightly, with more vegetables, helps to alkalinize your blood. This will also promote healing. Chronic situations tend to occur when your blood is overly acidic, and your system is overly stressed.
Tip # 6
Realize the truth that all of life is impermanent. Can you open to the truth of grace and mystery, of truly not knowing? In not knowing, can you open your heart anyway?
Tip # 7
To open up your compassion and feel less alone, practice breathing into the area of your heart, especially when you feel emotional intensity. Breathe in the fear, anger, apprehension you are feeling…Breathe out empathy, peace, relief to the world around.
Tip # 8
Take a mind/body class like yoga, meditation, tai chi, or chi gung. Learn how to gently heal your nervous system and bring great peace of mind with traditions.
Tip # 9
Some experiences there are no words for. Let yourself find some form of creative expression. Make some art, do a drawing, write some poetry. Put on music and let your body move in a way to express what you are feeling. Above all else, find a way to honor what you are feeling.
Tip # 10
Get some bodywork on a regular basis for the next 3 to 6 months. Our bodies store everything. Getting professional touch helps to move the healing along.
Tip # 11
Do something to give back. What can you do to help make the world a little better? Your family life a little sweeter? Your experience at work a little softer? How can you be more kind and gentle to yourself? To others?
Tip # 12
Let your attention linger in the places that are life affirming. Let the simple things in life heal you each day — Children, laughter, animals, a good meal, friends, family.