FEATURE STORY, WELL-BEING

Mental Wellness: Three Tips to Help You Find Balance and Peace in Uncertain Times

Today’s post is written by freelance writer Emelda De Coteau. Mental wellness is important now more than ever. Emelda suggests three mental wellness tips to help you find balance and peace during uncertain times: daily meditation, digital detox, and sound healing.


By Emelda De Coteau

We are living through times of deep intensity: a global health pandemic, racial reckoning within the U.S., climate change, economic challenges, and a growing immigration crisis in numerous countries.

Audre Lorde, the brilliant writer and activist, told us decades ago, radical self-care is an act of political warfare, not selfishness. Therefore, focusing on mental health, particularly during times of widespread uncertainty is an act of deep love for ourselves.

As the Mama of a child living with health challenges, and several close family members navigating chronic illnesses, I understand the urgency of consistently supporting our mental well-being.

Pick up your favorite cup of tea or chai, and a journal. I am sharing three tools for maintaining mental wellness you can begin now.

THREE TOOLS FOR MAINTAINING MENTAL WELLNESS

1. Mindful Meditation:

Modern technology glorifies distractions – scrolling through social media aimlessly, consuming, or escaping through entertainment. And yet, our wounds and stresses stay with us, reminders that it’s not all fine.

We must become aware, and this is the essential tenant of mindfulness– a practice embraced by people of various faiths including Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the mindfulness-based stress reduction program at the University of Massachusetts and author of Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment – And Your Life,  defines mindfulness as “…paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

Meditating mindfully helps us embrace the wonder of presence – not the future or past – where our minds often wander. We connect deeply with breathing, coming to see it as an anchor, a way to ground ourselves in peace.

Many of us are juggling numerous demands. Meditation doesn’t have to take hour. You can begin with a 5 to 7-minute practice (in the morning as jump start for the day and in the evening to wind down).

Using apps like Shine, Liberate (both founded by folks from BIPOC communities), and Insight Timer can be helpful. These platforms have numerous guided mediations offering support for everything from anxiety to sleeping with ease.

Meditating mindfully helps us embrace the wonder of presence – not the future or past – where our minds often wander. We connect deeply with breathing, coming to see it as an anchor, a way to ground ourselves in peace.

2. Sound Healing:

We are surrounded by various forms of energy – color, light, and sound. Our ears are the most sensitive organ of the body, tapping into sound healing helps ground our vibrational energy and center calm.

Bradley Meade, author of Sound Healing: Your Definitive Guide to Using Vibrational Healing, writes:

“Every person has his/her own soul or root frequency. You have to get in touch with the frequency to feel at the moment, grounded and centered. Aside from your core frequency, everything inside of you – each tissue, vertebrae, organ, muscle, etheric field… has a resonating frequency. Sound healing helps you in becoming more aware of the symphony inside of you.” 

You can begin by using a Tibetan singing bowl as a grounding force in meditation. Check out this video which provides a guide to the benefits.

3. Digital Detox:

Studies increasingly show being plugged in all of the time has mounting negative effects. Researchers found that when people spent long periods of time on their devices, there was an increase in narcissism and it negatively impacted their sleep.

Setting aside specific times of the day to be unplugged is possible. It simply requires us to become intentional about how we use our devices, and what we consume. There are also apps to help track your phone usage, offering incentives for unplugging longer.

Something else you may want to try is detoxing your social media. Begin by asking yourself: Do certain social media pages or people you follow feed you or deplete your energy? Listen to the body and spirit and return only when you feel more grounded.

A few weeks ago, I listened to lifestyle influencer Fran (Hey Fran Hey) speak on the Food Heaven podcast about choosing what we allow into our mental space, and that reminder resonates so deeply. When we realize being well is a choice, we are on the road to lasting liberation.

Beloveds, give yourself the gift of self-care, starting with your mental health. As Rumi once said: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”


Thank you, Emelda! All floral photographs by Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

Emelda leads Pray with Our Feet (PWF), an online community lifting up the intersection of progressive Christian faith and social justice. She co-hosts the PWF podcast with her Mom, Trudy.

Emelda serves as the founder of Women Creatives Chat, a community centering on wellness and empowerment for women of all artistic disciplines through events (both online and live), workshops, and mindful products and services. She also writes about wellness and holistic healing practices for Modestine Tea and Breaking the Silence…Healing the Pain.

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