During stressful times like the ongoing coronavirus crisis, we all benefit from outlets that let us let go of some anxiety and find serenity. I recently talked to four influencers — Jon Staff, Stacy Conlon, Jennifer Hoskins-Tomko, and Sarah Barnard –. They all found ways we can support each other by making that quest for serenity a little easier.
In this article:
- What is serenity?
- Jon Staff on how we can support each other
- Stacy Conlon on how we can support each other
- Jennifer Hoskins-Tomko on how we can support each other
- Sarah Barnard on how we can support each other
What is Serenity?
Serenity is the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Think of serenity as a serene oasis and a respite from stress in the midst of a desert of troubled times.
If we can find an oasis of serenity and hold onto it, we can deal with the issues in our lives much more effectively. The question is, how to find and maintain serenity? That’s what we asked the four experts below.
Jon Staff on how we can support each other
What Jon did
Saltwater gargle reduces the harmful bacteria in the mouth, neutralizing acid. It balances the pH level in the mouth and prevents mouth ulcers. Saltwater can prevent the spread of fungal infections as well.
Pain caused by mouth ulcers and bleeding gums can also be reduced by saltwater gargle.
Jon’s tips for others
To create serenity wherever they are, Jon advises that people can:
- Limit news intake. Try to read from reputable news sources only once or twice a day.
- Spend time outside. Just walking around your block, or even your yard or your balcony, for 20 minutes every now and then is huge for your mental state.
- Find moments of escape. Getaway is an example of this, but simple meditation or breathing exercises are too. Just unplug and focus on your inner self every now and then.
- Stay grateful. I find that saying out loud every morning something I’m grateful for helps ground me at the moment, and reduce feelings of uncertainty and fear.
- Go with the flow. If we give in to the change rather than trying to resist it, it’ll make for a more comfortable transition while everything seems to be in flux.
Read my full interview with Jon here.
Stacy Conlon on how we can support each other
What Stacy did
Stacy’s journey started at 26 when her office’s boss gave her a Blackberry phone so she could keep in touch with clients at all times. Pretty soon, she became addicted to the phone, and waiting for notifications invariably began to dictate her life.
Eventually, she tired of always being on call and searched for ways to achieve serenity. She quickly stumbled upon yoga, and she found it changed her perspective. She was free to focus on her own life and her personal issues instead of those of other people.
She wanted to support others by sharing her path with them, and before too long, she began The Zen Girl, a mindfulness meditation service.
Stacy’s tips for others
- Notice how you feel. Become aware of your emotions at this moment. Are you feeling peaceful and calm or stressed and overwhelmed? This knowledge is critical because, with this information, you can choose your next step.
- Take action. Based on how you feel, you are empowered to make a choice. Ask yourself what you need and do it. It may be as simple as taking a five-minute break to stretch. Or maybe you realize you’re stressed out, so you choose to take next Friday off or plan a vacation.
- Know your needs and limits. Everyone is different. What’s considered thriving for one person may equate to burnout for another. Get to know yourself, what’s right for you and your limits.
- Be proactive. Don’t wait until you’re feeling burnout to take action! Make sure you’re noticing how you feel throughout the day, every day, so you can track and act accordingly based on how you feel.
- Make time for joy. Doing what we love fuels us. Doing what we dislike drains us. Make sure whatever you are doing brings you joy!
Read my entire conversation with Stacy here.
Jennifer Hoskins-Tomko on how we can support each other
What Jennifer did
Jennifer became a psychotherapist straight out of college, and her specialty is helping traumatized patients to find serenity and inner peace. Her number one goal is to help patients get in touch with their inner selves and make the transition from victim to survivor.
Jennifer’s tips for others
- Practice what you preach. It’s easy to give good advice if you have read any self-help articles or books, but following it is a whole different story. It might sound simple but follow your own advice. It will help you as much as it will help others.
- Don’t hide your sensitivity. Embrace it, and harness it in order to help yourself and support others. Being sensitive is not a sign of weakness; instead, it is a tool that enables you to find the best solutions to stressful situations.
- Never give up. As a psychologist, I’ve found that people going through stressful experiences reach their lowest point just before they emerge from their stressful feelings. The darkest night really is just before the dawn.
Read more about Jennifer’s journey here.
Sarah Barnard on how we can support each other
What Sarah did
Sarah realized early in life that the spaces that make up our daily environments — our houses, our offices, our social gathering spaces — are often anxiety-inducing. This is especially true for people who are going through periods of stress.
To support others, Sarah has dedicated her career to designing calm spaces where people can find serenity.
Sarah’s tips for others
- Carve out time to indulge in something that brings you joy every day. Setting aside time to enjoy and plant in my garden helps me decompress, and fully engage mentally and physically outside of my design practice. After gardening, I feel re-energized, focused, and ready to return to work.
- Communicate clearly. Excellent communication means being honest and direct and carefully listening when others do the same. I’ve found that straightforward language builds trust and opens up room for creativity and supportive collaboration.
Read my full interview with Sarah here.
Jon, Stacy, Jennifer, and Sarah are four people who dedicated their entire careers to supporting people. You don’t need to go that far. You and your community should just make an effort to follow the tips these four experts suggest, and serenity will follow.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON HOW WE CAN SUPPORT EACH OTHER DURING TIMES OF CRISIS? MAKE YOURSELF HEARD IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!