Self-Care in Difficult Times
These are difficult times for immigrants and refugees. Since January 2016, there have been a steady stream of Executive Orders removing protections and rights for a population that was already vulnerable. The good news: Just as fear, depression and anger can be contagious, so are compassion, courage and creativity.When we make a conscious choice to practice remaining calm, connected and focused even in the middle of chaos, we remind ourselves and our community that we are more than the experience we are having.
I encourage you to try anything on this page that feels interesting or appealing, and let me know your experience. I also invite you to share information about your own methods for relaxation and self-empowerment. We spend a lot of time discussing the things that drain or discourage us, giving them even more of our personal power. We can create a space where we help each other to remember who we really are – Powerful People with Purpose.
I have gathered together a few options for anyone who would like relief from the negative energy that seems to be all around us. I have chosen these techniques because:
- They are simple and effective
- They are free and do not require the assistance of a Therapist
- They are not language intensive, although for some there are multi-language handouts.
Chakra Tuning Nature Slide Show
What we focus on gets bigger. It is not helpful to give all of our consciousness to negative situations.The resulting frustration and anxiety depletes our energy and does not create solutions. So take a short break. Watch this 12 minute video, breathing deeply, focusing on the colors and appreciating the beauty that can still be found if we look for it. Set aside anything that is unresolved and any thoughts that have been weighing on you. (If you are afraid to let go of them, you can put them in a box for safekeeping during your break.) Your mind has been working so hard, looking for solutions. If your mind tries to resist a break, gently remind yourself that a little relaxation can make your mind even more efficient. Nothing is so important that we can’t allow ourselves 12 minutes to breathe and re-balance.
Inhale the colors and exhale tension and stress. At the end, you will feel refreshed and lighter. With a rested mind and spirit, the issues that you set aside earlier also seem lighter when you return to them with a new perspective.
Set your intention to offer your mind and spirit 12 minutes of restful beauty every day. Over time you will create space for new ideas and hope for new possibilities.
Say Yes to Life!
A 45 minute guided visualization that visits each of your chakras (main energy centers), using breath and intention to lovingly release limiting beliefs and revisit past conclusions about your life and your potential. An opportunity to expand self-awareness, compassion and forgiveness – essential qualities in difficult times.
A gentle 30 minute guided visualization that will help you to expand your perception of who you are and what you are capable of. Originally created to assist CalWorks recipients attending San Jose City College to see themselves as successful students, study and take tests with confidence.
Self Help for Trauma with TTT - Trauma Tapping Technique
There are many similar tapping techniques, and its value has been demonstrated for many years around the world. These techniques seem to enable your mind/body/spirit system’s own natural healing capabilities to regain their power. You have had (or are having) a traumatic experience but you are more than that experience. You can choose to shift your focus and move on.
TTT is so simple that anyone (even children) can quickly learn it. It does not require a lot of explanation or discussion.It does not have to be done perfectly.Each time you practice, the trauma loses some of its grip on you. I contacted the Peaceful Heart Network and they are happy to share all of their materials and encourage people to learn and share the technique. They have been teaching TTT in Africa, to people who have lived with years of war and strife. They have been able to regain their spirits and even find joy in life.
TTT Video Demonstration
If you are experiencing the symptoms of emotional or post-traumatic stress, this is a tool to free yourself from the place you have been stuck. You can watch the video link above or use a walk-through of the steps available below (in multiple languages). You cannot do this wrong. The effects may be immediate or a little delayed, but each time you do this tapping routine with the intention of taking your life back, you loosen the grip of the past. You no longer feel trapped in a small dark room with no hope. You have the ability to open the door and step out into the light again.
| English | Arabic | Dari | Farsi | French | German | Somali | Spanish | Tigrinya |
Two Finger Song
Video Demo. There is no reason you can't have fun with this TTT song written by Ulf Sandström, tapping led by Gunilla Hamne and performed by Future Vision Acrobats in Gisenyi for the Peaceful Heart Network. Follow the instructions to learn the treatment.
For the Children - Care, Cope, Connect
The Care, Cope, Connect resource, was created by Sesame Street in collaboration with the First 5 Association of CA, to help parents cope with stress and provide safety and security for their children. In CA, nearly half of all children under the age of 17 have immigrant parents and 46 percent of households with children report a significant traumatic experience. First 5's are committed to helping parents weather these stressful situations and mitigate impacts on young children's development, health, and learning. Activity books for parents and children:
| English | Spanish | Arabic | Korean |
EFT For Kids (With CJ): Why We Tap
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is another tapping technique like TTT, that is commonly used with children.
Helping Immigrant Children Heal
Psychologists are working to help undocumented immigrant children recover from trauma and deal with the uncertainties of their lives.