With everything becoming more and more expensive in Lebanon, I’m doing a different kind of saving. I’m saving my energy, and I’m avoiding spending my time and energy on things and people that drain me or kill my vibe.
I’m also avoiding talking to people when my vibe is low so that I don’t affect anyone negatively. I’m trying not to vent or complain.
I’m working on being mindful. My diet and sleeping habits are a work in progress, and exercise is so so at the moment, but I’m trying. I’m avoiding the news, but not completely. I’m learning to listen more and talk less.
My patience still needs some calibration but using my energy on things like monopoly with my son and eating ice cream and reading and writing.
I’m not naive. I know the situation in Lebanon is really bad, and I am affected by it, but what use is it to panic or mope? The body reacts to stress in fight or flight, but it’s possible to protect your energy and not let the stress of your environment get to you as much.
How to protect your energy:
1. Cut down on social media use:
Facebook and Instagram can be addicting. You can go on for a minute and end up scrolling for hours. That’s a lot of time wasted when you could be doing something productive or spending time with your family. What’s worse is seeing other people doing things you wish you could do but can’t, like when I see other people traveling and hiking and going out without kids, I feel a pang in my chest sometimes. To protect yourself, don’t go on social media when you are feeling discontent or vulnerable.
2. Set healthy boundaries:
Our loved ones are the most people who push our boundaries. They invade our space, offer unsolicited advice, and feel entitled to control our decisions, all in the name of love. It’s tricky dealing with people who operate under “if you love me, you’ll do as I say”. It’s important to set boundaries without cutting ties with your loved ones. I can’t exactly tell you how to do that because I’m still working on it, but being assertive, kind and persistent are key. If you let a loved one cross a boundary once, they will do it all the time.
3. Practice self-care:
I have multiple blog posts on this topic. There are so many ways in which you can practice self-care. Some examples are taking a nap when you need it, going out for a walk, and talking to a loved one.
This is something I have tried but have not managed to master. For the time being, I’m not meditating, but given my elevated stress levels and my resting heart rate being 86 to 92, a meditation session may be overdue. I have recently downloaded an app that mimics nature sounds for a scheduled time to help me sleep. It helps and is one form of meditation. Other forms of meditation include but are not limited to focused breathing, body scanning, and yoga.
5. Spend time in nature:
I recently went to the beach and it is so relaxing, minus having to supervise my son and make sure he didn’t drown. There is something magical about waves and how they manage to wash my worries away. The horizon is so far away, it makes me feel like possibilities are infinite, that everything is possible and no problem is too big. Trees are another story. The rustling of leaves against the wind are music to my ears.
I tried to share the audio that I’m currently listening to but I wasn’t able to. It’s a mixture of birds chirping, leaves rustling, and a waterfall. Imagine that! How calm and serene.