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Advocacy, authority, and stamina: Little moves to make a big difference

How are you holding up? Last week was deeply personal and scary for a lot of people, myself included.


On Instagram, I shared a 1-minute video blueprint about how to create an "Emergency Plan"—an I’m so blindsided I can’t see straight and I’m barely keeping my head above water plan—to support your health through high stress periods. It's a very quick summary of the exercise in Chapter 9 of The Habit Trip:


"Each reinforcement you build here is a part of your safety zone. When the world is spinning too fast, all you have to do is plant your feet or grab on. No thinking required. These supports are crucial for lasting progress. They prevent you from collapsing under the weight of unexpected crises and sustain you through daily indignities that feel like death by a thousand cuts. They hold you up like a frenzied crowd at a stadium show. When all is lost, you can throw your head back and surf your way to the safety of the stage."


If you're feeling defeated and have the book on hand, skip straight to Chapter 9. These core reinforcements can be helpful to keep things stable. If you don't have the book, the video will tell you everything you need to know to identify your own list of accessible, go-to sources of relief.


Beyond that, I want to send two reminders:


1. ACTION helps.


This is a physiological fact. Bessel van der Kolk, MD, wrote about it in his book, The Body Keeps the Score. When people are in highly stressful situations after tornados, floods or personal tragedies, taking action reduces stress hormones in the blood and helps people process and, ultimately, move through what happened to them with considerably less internalized trauma.


Some of the ways my clients are doing this are: getting together with friends, making donations, renewing passports, checking their voter registration, redecorating key spaces in their homes to create a sense of comfort, adopting pets, volunteering, cooking, changing jobs, cleaning out closets, mowing the grass, swimming with kids... and the list goes on.


2. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY can make you stronger.


I've been on a walking and yoga kick in recent months, but this week, I've been drawn to my personal training roots from ages ago: I'm craving weight lifting. POWER. Not everyone will be in that headspace right now, but if you can find one physical thing to do each day that makes you feel powerful, it can help your body—and your mindset—a lot.


The thing you choose can be as quick as a single push-up with your hands on the edge of a couch or countertop or a ten-second plank. It can be one daily walk, one bike ride, one back stretch that makes you feel a little more okay. You can try a backbend or a handstand or simply reach for your toes at night before bed—anything to reclaim strength or flexibility in your body. These things are well within our power and cannot be taken away by anyone. Ever.


Find something that makes you feel strong, and build it into your day. No choice is too small, and everything matters.


If you want more information on connecting well-being with advocacy, authority, and stamina, check out my book, Physical Disobedience.


Take care of yourself, and please reach out if you need support.


Sarah

 

This week at Forbes I got to research all the ways dogs can impact our mental and physical health and 5 things to keep in mind if you're thinking about getting a pup!


I love this one so much. Thank you, First-Time Dog Mom for the question!


Have a question of your own? Send it to me here! It's 100% anonymous.

 

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Past posts can be found HERE.

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