This morning I sat down to write a blog post about new ways to create more momentum in your business, but all I could think about was the war in the Middle East, the ongoing suffering and the devastation to come.

So, to distract myself, I scrolled through my emails until I came to a short podcast by Mel Robbins, a motivational speaker who I like. The podcast was called “Renew Your Spirit:  Five Ways I’m Finding Hope and Strength Right Now.”

I listened to the podcast and found it to be very helpful. The message was quite similar to a blog post I wrote nineteen months ago (in March of 2022) when Russia invaded Ukraine. Today, as the tragedy in the Middle East unfolds, these words resonate again. I hope they will bring you comfort and hope during these dreadful, challenging times.

As I began to write this piece I found myself in a state of avoidance: first doing the daily Wordle puzzle, then scrolling through Facebook, then walking into the kitchen.

I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience—distracting yourself in order to avoid what’s really going on….in this case the pain of watching the news about the Middle East and the feeling of sheer helplessness as an American living in comfort so far from the tragedies of war.

I’ve donated, meditated, cried, prayed, and ruminated about the situation. I’m sure you have too.

What else can we do?

Two different messages popped up in my emails this morning: One was titled “Being OK with Not Being OK” by Laurie Santos, Yale professor and creator of the Coursera course, “The Science of Wellbeing.”  The other was called “Strategies for Cultivating Inner Calm” by Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project.”

Both of these messages resonated. It’s OK to feel sad. It’s psychologically healthy to be honest about our feelings, to confront our sadness, and to express our emotions, whether by journaling or by sharing our feelings with a friend or family member.

And there are ways to cultivate peace within, to make us more resilient during these challenging, troubling times.

As a coach, here are a few recommendations that I have made to clients and friends:

  • Limit your consumption of the news.  This is probably the most helpful tip, and may be the most difficult one for many people. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on, but a steady diet of news broadcasts and social media feeds is not going to help your inner state of being, nor can it change the situation.
  • Connect with others.  Call friends to whom you haven’t spoken in a while to say hello. Make lunch or dinner plans with others.  Reach out to your clients to see how you can best help them. Social connection is one of the keys to happiness.
  • Practice self-care.  Meditate, pray, walk in nature, take long baths, get a massage, eat more salads. Only you know the best way to take care of yourself.
  • Do something to help.  Volunteer with a local organization; raise money for a humanitarian relief group; participate in a peace vigil. Each of these actions will be impactful and meaningful. 

Yes, these are challenging times. We cannot distract ourselves from the pain, the sadness, and the suffering. And we owe it to ourselves to do whatever we can to cultivate peace within and to help in whatever ways we can.

“Do not get pulled into the darkness…and forget to love one another and help one another in need. Do what you can to help yourself and to help somebody else see the good in you and in them. If you really don’t know what to do, just smile at people.”
—Mel Robbins 

Jerri Udelson
Master Certified Coach

(505) 988-5533 – call
(617) 694-4225 – text

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