Flourishing through adversity

Sarah Jane Woods – Coach for women

There has never been a more important time to nourish ourselves so that we can flourish through this rapidly changing world. As we all face the pandemic of Covid – 19, how we think, feel and behave through this will make the difference to how swiftly we can adapt to life changes after this storm has past.

The idea behind my flourishing ethos, is to stay grounded through our roots and practice maintaining our energy balance and harmony so that we can maintain a sense of stability and emerge from this with grace.

Here are my thoughts for not only coping through this difficult time, but also taking as much suffering out of the experience as possible.  A wise woman once said, “Pain is an obligatory part of life. Suffering is optional”.


Accepting that this crisis will naturally raise our levels of anxiety is a first step. We will all be affected in some way and things may never be the same again. Anxiety thrives on uncertainty and change.  This can be a difficult reality to face for many of us and our natural instincts are either to ignore it and hope it goes away, or to spread our anxiety and panic. None of this will help that much.

What will help, is taking personal and moral responsibility for ourselves and those that we care for who cannot care for themselves. We cannot give from an empty cup so always fill yours first.

Slow down and plan your day

Focus on taking one day at a time and act in baby steps. I believe the more fragile you are feeling, the slower you need to go. Wake up gently and think about what you are thankful for and what you want to achieve for the day.

Practise jotting down a success list. Put the top 3 things that you will do for yourself first, followed by the top 3 things that’s you would like to achieve in the world. 

Check in with yourself regularly. Mealtimes are good for this. Check in more often if needed. Monitor if you have been distracted away from your success list, and if so get straight back to the next task. If you have ticked something off, make sure you take the time to celebrate it.

Practice Mindfulness

This is a practical, beneficial and easy thing we can all do to stay grounded and reduce feelings of helplessness and anxiety whilst we protect ourselves and others.

Try making washing your hands for a full 20secs into a positive ritual. You could use positive affirmations whilst washing them, notice the feel of the soap in your hands and enjoy the sense of cleanliness, or perhaps remind yourself that you are showing love to others and yourself by practising this. Remember to regularly moisturise too, so that your skin does not dry out. 

Make not touching your face into a mindfulness game. Try noticing when you want to touch your eyes, nose and mouth and how many times can you stop yourself doing so. Chalk it up on a wall and challenge your family to do them same.

If you can, practising meditation more often can really help you to train your mind to keep a balanced, calm perspective. It has also been scientifically proven to raise your immunity, so there is no better time or reason to start than now.

Monitoring your energy levels

We can change the way we think and feel. We just need to know that this is a scientifically recognised fact and it just takes practice.

Check in with yourself and notice when you feel OK and when you don’t.  Be curious and ask yourself, what have I been doing, listening to or experiencing that has made me feel this way?

If the feeling is a negative feeling, get up and do something else. Then decrease your exposure to what triggered that response.

If the feeling is positive, then note it down and do it more often.

Just move!

Age old advice, but it is the one thing that if everyone did, the impact would be incredible for mental well being, increased immunity and keeping us mobile.

You can move anywhere anyhow, just move! Make it fun! Dig out your old Wii Fit that’s gathering dust and challenge yourself. Find an old exercise DVD you used to enjoy. Move up and down your stairs, it almost doesn’t matter what you do, just do it safely to increase your energy and your feel-good hormones will kick in. The more you do, the better you will feel.

If you are feeling down or anxious, this is the fastest way to change how you feel. Challenge yourself every day to do a little more. There is so much out there on the internet to help you, I love to put my music on and dance!

Limit your inputs

Keep up to date with latest news but do so earlier in the day and limit your viewing to 15/20 mins a day. Keep to the facts and follow that advice and guidance to protect yourself and others.

Ask yourself if you are comparing, catastrophising or generalising information internally. Leave the speculation to the people who have all the facts. If you want a good night’s sleep do not watch the news before bedtime.

Limit your social media and be mindful of what you share.  Spreading pictures of empty supermarket shelves, judging people for panic buying or spreading conspiracy theories is not helpful and it just increases social anxiety. The media does enough of this, be a channel for positive messages and fun and you will attract the same.

Create a morning and evening routine that no matter what happens through your day, it cannot be affected. This will give you a sense of certainty and calm but also the ability to stay adaptable and flourish through adversity.

Much love and light always


SJ Signature Green

Sarah Jane Woods
Life Coach for Women

Sarah Jane is an NLP practitioner who believes that when we treat ourselves with the utmost care, our lives transform. We live free of fear, worry, doubt and anxiety and find the confidence to be ourselves every day. We find more time to do the things that are important; to love more wholeheartedly, to be grateful for what we have and to make a true difference to the lives of others.

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