Last month, Arianna Huffington published a call to arms on the mental health crisis we find ourselves in. It’s easy to become myopically focused on the disease itself, but it’s even easier to miss the lives that this pandemic has claimed indirectly. In 2020, we saw a mental health pandemic work hand in hand with the virus. As we’ve all shifted into a new paradigm, we’ve all learned to function in it, but our adaptation has come with drawbacks.

As a practitioner of yoga and a people manager in Corporate America, I want to share practical tools drawn from my experiences for you to employ in your daily life.

Leading in times of adversity

Managing in a mental health pandemic comes with its challenges. It demands a different level of listening and empathizing, of coaching, and of elevating my team. Communication and compassion have to come hand in hand. According to National Institutes of Health, “Mental health problems have an impact on employers and businesses directly through increased absenteeism, negative impact on productivity and profits, as well as an increase in costs to deal with the issue. In addition, they impact employee morale adversely.”

My oldest sister, a medical practitioner, shared this powerful message with me:

“In the last year, I’ve had to use all available resources from my internal medicine training. I’ve been encouraging my patients, coworkers, and loved ones to dig into lifestyle changes that help promote mental health and well-being. Advice includes, but not limited to deep breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, healthy eating and keeping active.” 

Maryslenni Gil, M.D., Internal Medicine Physician in rural Arizona

Yoga is a way of life. Yoga truly is a technology for happiness. 

Yoga can apply to leadership in business, community and complicated family interactions. Yoga reminds us to look inward to find lasting happiness, lasting fulfillment, a sense of self worth, inner stability and a deep joy. 

10 tools for well-being in action 

  • Breathe: Practice gratitude by acknowledging your ability to breathe. Try Ujjayi Pranayama breath to strength your lungs.
  • Write: Journaling helps us find words to feelings that we can’t unravel through speech.
  • Move: The endorphins that are triggered matter most as you introduce movement into your day.
  • Meditate: You may be unconsciously meditating already. Cleaning, cooking, walking, etc. Any activity where your thoughts flow freely is meditation in action. Mantra meditation is my personal favorite as I do any activity. 
  • Long hot salt bath: Healing qualities of the salt soothe you physically, mentally and emotionally.
  • Books: Knowledge is power.
  • Movies: Find catharsis as you stream your favorite series.
  • Time with loved ones: Whether it’s quiet time together or talking things out.
  • Acupuncture: Like Yoga, Acupuncture also works with energy. It unblocks energy channels to help our body function as its meant to function. Blocked energy channels result in illness, and that includes mental, emotional and physical maladies. 
  • Western Licensed Practitioners: If none of the above helps, consider reaching out to these practitioners whether via an app or telemedicine.

Remember: be the type of energy that no matter where you go, you always add value to the spaces & lives around you. I’m honored to open the door to healing for you and your loved ones. I’m going to continue to share my knowledge on self-love, healing, and showing compassion.

For the full length version of this post, please feel free to read it here.