Our Secret Weapon for Challenging Times


This morning after several days of thinking, ‘I should be writing my newsletter, but with everything going on, I don’t know what to say,’ I decided to simply remind us all about our Secret Weapon:

We choose what we focus on. That’s it.

Over the last year, I’ve gone through periods of watching the news nonstop. At first, it helped me understand the pandemic challenges and learn how to take care of myself and my family. As dark as the pandemic news has been, lately our news has gotten darker. Our heartaches have multiplied, and our hope has waned.

Honestly, I was really happy to come across an article today that I wrote about the secret weapon when I was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

That year, which was filled with fear, anger, disappointment, and shock, forced me to look for strategies to help me calm down and carry on. To find beauty and hope.

I came to understand that what I focused on made the biggest difference.

This secret weapon helps me now, as well. Lately, I have been practicing focus by:

1. Listening to what inspires me, including music, motivational speakers, and books on tape.

2. Watching mostly upbeat things. The news is unsettling, so I watch just enough to be aware of current events, and then I switch my focus to something that isn’t stressful – for example, my favorite episodes of Schitt’s Creek. (Seriously, I watch one episode every night before I go to bed, because it makes me chuckle and forget my worries for a little while.)

3. Actively seeking out what makes me laugh or feel happy. I am so happy to have adopted my dog, Biscuit. She has a goofy, drunk-dog grin. She has pep in her step ALL THE TIME. I also talk to a certain friend, who has the funniest takes on the silliest things. And I’ve never regretted painting my home office turquoise. IKR?

4. I spend time sorting out how I’m feeling and what I’m needing. Then, I make requests of myself and others to get my needs met. This process brings me comfort and certainty. (I teach this process to my coaching clients and in my Emotional Eating Masterclass, if you’re interested. It’s a life changer!)

5. Practicing being present in my life. Focusing on the moment is profoundly calming for me. I tune in to the sounds around me; notice physical sensations; scan my body for tension and emotion; and notice what is beautiful or soothing in the moment – like the night sky. All of this helps me to self-soothe.

6. Personally, I love focusing on my work, too. I am offering a complimentary online workshop this week, on Thursday evening, January 14th about creating a self-care blueprint for 2021. Go here to learn more and to register: https://barisupport.com/events/category/workshops/

My loves, please experiment with the powerful secret weapon of choosing your focus. There are endless possibilities – and please feel free to share with me what works for you!

To survive stressful times, it’s critical to practice self-compassion, self-kindness, and self-care. The more you choose your focus, the calmer and more centered you’ll be.