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Remember to STOP

Are you feeling anxious, does it seem like the walls are closing in again, well you're not alone. With all the debate about the reopening of our borders, and of course the increased community transmitted COVID cases, it isn't unusual for persons to feel more anxious and overwhelmed these days. Just having to go back to wearing masks, basically full-time again is draining. I remember when I had to put mine back on recently, as I walked into the office and I instantly felt like I couldn't breathe; I felt like I was gasping for air - I figured I looked a lot like a giant grouper with his mouth opening & closing sucking in water (lol). But it has gotten a little better, since I remind myself to STOP. Before putting it on, I take a few easy breaths to calm my nervous system and focus on breathing a bit slower as I navigate moving around with it on. I also try to be more conscious on what I need to be okay and safe for me. I try to be aware when I need to STOP:

Stop & bring myself to that moment,

Take notice of what is triggering my anxiety and Take a Breath, just breathe,

Observe what my situation is and how its affecting me, and

Proceed with loving self-compassion-you're not alone, it's okay to feel the way you do.

Recently, I joined my team for a little celebration, of another hurdle taken down and since we are going to shifts for work & uncertain when we will all be together again. It was a beautiful evening. I have the honor of working with an amazing team of ladies and a brilliant intern. Ironically, Facebook has this wonderful habit of seeming to suggest the right and sometimes wrong memory at a given moment - analytics technically, but I think everything happens timely. Well the FB memory for a year ago, that our team was out celebrating having survived COVID-Lockdown and having the opportunity to go out and socialize together- fast forward 1 year and we are celebrating time together since we are going to be working in shifts for a bit while we navigate the community transmission crisis and reopening of borders. As I reflect on a year ago, and yesterday's evening outing, it's brought feelings of anxiousness, some worry, but also a knowing of accomplishment and survival. Few years ago, after Hurricane Ivan tore through our islands, going forward, everything was measured against 2004, now the measure is 2020. We survived 2004, 2020 and we will continue to survive 2021-life as we knew it, will never be the same again.But hey, we are a people of strength, conviction and faith. So I encourage you to STOP as you navigate this next challenge and chapter in life. To remember to breathe and be compassionate & patient with yourself and others. We are in this together; you are not alone. If you need help, someone to talk to, don't hesitate to reach out, there is no shame in taking care of YOU! Stay Safe my friends.

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