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Nurturing Yourself in Times of Crisis

Nurturing Yourself in Times of Crisis by Kelley Grimes at Cultivating Peace and Joy

“Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis.” 

~C.J. Redwine


Crisis seems to be ever present in our lives these days. Whether caused by violence, health challenges, or natural disasters, many of us live in a constant state of crisis management. Even if you have not experienced the crisis personally, the media pulls us in and we may feel traumatized by witnessing the crisis through our screens.


I have definitely felt the stress of the last few weeks of crisis in our country and more recently the stress of a dear family member who is hospitalized in a health crisis. As in the past when my daughter struggled with chronic health challenges, I have experience profound grief, overwhelm, and the stress of witnessing my family process this shocking decline in the health of our loved one. I have found that my usual self-nurturing activities have not been enough to refuel me during this time of increased stress.


Nurturing ourselves during normal times is essential for our health and wellbeing, but is absolutely critical during times of crisis. Nurturing ourselves allows us to gracefully respond during the crisis and lovingly nurture others through the crisis.


Here are some self-nurturing ideas to consider during times of crisis.


  1. Start with Gratitude –

Look for things you are grateful for even when things are difficult. Recognizing blessings shifts our perspective and nurtures us deeply. Simply being grateful that we are alive can empower and energize us.


  1. Remain Updated –

Knowing what is happening during a crisis is very important, but we must be mindful we do not fuel our anxiety by listening to too much information or watching distressing images. Finding the balance between staying informed but not adding to your stress is the key.


  1. Stay Connected to Family and Friends –

Finding ways to feel connected to family and friends during a crisis decreases our feelings of isolation and grief that can arise in a crisis. Knowing that we are loved and appreciated and showing others they are too is very nurturing and gives us hope.


  1. Keep Some Regular Routine –

If possible continue some of the regular activities of your day, including self-nurturing activities like exercise, eating nourishing food, meditation and/or prayer and sleep. Maintaining some normalcy can be very supportive and help shift us out of a crisis mindset.


  1. Laugh and Have Fun –

Sometimes it seems impossible to feel lighthearted during times of crisis but nothing shifts our perspective quicker than to laugh and have some fun. Allowing ourselves to feel some joy even when we are experiencing difficult times can refuel us like nothing else and enable us to thrive.


  1. Do Something to Help Others –

Reaching out to others in need during times of crisis can be very empowering and give us perspective about our own suffering. Donating to a relief organization or writing a thank you to first responders, health care workers, or those who supported you in a crisis can be a deeply nurturing experience.


  1. Spread Love and Light in the World –

Knowing that the most important thing we have to give in the world is our love, compassion, and kindness, I invite us all to be generous. We have the power to transform crisis into gratitude and grace by spreading more love and light in the world. Being love and light is nurturing and healing for the receiver and the giver and brings hope to the most challenging of situations.


May you find ways to nurture yourself and others during times of crisis and may you nurture peace in the world from the inside out.

Kelley Grimes

Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,

Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker

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Join the discussion 24 Comments

  • Debra Reble says:

    Beautiful grounding post Kelley! Thank you for this timely post that we need in these challenging times. Thank you for being a bright light in the world.

  • Suzie Cheel says:

    Yes spread love and light as then we can take the focus off the crisis. Gratitude powers us up to and I use Ho’oponopono
    Great post thanks Kelley xxoo

    • I love that spreading love and light can transform a crisis and give us something empowering to do when life seems outside our control. I love Ho’oponopono and my gratitude practice as well. Thank you so much for your comment Suzie!

  • Jill Celeste says:

    Hi, Kelley! This is such an important message today (this day, this week, this month, this year…). Just in the U.S., we are seeing so much crisis. Remembering to love yourself during these times is so important. xoxo

    • You are so right Jill. Remembering to love and nurture ourselves throughout our lives and especially when dealing with a crisis is so critical to help us respond with love rather than react from fear. I am very grateful for your comment Jill!

  • Thank you Kelly for this supportive post. You eco my thoughts exactly. These are all things that I have found helpful during my own grieving process. Being love and light and in the world is another thing that I find helpful as well. <3

    • Thank you so much for your comment Kara. I really appreciate that you have found these practices supportive in your grieving process and that you are a love ambassador in the world!

  • My youngest daughter and I have a way we remind each other to be grateful when a crisis hits: “We still have a roof over our heads, food on the table, we all have our health and each other. Nothing else matters, and we will get through this.” It has helped us during some pretty dark moments in our lives.

    • I love your reinforcement with your daughter that you will get through this together – what a gift! I plan to bring that wisdom to my mother. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Kris Groth says:

    Great message! I love how you broke it down so simply! Gives the feeling of ” ok, I can do this!” Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom!

  • Andrea says:

    Sometimes there are national news stories that strike too close to home. They feel like personal crises. In addition, like you, I’ve been dealing with a health emergency with someone close. It feels like a lot because it IS a lot. Thank you for this important reminder.

  • Reba Linker says:

    Yes. We live in challenging times – and what a brilliant opportunity to ‘stretch our spiritual muscles’ and do everything in our power to stay in a state of love rather than get constricted by fear, anger and pain. Simple, but not easy. Thank you, Kelley, for your perfect suggestions!

    • I love how you put that Reba to stay in a state of love rather than constricted by fear, anger and pain. Yes, we all have a brilliant opportunity to stretch our spiritual muscles for sure and nurturing ourselves in the process will help us be sustainable in these challenging times. Thank you so much for your comment!

  • These are great suggestions for when we’re dealing with a crisis. It’s not easy to remember that in crisis, we probably need more self-care than at any other time. These steps are all doable. Thanks for sharing.

  • Such and important topic! Thank you for the tips, the skills, that we can choose to use. ❤️

  • Tarah says:

    Beautiful! Love and light:)

  • I totally love how this checklist is so soothing to the soul. I do remember some of my major crisis episodes…and I do know, that I have come a long way from being the ego driven girl to the grounded calm one. It takes an immense amount of inner work aka nurturing to come to a stage where you can find a solution in the crisis rather than become the crisis. That quote is so so apt!
    xoxo, Z~

    • I love that you found my self-nurturing strategies soothing to the soul Zeenat! I agree that takes an immense amount of inner work and self-nurturing to be the solution in a crisis rather than the crisis itself. Thank you so much for your comment!

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