We are in the midst of a storm.

COVID-19 can feel all encompassing, unrelenting, and unpredictable. Waves of stress and anxiety have been moving through all populations, throwing people off balance and resulting in emotional upset and fatigue.

What does one do when personal steadiness is being challenged?

Find your lighthouse.

This beacon has been a historical symbol of goodwill, a navigational guide representing strength, support, and protection. Its light gives information, comfort, and warning.

During this temporary period of difficulty, it’s essential to identify what can give you moments of respite.

At Healing Winds Vermont, we want to be a navigational resource for you and your family before, during, and after your sail. Some things we are thinking about for supporting cancer patients and their families include a podcast, guest bloggers, short informative videos and a resources page on our website.

Here are some simple things you can do that may bring you to calmer waters:


Stop spinning thoughts by dropping into your body and slowing down your breath. When you focus on your breathing, you find a way to be present in the moment. When you are present in the moment, you are not worrying about the future. Slowly inhale, expanding the belly. Hold two to three seconds. Slowly exhale, bringing navel to spine. The longer you exhale, the more calming it is to the nervous system; this is why chanting can feel so relaxing.


Human touch can be very comforting. Since we are unable to benefit from professional massage right now, here is a gentle and self-soothing approach that moves lymph, enhancing immune support. Grab a pillow and place it on your lap. Bend your left arm at the elbow, resting your forearm on the pillow. Bring your right arm across your body and cup your left elbow with your right hand. Gently stroke from your elbow up the left arm to the left shoulder to the left side of the collarbone and drop down to the elbow. Repeat up to 10 times. Move to the other side.


There are many studies about the role of lavender, reducing stress, and promoting relaxation. Try a spray, an oil, or a roll-on and see how it can help. I like to put a drop on a tissue and keep it in my purse to pull out, as needed. (Please be careful with using certain essential oils around your pets, however.)

Remember When

Think about a time when you were anxious and how you transformed/toned down or eliminated that feeling – what makes you feel safe? What makes you feel loved? What is a daily ritual you engage in that grounds you?

We welcome other suggestions on what you might find most helpful and supportive. In the meantime, if you know of someone who could benefit from a beautiful escape on Lake Champlain, please nominate them today. Our plan is to have Gypsy Wind in the water by the end of May. We hope to be sailing later this summer per Governor Scott’s instructions. Stay tuned!