How are you? How are you feeling in your body? Are you staying in that body and breathing? (I’m trying too.) Let’s take a deep breath… And one more….Count in for 4, hold for 4, count out for 4 and hold out for 4… Repeat.
These are some wildly unpredictable times and in the spirit of staying physically distanced but socially connected, we must do what we can to get the support we need.
When we feel uncertain, we look for ways to get control. Are you experiencing that in your life? It’s like the world is spinning and we want to grab onto something to stay stable….Except we don’t realize that by grabbing on, we’re fighting the rotation and making things harder. We’re feeding the thoughts that say “I can’t handle this” instead of the more useful ones that remind us we WILL get through this.
When things are uncertain, we get scared and fear brings up scarcity(toilet paper hoarding) and anxiety. As counter intuitive as it is, now becomes the most important time to find our humanity, generosity and compassion. Exhausted and panicked minds do not have access to those emotions and that’s why I’m writing to you today and offer some things to help.
Only control what you can and practice letting go of the rest. I know, there’s a lot of suffering and fear right now and sometimes it feels like there’s a 20 pound weight on your chest. You cannot control this pandemic, but you can control how you respond. You can control the amount of news you take in. You can control what you decide to do with your body today. You can control what social media you digest and which friends you interact with. If you want to and if you choose to you can make some choices today. Some of those choices can directly benefit you and/or others. You can choose to not self-destruct today. And if you’re struggling to do any of these things, you can choose to be kind to yourself about that.
Get Moving – When you’re stressed out do you get headaches/migraines or body tension? Find yourself feeling lethargic or jittery and restless? Anxiety tends to somaticize in our bodies and these are really common reactions. It’s such an important time to release some of that tension and replace it with healthy endorphins. Luckily, there are so many possibilities at home now for anti-perfectionistic stress reducing work outs. (I personally am really finding joy in Ryan Heffingtons IG live dance parties. Whatever you decide to do, tap into your body, see what it wants and go from there.
Free your mind – Our minds are hard wired for stress. Anxiety is an instinctual program that’s meant to keep us safe when we’re in danger. There’s a healthy level of anxiety that keeps us aware, washing our hands, staying informed, socially distancing and being cautious…The only problem is that this mechanism is firing all the time when we’re not actually in danger and prevents us from living our lives. It keeps us in fear and discomfort. It’s perfectly normal to be anxious right now, making this the time to practice real self-care.“But what does that look like?”…When you wake up and your anxiety says “I can’t survive this”, that’s the time to dig deep and to reprogram your self-talk. We will get through this. I am safe today. My loved ones are safe today. I can jump. I can scream. I can meditate. I can bake. I can read a book. I can talk to a friend or even a therapist (gasp!). I am not obligated to attach myself to the news 24/7.
Remember, you are not alone, and we will get through this together. We will get through this. You have permission to say it out loud “We will get through this”. Feelings are not facts and when it feels like this will last a lifetime – use those resilient mind muscles and gently remind yourself that this is temporary.
I am currently doing video and phone sessions while working on how to best serve others in this difficult time. No one should feel out of support during this time so PLEASE reach out to me. If for nothing else, I can recommend helpful books, meditations or even one of those dance classes (they really are healing!)