“Just a friendly reminder, there is no right way to feel right now”
- Cleo Wade
Life is full of unexpected experiences. The covid-19 virus has encouraged many of us to s l o w down, take a look inward and spend more time and energy with ourselves and those who are closest to us. This can be a very strange and surreal experience, and in the midst of the chaos, utter fear, uncertainty and confusion of it all, there is also beauty in it as well. Of doing less, simplifying, taking things one day and even one moment at a time. People become more mindful, appreciate the little things and enjoy things they once (many just days ago) took for granted.
When the future is unknown, we are forced to take a good hard look at what really matters, in our core and in our hearts. Whether you are a healthcare worker, have an essential job that requires you to be out on the front lines (thank you thank you thank you for all that you do!) or are now working from home and juggling family/career, have a career that is on hold or in jeopardy, are feeling lonely/stuck/frustrated by being quarantined or whatever your personal experience may be, this is H.A.R.D.
So, I invite you to be gentle with yourself...
Humans have responded to the stress of the pandemic in different ways. Some freeze in their fear, some attempt to go on as normal, while others act out with those who may disagree with their views, and still others go on a mission to speak their truth or start a program to take action and help those in need. One way to take the pressure off yourself is to consider the difference between what is within and without of your control. Let go of things you cannot control, and focus on what you CAN....
Here are some tools that can be helpful when letting go of what we can’t control and focus on what we can:
Limit exposure to news and social media as this can drive up levels of stress and anxiety for many. While most want to be informed and up to date on what is happening in our world, choose news sources wisely. If you find yourself going down a rabbit hole, take a break and re-shift by choosing a grounding technique taking a nap or shower, releasing energy through exercise, or indulging in a hobby instead.
Set boundaries... If you are engaged in heated conversations online or with friends/family/coworkers, it is appropriate to remove yourself from those situations. If you’re feeling triggered, put your phone away or turn off your tv, tell people that you can no longer engage in a conversation about (social distancing, covid-19, etc).
Journal... If you are not someone who regularly journals, now can be a great time to start doing so. Writing down your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis I can be healing and at times cathartic. I highly recommend The Holistic Psycholgist who practices “future self-journaling” which is a great way you start your day with a clear and focused state of mind. Follow her on Instagram at @The Holistic Psycholgist for great information on ego work, boundaries, self healing and the inner child.
Begin a Ritual: Rituals are habits that can help us feel grounded and in control, even in times when other parts of our days/lives are out of control.
Practice Radical Acceptance... Although what is happening in our society is unlike anything we have ever experienced, and is frankly quite hard to wrap our heads around, practicing radical acceptance simply means that we acknowledge what happened/is happening, because fighting reality only intensifies our emotional reaction.
Lean in...to what you’re feeling and noticing. Be gentle with yourself, with friends, family, children and loved ones. If and when you’re feeling triggered, ask yourself-what do I need right now, in this moment? A cold shower? A good hard cry? Being outside? A warm meal? Someone safe to talk to? Whatever it is, allow yourself this time to give your body and mind what you need, in small doses throughout the days and weeks to come.
If you or someone you know is struggling with fears or concerns about covid-19, or just life in general, reach out. At Perissos Therapy, we are here- to lean in, listen and to hold space for you.