I wanted to share some further thoughts, and my learnings, from this current situation, in the hope that it might offer encouragement and some useful ideas and tips.
Bearing in mind that we’re in information overload at the moment, I’ll keep the posts short and hopefully easy to read.
When the Coronavirus lockdown started, it initially prompted me to reach out to offer support to anyone who might be suffering anxiety in these strange and unsettling times. Having been in that dark place of uncertainty myself, it’s my passion to hold space for others who are going through the same experience.
But then I received 2 pieces of news which knocked me off balance and I realised that the situation was affecting me more deeply than I had allowed myself to admit.
I therefore took a few days to go within and rest; to face the ‘dark and messy’ side of my emotions. I’d pushed this aside at first, making other people’s needs a priority, but I came to realise that this was actually me slipping into ‘helper’ mode, as this felt easier than facing my own feelings. However, this is not a sustainable way of being.
** I needed to hold space for myself before I could hold it fully for another.
** I needed to address my own pain before I could be fully present for another to explore theirs.
I’ve written about this before, and so I ‘should’* know better ( ???? ) but these are exceptional times, bringing new and unexpected challenges, so it’s easy to get caught unawares.
The silver lining is that it triggered me and pushed old buttons which, having been brought to the forefront of my awareness, I’m better able to explore, and delve into the underlying issues, taking steps to support myself in learning and practicing living by my phrase of the year: #JustBe.
What I would like to share from this experience is this:
- Wherever you are right now, and whatever your response to what’s going on around you, it’s ok!
- Our response to a situation is as individual and unique as we are.
- Our feelings are not good or bad, right or wrong*. They just are
- Be gentle with yourself. If you’re struggling, take some time out. Rest and give yourself whatever time and space you need.
- It’s ok to use this ‘pause’ as a time for self-care. You could try things like:
- reading a book you’ve been wanting to read for ages
- watching uplifting movies / TV programmes
- cooking from scratch
- cuddling with your pet(s)
- spending some time each day in the fresh air – even if this just means opening your window
- taking time out from the news and media
- learning a new skill, or going back to an old one
- doing some Spring cleaning
- moving your body – walking / yoga / stretching – any gentle exercise to keep you active and shift your energy
Tomorrow I’ll share some further thoughts, and in the meantime, if you have any comments, please post below, or feel free to contact me:
- 07980 669303
*Another important form of self-care is to pay attention to our self-talk. We are often our own worst critic and regularly speak to ourselves in ways that are not supportive. This includes using words like ‘but’, ‘either … or’ ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘need to’ and ‘ought to’. They send us a message of restriction, expectation and lack. Instead we can look at ways to use more uplifting words such as ‘and’, ‘in addition to’, ‘as well as’, ‘at the same time’, ‘choose to’ and ‘love to’.