Oh my goodness. Can we all agree that things are kind of crazy right now?
Everyone is experiencing their own challenges right now with the current COVID19 situation, and every challenge is valid. Some folks are unable to work (current company included). Others are trying to work from home while they now have children home full time. Some are frontline workers and facing higher risks with this virus every day, while others are caring for loved ones. Some are missing loved ones. Others are overwhelmed by not having enough alone time. The list goes on and on, and I would REALLY discourage you from getting into the comparison game. Your stress right now is valid and real. Just be with it and honour it.
Are you finding yourself feeling overwhelmed with all that is going on? Do you feel like you are not really able to remember all of those self care tools you can normally access? You aren’t alone. We are under an unusual amount of stress right now, and we are being brought back to our child state of mind because of it. We are what is commonly referred to as ‘triggered’ right now. We are being subjected to an unfamiliar situation and our brain is regressing to our child state of mind. To our childhood fears and wounds. This is SO NORMAL, and you need to be kind to yourself right now. What happens when we are in this child state or ‘triggered’ is that we forget how many tools we have now that we are adults. When we are in child state we feel vulnerable, like we need to be protected by a caretaker We are afraid of not having enough because a child doesn’t have the ability to get things for themselves.
The good news for you is that this is something you can change. You can have a list ready to help shift you out of this mental state. It’s not easy to recall these things when you are stressed, so I encourage you to make a physical list (or two or three), and post them somewhere like your fridge, bathroom mirror, or somewhere else just as obvious that you frequent. On this list you can put things that help YOU to feel calmer, more relaxed, more grounded. Make them simple, accessible, for when you are in a low energy state. For example pick up a book you’ve already read or watch a movie you already know you like instead of trying to make that decision when you are already feeling overwhelmed.
Here are some examples, and you can expand with your own specific happy list.
- wherever you are stop and take 10 slow deep breaths
- spent time in nature (walk, sit, run, garden)
- read one chapter in a book you enjoy
- write down three things you are grateful for
- take a bath, light a candle, feel the water on your skin
- put your favorite song on and dance
- watch a favorite movie
- call a friend to check in
- write an email or letter to someone you love
- bake some cookies
- stretch your body (youtube has some great yoga channels!)
- watch a ted talk on a subject you find interesting
- listen to a podcast
- draw or paint something
- organize a drawer or closet
- cook something delicious
- take 10 more deep breaths
- do 10 push-ups
- meditate (youtube has some excellent guided meditations)
- write your thoughts/feelings in a journal
- remind yourself you are going to be alright
- exchange a massage with someone if have someone else staying with you, or massage your own feet or scalp
Managing your mental and emotional stress right now will help keep your immune system strong and your body feeling healthy. It will help improve the quality of your sleep, and your waking hours will be more enjoyable.
Have fun making your list and remember to use it.
Sending light and love to all of you as we move through this together.