We’re all experiencing some measure of discomfort, feeling unsure and fear. It’s a current that runs through our lives every day during this time of isolation. We feel tired some days and energized on other days for no obvious reason. Nothing feels consistent except the anxiety that seems to sit behind everything we do. It’s easy to allow our thoughts to wander to the darkest places and it’s difficult to get ourselves back on track. It’s equally important to take a look at all of it and to care for ourselves so that we manage our feelings and our thoughts sensibly. Remember it’s our natural instinct to focus on the negative, however we have to override the negative with better options.
1. Catch your thoughts
Be aware of how you feel when you’re starting to feel the wave of negativity. Remind yourself that everything is fine (perhaps not ideal but fine) then look for one reason why everything is fine. Look for a few things you’re grateful for.
2. Feel the feels
We’re all experiencing some strange conditions but are we allowing ourselves to feel the strangeness? Feel sad? That’s fine. Feel frustrated? Understood. Feel angry? Yes. Feel happy? Okay. It’s important to acknowledge and accept our feelings, especially when it can feel like we’re at the circus emotionally. Accepting whatever is going on when it feels dark, shines a light into the darkness and takes away some of its power. Please resist the urge of your thinking mind to judge yourself for whatever you’re feeling and remember that there is support for you when you need it. The key here is to ask for it.
3. Soothe your spirit
Whatever it is that makes you feel calm. Do that. A consoling recommendation is the Calm app, where you can access the relaxing sounds of the ocean or a rainforest anytime you need it. There are free meditations as well and of course other apps that provide similar tools. Epsom salts bubble baths are another great stress reliever. Try journaling to write down whatever you’re feeling, get it out and lightens you up. Music is a powerful soother because it connects with our in house pharmacy to release chemicals into the body. Loud rhythmic music releases adrenaline which keeps us awake; by contrast relaxing music lowers cortisol, the stress hormone.
4. Stay connected.
We were made to be part of a community; while it is an effort these days to stay connected with our loved ones, it’s important for our emotional wellness. It doesn’t have to be a profound connection either, casual conversation is perfect.
5. It’s okay to not be helpful.
For those of us who love to help others, it’s especially important right now to ensure that you’re helping yourself first. Resist the temptation to compare your experience with anybody else’s. Some people feel charged and have energy to give to others and some of us need to work on filling our own tank.
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