We are almost a month into living through a historically catastrophic global experience. I have to be honest with you, it has taken me this long to reach out because I’ve been busy processing all of it. I am deeply empathetic person so feeling the global impacts PLUS navigating my family through so much change has tapped me out.
And that’s OK.
You see, I’ve learned the hard way, that forcing myself to be productive, and positive-minded and chipper when I’m actually not feeling any of those things is a recipe for feeling way worse in the long run.
Self-Kindness Has Never Been So Important
A while back I wrote about the dastardly impact that hiding from emotions can have on your life, and Covid-19 and all it’s fall-out is definitely tempting to hide from!
But taking some time to feel what you’re feeling, to sit and breathe through it for a few moments is the only truly healthy way to get through this. And maybe even come out of it grounded, more resilient and able to suck the marrow out of non-distanced life.
Lordy, I can’t wait to meet a friend at a cafe, hug them till they squeak and do all those gloriously mundane things that are on pause right now.
Now, I know some of you might be thinking – if I start really feeling my fear, facing head-on how much is changing, might change, won’t ever be the same again… I’ll fall into a pit of sobbing depression that I’ll never be able to dig my way out of.
I know that’s what our minds tell us, but it just isn’t true.
After nearly 5 years of being with people in their darkest moments, facing their scariest thoughts and feelings, I can tell you without any exaggeration –
You will survive it, and you may even THRIVE because of it.
Here is a run-through of what facing your emotions looks like. This calming, grounding 5-minute technique has been helping me throughout each day of home isolation and homeschooling.
(here’s my YouTube guided meditation version for those who prefer to close your eyes and listen) –
- Notice the feeling or thought that is disturbing you, stressing you, making you tense, jumpy, irritable, reaching for the snack foods. Are you rubbing that pinch in your neck again? Are you returning to social media again even though you swore you’d take a break? Just notice that it’s happening, acknowledge that Yep, I’m feeling something crappy.
- Choose, just for a few moments (you can even set a 2-minute timer), not to hide or run from it. Take yourself somewhere still and quiet (the loo works in a pinch). Be still, put your hands on your chest and just breathe.
- With each breath, allow the feeling to be felt just a little more. Think of it like when you get into a bath or shower and you slowly let the tension melt from your body, one degree at a time. Let in your difficult emotion this way, ease into it, with each breath allow a little more of the feeling to be there.
- There may come a point when your brain wants to start problem-solving, or your body wants to get tense again. These aren’t signs to stop, these are signs to focus even more on your breathe. Feel the breath moving through you, the emotion is moving through you with each breath. Your emotions are now being processed, you are officially no longer hiding from them.
- Keep going, breathing and letting the feelings be felt. You’ll know you are ready to go back to the day-to-day when you take that one very deep breath, your chest opens, your shoulders relax and the squirrel in your brain isn’t in control anymore.
- One more thing before you get up. Take a moment to congratulate yourself for facing your fear, your hard feelings, and going all the way through.
And hey, even if you only made it part of the way, that’s still farther than you were before. And you’ll have another opportunity to try this in, oh let’s say – about 5 minutes when the next hard feeling or stressful thought pinches your shoulders blades together or pulls your brow into a deep crease. Each time you try, you are getting stronger and more resilient.
I have also been using a mindfulness principle I call “Only Here, Only Now” to take this even deeper. It’s available as a guided meditation on my Youtube channel whenever you need it.
One more thing before you dive back into your new normal – I am here for you. If you’ve never tried having a coach before, I welcome you to a free 30-minute trial. If you know you want help with your emotions, being able to be truly kind to yourself, I am offering a reduced rate for coaching during this time of change. Use the link above to book a chat with me soon as there is only so much of me to go around 🙂
Even if we only ever talk once, I am here for you. And if you give me the privilege of being your Soulful Empowerment Coach, I will be here for you 24-7.