I’ve been out of touch without meaning to be.
The truth is, I’m having a hard time.
I’m not a huge fan of winter. The warmer months are when I feel my best; summer is my time to play! I plan outings of all kinds, spend a ton of time outdoors and have as much fun as possible.
With all the closures and restrictions this year, I’m feeling stifled and disappointed. I had three trips that got cancelled, one of them twice as it was originally rescheduled from April to July and then got moved again to 2021 just weeks before it was supposed to happen.
I’m in a funk. I’ve been feeling down and extremely concerned about what’s happening in the world.
AND I’m grateful – for my health, my family, having work that I love and being able to help people. I’m thankful to have a comfy, cozy home, for the wildlife right in my backyard, for the tasty, organic food in my fridge, a brand new non-toxic mattress and so much more.
We are dynamic creatures and are capable of feeling and expressing a wide variety of thoughts and emotions, many of which we’re programmed to believe are conflicting, bad or just flat out wrong.
This is such an incredible burden on our ability to be healthy!
Our emotions are incredibly impactful to our physical health. We are one – one body, one mind, one heart, one person. Every aspect of our life is interconnected and directly impacts every aspect of our health.
Here’s what I’ve been doing to support my mental and emotional health, which I hope will provide inspiration for you to honor, process and move through what may be coming up for you:
Allow: Feelings can bring significant discomfort. The more you allow yourself to feel, the faster the emotions will move through your body. This is something I continue to practice. The longer I’m intentional with it, the easier it becomes. This includes allowing yourself to be happy!
Suspend Judgement: When emotions pop up, judgement is often right behind. “If I feel this, then I must be bad/selfish/mean/vindictive”, etc. This is human thought assigning meaning to something that just is. When this happens, consider what you would say to the person you love most in the world if they were sharing their feelings with you, and say those things to yourself. Our self-talk is often the harshest, so practice being your own best friend and be kinder to yourself.
It took me a long time to even recognize my response as judgement, as it was my default. Now I recognize it much more readily and know that thoughts and emotions are just part of the human experience. I always get to choose how I react, which is much more empowering than creating judgement about what I think or feel.
Get it Out: Suppressing and judging thoughts and emotions often extends their duration and impact. Journaling, talking to someone who gets you, movement and professional support are all worthy considerations. Thankfully I have a few trusted friends I can speak very openly with. I’m finding that they are all feeling something similar. Their input and feedback validates what I’m feeling and lets me know I’m not alone.
If you don’t feel safe expressing your thoughts and feelings with someone in your life, journaling is another fantastic tool.
Some people use dance and music that mirrors what they are feeling to keep things moving. Movement helps keep everything in motion, even feelings. My morning walks are a time of reflection and processing. They are priceless! The technique is not what’s important – choosing what resonates and works for you is.
I also have a therapist that I work with who uses various holistic techniques to help me process anything I’m having trouble with on my own. What I’m perceiving as oppression in our current reality is activating old nervous system patterns of abuse and neglect, triggering helplessness, panic and fear. The work that I do with her releases stuck emotions from my past and reprograms my nervous system to create new, healthier responses.
Focus on the Good: As I move through my disappointment about what is not available to me this summer, I’m shifting my focus to what is. I love the beach, so I structure my schedule around one weekday at the beach every week. I typically put two days on hold, hoping that at least one of those days will be aligned with good weather.
I’m spending time with people I adore who aren’t afraid to be in close proximity, and I’m rethinking the ways we use the spaces in our home. I’m rearranging and organizing so that our home feels even more inviting than ever.
I’ve also been reading more and implementing financial tweaks and other lifestyle adjustments to keep enhancing the things I can.
Notice that I placed focus on the good last. If you try to bypass the other steps, you miss the benefits of feeling and processing that are vital to your well-being. Emotions can get stuck in the body in the same way that physical toxins can, and be just as detrimental.
If you are in crisis and are having a really hard time, medications for anxiety and such can also be amazing tools. They can bring the relief that is needed to allow you to focus on adding more holistic tools into your life and addressing deeper issues, which can take time.
There are physical imbalances that can also override your innate ability to address thoughts and emotions in a productive way. Your body has the ability to heal, when the right modalities are in place.
Everyone’s situation is different. It’s important to consider your body and your life as a whole, and to choose a path that’s right for your unique circumstances. If you have no idea where to start, please reach out and let me know.