We’ve certainly not been here before. Everything that we thought we knew, that we thought was a given, has been turned on its head. This is unfamiliar territory.
So that’s the context.
At present we are all relearning how to live in a very unfamiliar and uncertain world, one which has become smaller. Despite knowing that everyone is going through the same we can also equally feel as independently lost and alone. It’s actually really important to notice how we feel, rather than fighting it we should seek to find a way to express it. An acknowledged feeling is far less scary than the one that creeps up on us, sabotages us and takes over.
Think about a pressure cooker as it whistles away… It builds steam, using its power until it needs a release. If we ignore our feelings we too run the risk of them boiling over at the wrong time.
How might YOU be feeling ?
We are in the midst of the unknown.
COVID-19 is making its presence felt. Scientists and experts are working hard to establish best practices for treatment whilst working on the development of a suitable vaccination. Meanwhile, we have to play our part, stay put and help mitigate its impact.
The unknown can cause us to worry and threat. We worry for ourselves, our loved ones, our physical and mental health, our work and our finances.
In order to manage in uncertain times we need to recognise that worry is part of human nature. We all worry, we all share fears. Fear can show up in many ways - some might withdraw, some might become more needy, some may be emotional. When we find ourselves feeling this way we often seek reassurance, yet we seldom think of what resources we have deep within which can help us cope.
When we become anxious or fearful our breath can become faster and shallower. Our bodies recognise this agitation, we react both physically and mentally as we struggle to shake the feeling and our racing thoughts.
Slowing our breath down, practising breathing from the diaphragm can really help our nervous system to decompress and relax.
Take a moment to notice your own breath and observe the pattern. Is it shallow? Fast paced?
Our breath is a great indicator of how our nervous system is responding to a given situation. However, the good news is that there are a number of simple techniques which we can learn which will help to slow and deepen our breath.
Meanwhile, perhaps it’s worth considering speaking to someone about the fear you feel. It may be hard to acknowledge, especially if your role is to support others or represent strength at home. However, an emotion named holds less power than one we bury.
Part of you may be fearful right now but perhaps the simple act of self acknowledgement can offer mental space and distance, even if only for a short time.