Written by Selena Pirie, counsellor.
Uniquely You Counselling and Clinical Hypnotherapy
With big change, comes uncertainty.
With uncertainty comes fear.
With fear comes a desire to take control of our environment and do everything we can to think ahead, plan and know the facts.
However, this head-based fight-flight-freeze reactivity can become overwhelming.
It becomes much harder to stay grounded, think clearly, respond with care, and sleep well at night.
Given all of this, now is a great time to double the amount of self-care that we normally give ourselves.
Self-care helps us to:
- Think more clearly in times of stress
- Stay grounded in our body (get out of our heads and stop overthinking)
- Find that precious sleep that’s needed to strengthen our immune system.
Here are some ways that you can stay grounded:
Connect with your body and your breath
A 10 minute practice a couple of times a day can be all you need to help the mind stay clear and calm.
Find a space, sit and take 10-20 deep breaths using the belly and diaphragm.
Notice your body in the space, feel its connection to the ground/earth.
Don’t rush off after practice. Sit and absorb the benefits.
Simple breathing technique
- Start with a big breath in, hold it and breathe out all the way
- Now breathe in slowly to the count of four, then hold for a second
- When you hold the breath, hear the silence between breaths
- Then breathe to the count of four and hold for a second
- When you hold, feel your mind clearing as you listen for the space between
- Repeat until you feel relaxed
Connect with nature
We live in a beautiful, natural environment and have so many ways to connect with the world around us.
The beach, the lake, the back streets, even in our own backyards and houses.
Take a walk (remembering social distancing), look out of your windows, notice what you see, listen to what you can hear.
Get into your garden, weed, dig, grow something, connect with the plants!
Find a sunny spot for 10 mins a day and drink it in.
Allow the feelings
It is normal to want to avoid difficult feelings like fear, sadness, anger, frustration, discomfort and boredom.
We can have a natural tendency to run away from, suppress or distract.
If we do not allow ourselves to feel, emotions get stuck and layer on top of one another. They usually don’t disappear.
Acknowledging emotions can allow them to pass.
Be kind to yourself. Make sure the self-talk is positive.
- Take a moment to close your eyes and sit in a quiet space, or block out distraction as best as you can.
- Take a deep breath in and slowly breathe out
- Notice the physical feelings of tension in the body. Where are you holding on to it? What does it feel like?
- On the next breath out, imagine breathing the tension out of the body
- On each breath out say the following to yourself:
- “I am allowing these feelings to be present”
- “I let these feelings flow through me”
- “These feelings are causing me no harm”
- Now scan your body from head to toe and release any leftover tension