Because you always matter, I’m reaching out to you at this time in the spirit of tranquility, connection, and hopefully making a difference.
Life as we have known it has been radically disrupted. Our sense of normalcy has been upended: much of what we have taken for granted has been taken away. We are living with many unknowns including when this will all be behind us. Our very trust in the world has been replaced with uncertainty, well-founded fears, and the expectancy of further broad and deep impact to our lives. Efforts to keep up to date on the current crisis only meet with increased horror and feelings of being overwhelmed.
I don’t wonder why my clients are speaking of anxiety, fear, depression, a gripping sense of having no control, and the angst of isolation. Even our sessions have been robbed of the safety and holding of personal presence.
Are you feeling as if your life has fallen apart? Let’s consider how you might pick up the pieces, recreate wholeness, and continue to weave the story of your life.
Find some time and a quiet, pleasant space, and spend some moments just for you. Create a setting of relaxation and calm. Practice mindfulness, meditation, or visualize a place of peace and tranquility. Imagine the details that you would experience through each of your senses in this place. For some people, soft, relaxing music enhances this effort. Breathe slowly and deeply.
Identify what feelings you are having and notice where they are in your body. Don’t judge or fight whatever you are feeling. No feeling is wrong, and it is important to be aware of whatever you feel. Managing feelings and moving forward begins with understanding and accepting them. Feelings are not who you are, and you do not need to allow them to dictate how you respond. It can be helpful to ask yourself at what other times you have felt the same. Consider if those situations have any common denominators with what you are currently experiencing. Any associations may offer the wisdom of experience to you, and the relief of comfort and hope in this time. Finding and naming your feelings will not give them power over you. It will bring you the capacity to understand and manage them effectively.
Our thoughts often create how we feel. As you reflect, listen closely to what you are saying to yourself in your head. As many thoughts and random words float around in your head, which ones are you attaching to and allowing to take up residence in your mind? Find which thoughts relate to your feelings. Be curious about this connection. Reality check your thoughts. Are the assumptions in your mind true? Be deliberate about correcting erroneous and unhelpful thinking. Choosing effective and accurate thoughts will improve how you feel.
Many people benefit from putting their thoughts and feelings on paper. Are you willing to give this a try?
Begin by listing those thoughts you have identified as unhelpful, inaccurate assumptions, or associated with uncomfortable feelings. You might want to note the feelings associated with each of these thoughts. Create another list of more positive, accurate, and comforting thoughts, at least one for each of your unhelpful thoughts. If you reflect on it, you may notice some relief of the feelings your earlier, automatic thoughts produced.
I wish you the comfort of contemplation.