Updated: Jul 5
Now that your reflections have brought increased awareness of your thoughts and feelings, as well as, some tools to help you to choose improved responses, let’s consider the value of refocusing. Think of it as deliberately choosing what you will put the spotlight on.
Do you like gifts? There may be gifts to be drawn from your moments of reflection. This experience may have pointed the way to defining your emotional, psychological, and spiritual NEEDS , particularly during this time of suffering. Put the spotlight on your needs. Focus on how you can meet them. For example, if you are feeling lonely in your healthy isolation, how can you make concerted efforts to connect with others in safe ways? You can certainly phone and Facetime people. If you are missing your weekly lunches with friends, why not have a group Facetime while you enjoy a lunch you have made for yourself. How about a virtual book club? Missing your walks with your usual companion? You can still get your steps in by walking solo. If you can do so safely, you might connect with your friend by phone during your walk. Better yet, being alone is an opportunity to listen to the birds, connect with nature, and really feel the kind of day it is. Time with yourself is a priceless gem. A little creativity and willingness to adapt can help you to meet important needs in new ways at this time.
Remember the feelings you noticed during your time of reflection? Define your PREFERRED FEELINGS. These may not be as easily attainable at this time and may take some new adaptations to achieve. Your success with this also becomes a skill you will always have. If you would like to feel calm and in control rather than overwhelmed, stop for a moment, tap into your creativity, and find those avenues within the restrictions of the current reality. If you arrive at your calm place in your yoga class, consider doing yoga alone at home or with the aid of a video. You can’t go to your spa right now. You can create a similar atmosphere at home, listen to relaxing music, meditate, be mindful, rest, do visualizations, or journal. Do puzzles, painting, or handicrafts bring you a sense of calm? Explore new ways to create tranquility.
If doing your job or accomplishing errands lend you a sense of control and you have a yearning to feel that again, try bringing some attention and energy to some of those projects at home you have been meaning to get to.
We are all in this crisis together even though we are isolated from one another. Making a difference for someone else is a part of experiencing control in a positive way. How about reaching out in a safe way to someone who needs connection? Recently, there was a story circulating about a young man who visited his grandfather at the assisted living facility. No visitors were allowed in, so he sat outside his grandfather’s room and spoke through the window and played his guitar. I’m thinking his grandfather was not the only one uplifted by this gesture of caring and love.
When considering REFLECTION, I mentioned that feelings, thoughts, and expectations you are experiencing now may in part, be derived from your subtle ASSOCIATIONS FROM THE PAST. While the specifics of these situations may be very different, the feelings engendered are most important. For example, if you are overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness, does it all belong to this current time? The feelings of helplessness related to the current reality, for example, may be exacerbated by the day in your life that you learned your parents were getting a divorce and there was nothing you could do to stop it. Recognizing that can help you separate the sources of your feelings and decrease the power your feelings have over you now. Focusing on what you can control currently will also help you realize you have more control than you were thinking.
Think of REFOCUSING as turning away from what creates unhelpful or painful experiences and selectively towards that which offers you possibility, hope and those positive preferred feelings.
Certainly, none of us can reverse what’s happening, but we can make a difference in our own day to day health and life.