The other night while lying in bed with my daughter said “I can’t stop thinking about” this thing that was scaring her.
I explained that she gets to choose what she thinks about and if she wants to stop thinking about it she can. A few minutes later she laments, “no I can’t.”
So, I encouraged her to focus on her heart, to imagine she’s breathing in and out from her heart and to think about things that bring her joy like playing with her friends, going to the beach or running outside in the mountains. After a little while she says to me, “Thanks mama” and fell asleep.
As I’m laying there I’m aware that I needed to hear that as much as she did! In a time where there’s so much uncertainty, where a global pandemic is rapidly changing the way of life, I find it hard to focus on anything else. Thoughts and worries can consume me as I mindlessly turn to the latest news report online.
As a highly empathic person, the collective concern being carried around can be exhausting to experience. A simple trip to the grocery store leaves a residue of anguish my nervous system continues processing after the fact.
Such a reaction is normal and staying in that place of fixation helps no one. This unusual situation presents an opportunity for me to be mindful of managing my own thoughts and where I place my attention, which are the only things I can control. And to remember that as a species, we are immensely resilient – while this situation might be unprecedented in my lifetime, my ancestors have surely dealt with similar scenarios.
Journaling is such a helpful and powerful way to navigate these uncertain times, to process your feelings and redirect your thinking in positive and constructive ways. I find it helps me to get things out of my head, as my fears rarely survive the light of day. It also enables me to deepen my awareness of the ways these experiences impact not only my thinking but what I’m experiencing in my body and how I can best manage these demanding sensations.
As a highly empathic person, the collective concern being carried around can be exhausting to experience. A simple trip to the grocery store leaves a residue of anguish my nervous system continues processing after the fact. I’ve experienced a shortness of breath and fatigue hours later, which quickly leads to all kinds of other fears namely, “am I getting sick” and further fears of causing others to get sick.
The triggers, biochemical reactions and feelings I experience lead to a complicated tapestry of stories I tell myself. Within a split second all kinds of atrocities have unfolded in my minds eye. And it’s up to me to recognize what’s going on, to take a step back and separate the facts from the fiction. If I don’t do that, I’ll simply be reacting to my fears and not responding rationally to my present reality.
Not only does journaling help me to tease apart what’s happening in my mind versus in the world around me. It’s also a great tool for me to craft a new way of being and showing up in the world. It’s a great place for me to set intentions for how I will help my family and those around me navigate these times. It’s like a log book of experiments I’m executing – how I live day-in and day-out. A reassurance in the moment as well as a reminder to my future self, which enables me to shed the tension more quickly and invite light back into my life even if it’s just for the present moment.
- What do you notice about the way the current crisis impacts your thoughts and feelings?
- What if you showed yourself and others compassion instead of judgment right now?
- What things could you experiment with doing to reduce your stress or anxiety?
- How might you restructure your days right now to create a healthy routine for yourself and your family?
What’s Rosabella Consulting Up To?
With all this “social distancing” going on it feels incredibly important to create spaces for meaningful connection to occur. While that’s not advisable to do in-person, we are lucky to live in a time where virtual gatherings are possible to do in meaningful and powerful ways.
For those that want to connect, to take this time as an opportunity to practice self-reflection and mindfulness as a way of navigating uncertainty with more grace and ease. Join us for a Virtual Journal Jam this Friday at 10am MST via zoom.