I'm just back from a week away from supporting people and I completely retreated, relaxed and reset. I really needed it. It has been a long and crazy year and we're still dealing with the ongoing effects of it, even as we emerge from lockdown. Much is still uncertain, even as we're trying to move forward with our lives.
It's not surprising that there are high levels of trauma, mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, stress, worries. It's not surprising people are suffering with insomnia and their sleep patterns have gone out the window. As we start to come out of the shock of it all, and start to make sense of it, we need to give ourselves time to heal, time to rebalance and reset. Our bodies, minds and spirits have gone through a lot - even if you've had it comparatively 'easy' (comparisons are pointless anyway as everyone deals with things differently). We need to allow them time to integrate and adjust to the fact that we're different people now than we were before. The world we find ourselves in is different from before. Our friends and family are different. We have to adjust to these new realities and this takes time.
It's no wonder we're tired. We're trying to move forward without having a clear sense yet of where to. We're still trying to live our lives as best we can with various restrictions in force. And yet at the same time, the simplicity (if boringness) of lockdown has gone - we have more choices now, more people to see. Which is great, but also creates this strange sensation of wanting to go out and see everyone, but then finding we miss our solitude! Finding our balance with being outside and being inside is part of what we're navigating.
We've found our values have changed. What's important to us has changed, now we've had time to slow down and go inside. Whether that is creative projects, connection to nature, more time for ourselves, going slower, community and connection, work which is meaningful....we now need to find ways to keep these values as life changes again.
So as we adjust, as things change yet again, as our trauma, stress, worry, anxiety, depression, insomnia surfaces again as we deal with those things which now feel like they can be looked at. Now we're not just dealing with the immediate situation, we're not in shock, and we start to process - we need to give ourselves time. We need to allow ourselves time to heal, time to process, time to adjust, time to recalibrate and rebalance.
Whilst two weeks away on a beach might be ideal, this isn't available to most of us right now. But that doesn't mean we can't take care of ourselves in other ways. Whether its 5 minutes every couple of hours to go out and stare at the sky, or walking in nature, having a bath or getting into other sources of water, taking time for yoga or meditation, eating to nourish and support ourselves...there are many sources of care we can give ourselves. Doing nothing can be great, or it can be stressful. You will know what works for you. You may need to adapt these practices as life continues to change. Those things which worked well before might not work so well now, but as you shift something out that no longer serves, find something new which does.
It is ok to heal. It is ok to take time to rest and recover. It is ok to not be ok for a while and to wonder if you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it's ok to ask for help. Whether that is more formally in the guise of counselling or therapy, or less formal such as accessing a great meditation, or participating in an online (or even, in person!) class. It might be asking loved ones for space, or taking time off from social media or the news. There is a lot of help and support out there, both formally and informally. There is courage in getting support, in knowing you can't do it all alone and you'll be best served by getting help. And you may find your own with it on your own too, and that too is totally fine.
Just know, when you feel tired, worn out, exhausted, emotional, drained, anxious, stressed, worried...that it's ok. It's a totally understandable response to all you've been through and continue to go through. Give yourself the space to allow it to move through you. Sometimes that's in the form of cognitive/mental realisation and understanding and sometimes it can move through the body, or through your energy fields without a conscious processing - this too is totally ok. Allow yourself to process however you need to.
This week's classes are all about dropping into the heart, opening the heart and allowing healing; supporting our neutral minds at the heart to enable us to navigate through these choppy times, when we'll be making choices and might not be able to see other perspectives, might not be able to see the path clearly. So it's really important to be able to make choices based on what the heart wants, and from a place of neutrality.