By Viviane Hens
As of this writing, the COVID-19 pandemic continues its merciless surge across the globe. Even if you haven’t gotten sick, odds are good that you have suffered in some way, experiencing disappointment with our “new normal.”
Perhaps you have postponed a graduation party, vacation, or wedding. Maybe your child’s birthday party had to be cancelled. Or, on a smaller scale, maybe you’re just feeling lonely or anxious because the world – with its new requirement of masks and social distancing – feels like such a scary place.
I want to assure you: feeling strong emotions is normal – healthy, even – in a time like this.
But as a result, your body is likely feeling the strain. After all, the mind and body are inexorably linked. When our minds are disturbed, our bodies often mirror this tension.
Renowned speaker and bestselling author Dr. Gabor Maté is well-known for his research on the mind-body connection. “Mind and body links have to be seen not only for our understanding of illness but also for our understanding of health,” he said. “Not to inform people of the links between emotions, stress, and physiology is to deprive them of a powerful tool.”
Keeping in mind these wise words from Dr. Maté, I have some suggestions that can help.
Return to the Body
I believe that whether you are feeling triggered, trapped, anxious, or stressed, you need to return to your body. Deep, cleansing breaths are a great way to start.
Breathe out your troubles, and breathe in cleansing breaths of faith and hope. Consider adding deep breathing to your daily routine – ideally, several times per day.
Other useful modalities to escape our mental anguish include exercise (the joyful act of dancing is particularly helpful), TRE, and mindfulness. Basically, any activity to get you outside of your mind and back inside your body will help.
We certainly can’t control the state of the world, and as such, we need to release the weight of the world from our shoulders … and minds. Acceptance– acknowledging that this is the way things are – is important. Acceptance has the benefit of being both preventative and curative, and will help protect you from the burnout that comes from worry.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Acknowledge and accept your anxiety, resentment, anger, and exhaustion, and know it’s not wrong to have these feelings.
Ask for Help
Life is challenging for everyone right now, but it’s comforting to remember we are all in this together.
If physical movement, deep breathing, and acceptance aren’t doing the trick, please ask for help when you need it. Confiding in a trusted friend or mental health professional when the going gets rough can be highly beneficial for your health – body, mind, and spirit.
to learn more.