Definitely no shortage of ‘how to’ content available around managing ‘big feelings’ during a global pandemic.
Here are several tips that I find useful to support a sense of balance on any given day…
Bookend. Start and end your day accessing a neutral state. What does a clear mind feel like to you? If you don’t know, it’s a great reason to be curious. Knowing how you don’t like to feel is great data for knowing how you do like to feel. If you are quite familiar with discomfort, take two minutes to yourself when you wake up to see if you can access a better feeling state. Do it for two minutes before bed as well.
Tip: Notice the center of balance within you – whether standing, sitting, waiting, driving, etc. It’s immovable. It’s in your core. Low. Between your hip bones. Balance. Center. Notice it. You can imagine breathing in that space and notice the expansion and contraction. Start here.
Segment. You may already do this. I have a tendency to get mentally saturated. Segmenting my day (and planning the segment) has helped tremendously. Big scale I did this with Sunday afternoons – I used to dread them. And even before that, I visualized the drive home segment of my day after work and imagined what it would (look like, feel like, sound like) if I felt peaceful. I have graduated from both of those examples. Sundays are great, and drive homes feel good as well. When I get saturated, I segment. It helps.
Plan. A popular executive functioning strategy used in schools is a planning process called Get Ready.Do.Done. Here is my spin on it. Segment planning: start with done. What does done look like, sound like, and feel like? How long is the segment? Working backwards from there, what are three things to do (first, next, then). In my real time experience, I also practice a mindset or script where I say to myself, ‘all you ever have to do is the next thing’. So in these segments, if I have a lot of resistance, I come up with three incredibly easy onboarding steps that help get started. This is helpful for projects and chores, or catching up on work that you would prefer to not do. And then the last is Get Ready. What do you need? I use a mindset, or script, ‘be ready to be ready’. For example, if I don’t want to clean the bathroom (saturated – too much…resistant) I get it all set up to clean. I also put my physical ‘things to do’ (as far as errands) in the car – so I’m ready. Get Ready.Do.Done. is backwards planning which we do all the time anyway. It’s just creating intention around it. I love the way it feels to complete something – so when I focus on the end game, know three next steps, and have things ready to go – momentum shows up when I move toward it. PS. I am so nice to myself. I encourage myself constantly. I let go of the pressure. (it works)
Why. This is another little mind script that I often say (I have a lot of them). Why? And then what? When you are having a hard time letting go of something, most likely you understand ‘why’. Most of us can justify our ‘why’ with no problem. But then what? When the ‘and then what’ is limiting a relationship, a preferred lifestyle experience, a genuine pleasure….reconsider the why. It’s easy to be substantiated in why you may be experiencing ‘big’ feelings, but if it’s limiting you, it’s not going to get you anywhere. The more you practice this, the easier it is to head off the negative/pushing against/’an enemy exists’ inner voice – because you know it isn’t taking you anywhere. There’s no where you can go with it.
Values. I just did this again yesterday as I was thinking about today’s blog. It’s easy to get stuck on what you don’t want. The only reason we don’t want anything is because there is a something more, the opposite – what we do want. When we can catch this, we can choose to focus on what we do want. In the physical isolation segment of this current living situation, it may be clear that one of your values is freedom. What story do you tell about your own freedom? You may be able to have a substantiated ‘why’ – but if it limits you, where is it taking you? If you value certainty, maybe you value ‘knowing’. And ‘knowing’ is more rooted in intuition. And intuition can be tapped into during those parts of your day that you reconnect with your center.