Do you feel overwhelming resistance coming at you from all directions?
From within, from without?
Everyone trying to cling on to normality whilst wondering, waiting for when and if life will get back to “normal.”
From my perspective, it’s better to stop resisting what is, what might be, or what will be and just go with the flow—because the truth is none of us know the outcome. The world is going to change—hopefully for the better—and we can’t do anything about it, so just relax into it and keep your mental health strong.
Resisting and fighting only makes everything harder than it needs to be—and let’s face it, life is hard enough without adding extra stress to it, it just flows so much better when we surrender and let go. Visualise floating down a lazy river in the sunshine, breathing deeply, releasing the anxiety, and letting go. Imagine how much better that feels.
For the most part, the emotions we’re all feeling are panic and fear. Even if we think we’re calm inside, moments can unexpectedly hit and overwhelm us so chemicals and hormones get triggered to whizz around our bodies, causing havoc as we try to navigate this new reality whilst watching the world we have always known change irrevocably.
Panic and fear are only emotions that are trying to tell us something. Accept them for what they are. They’re here to serve you; just don’t let them control you.
It’s normal to feel like sh*t somedays—some weeks, even! It’s fine to be angry, lost, and emotionally crippled right now, and it’s also fine to be absolutely loving this time of having nothing to do and nowhere to go. There’s no FOMO (fear of missing out), as we’re all in the same boat together, unless you’re on the front line, which is a totally different aspect. It’s also fine to flit between feeling crappy one moment then loving life a while later—not wanting to go back to “normal.” Just feel into what you’re feeling in the moment and sit with each wave as it comes.
When we feel fear and panic, we forget to breathe, our lungs seem to shrink, and it becomes hard to fill them fully, so we use the shallow top section. Right now, we need to strengthen our lungs more than ever by stretching them, expanding them, and exercising them—so it’s never been more important to remember to breathe.
Sit quietly and visualise where the fear is inside your body. Inevitably, it’s somewhere in the stomach but can easily be in the heart or head space.
Locate the feeling, see its shape and colour, and listen to what it’s trying to tell you whilst breathing deeply, way deeper than normal. Close your eyes and fill your lungs for a slow count of four. Just sit with the panic whilst holding the breath for a count of four, and then release slowly through the mouth for a count of four, all the while watching the fear shrink until it vaporises. Do this for as long as you need, as often as you can.
Find your own balance, what works for you. If the anxiety is overwhelming, then you need to figure out what triggers you and step away for a while, especially if you feel like you’re being hit with a tsunami of intense emotions. Step away, switch off, change the landscape, go outside or to a different room, and breathe.
I’m not saying to hide from the feelings, but you don’t have to invite them in either; the news isn’t going to suddenly stop and you’re not going to miss anything if you only watch it once or twice a week or once a day rather than every hour or so. Your anxiety levels will drop drastically by doing this one simple thing.
We’re feeling this radical change collectively as a whole. Not one country is escaping this pandemic—but that doesn’t mean we’re all feeling the same feelings at the same time. We’re individual and unique and it’s not a competition.
We know social media isn’t all that goes on in someone’s life; it only shows the highlights. But for some people, posting on social media is their way of helping and supporting friends and family. For some, it’s the only thing that’s holding themselves back from having meltdowns, keeping them going, as it’s their way of surviving by serving others.
We all have different sh*t going on in our lives, which we deal with in totally different ways. Some people seem to be thriving right now, but they might be like swans—graceful on the surface whilst paddling like hell underneath to stop themselves from sinking. They may have days in between when they feel incredibly sad, angry, or scared so their way of dealing with these feelings is to be creative.
My own personal way of surviving is not watching or listening to the news. Don’t get me wrong, I see and hear it constantly, as it’s impossible to escape from—but I don’t deliberately switch it on more than once or twice a week. I find when I do, it just makes me feel anxious, despondent, and pissed off, and to be honest I would rather do anything not to feel any of those feelings.
I’m also becoming addicted to meditating my way through this pandemic. There are worse addictions, I know, some of which are tempting—but I’m trying to avoid that slippery slope.
I’ve meditated for years and go to bed listening to deep sleep mediations, then wake up and listen to morning or gratitude meditations. But now, throughout the day, if I’m feeling lost or bored or I’m just struggling in any way, I stop, sit, and take deep breaths or join the many beautiful live meditations on social media that are happening every day. It helps me a lot as it quells my anxiety.
Every night, I delete Facebook off my phone so it’s not the first thing I look at when I wake up. My intention is to stay off, but inevitably I only manage a few hours. Sometimes I manage the odd day—but that’s rare! I do find hiding certain people helpful, the ones who post negative, opinionated, or judgmental posts trying to shame and blame others for things they don’t agree with or the conspiracy theories. I know this is their own way of dealing with fear, but I’m not interested in the collective outrage, as I don’t find it helpful to my own well-being. Socially distancing myself from the toxicity of the media, social or otherwise, protects my mental health as much as social distancing protects my physical health.
That’s something we can all do—news, negative or positive inspirational posts, whichever make you want to punch someone—just unfollow or switch off for a while so you don’t see things that make you feel triggered.
If it doesn’t flow, let it go. And remember, breathe!
My personal favourite resources for meditations are:
On YouTube: Jason Stephenson, Lauren Ostrowski Fenton, Michael Sealey, Dauchsy, Abraham Hicks, and Marissa Peer. I use these for deep sleep and morning meditations.
On Facebook Live, meditations that the global community are joining at the same times to raise the vibrations of the planet: Unify, Global Meditation Reawakening, Sadguru, Elizabeth Peru, Deva Premal, and Miten.