Last week was rough, y’all.
In addition to general pandemic malaise/anxiety, I was also dealing with a crisis last week, and the uncertainty from that is extending into this week, too.
I don’t deal with uncertainty well. I never have. I like to know exactly what is going on, and to have as much control as possible over a situation. But life isn’t like that. There will always be uncertainty, and things out of our control.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy has given me a lot of tools to help deal with uncertainty, though I still struggle with it sometimes, especially when it is regarding something that I really care about.
This past week, I’ve had to keep reminding myself that there is no point in freaking out over the unknown. Catastrophizing isn’t helpful. I’ll do what I can right now, and focus on the rest when it comes. I try my best to Divinely Surrender.
And I need to remember to breathe.
Breath is a magickal thing. It keeps us alive. It is a largely unconscious activity that we can make conscious when we concentrate on it. It’s a part of our mind-body connection, and it helps regulate our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. It can help us achieve different states of mind – including calming us down when we are panicked, upset, or anxious.
For relaxation, the key is to breathe deeply into your diaphragm (which activates your vagus nerve) and make your exhale longer than your inhale. I like to breathe in deeply through my nose to the bottom part of my lungs, and then exhale slowly through loosely pursed lips, as if I were blowing bubbles through a straw. This automatically makes my exhales longer than my inhales, and I don’t have to worry about counting the seconds of each in breath and out breath.
While I hope this blog post finds you well, please know that if not, it’s okay to not be okay. The pandemic has been a sustained stressor for everyone on the planet. Just because it has been going on for a year and a half does not mean that we should “be used to it” by now. Life is still far from normal. It’s not helpful to anyone when we pretend that everything is fine.
Wherever you are at right now, I wish you blessings of safety and good health.