While slowly but surely, the state is starting to open again and businesses are beginning to reopen their doors, and the feel of summer is in the air, you may find some lingering feelings of the last few months heavy on your mind and in your body. If you’re struggling to feel like yourself again, know that you’re not alone.
I know I am. The world has been flipped on its head, and with all the recent events happening in the world, no way of putting one foot in front of the other has felt right for me. It feels like there are no words I can say that will come out right, no action I can take that is ENOUGH.
While I firmly believe that there are injustices that need to be repaired, voices that need to be heard and changes that need to be made in this world to support the Black community, the turmoil happening all around has cause turmoil within.
Can you relate? It has truly left me a bit paralyzed. I’ve slowed down over the past few weeks, sharing a bit less, and listening and learning a bit more. But it feels hard and unsure of how to move forward. And what I do feel is that as individuals, we can all show up in the world with more love. The world needs more love.
In conversations I had with one of my best friends last week, we don’t feel like ourselves. And that’s okay! We have spent the last three months cooped up in small spaces, full of fears and anxiety, distancing ourselves from our lives as we knew it, from our loved ones and friends. Some of us without income and the ability to work, others battling illness and mourning the loss of loved ones in our lives and community without a way to properly grieve together and recognize their lives. We barely can separate the days in our minds.
I reminded my friend of all of this, and the fact that while we may feel like our joy and purposeful part of us feels “lost”, it’s not. We are still very much those people, but different emotions are taking up more space right now. The only thing that is true in these moments of feeling like we’ve “lost ourselves” is that change is on the rise- and is the only constant.
Now is a time to shed some layers- of the thought patterns that no longer serve us, of the behavior patterns that haven’t allowed us to feel good, and of the actions we have or have not been taking that’s left us feeling stagnant. And while it’s easy to SAY- it may not feel easy to DO. There have been multiple moments in these quarantine days where I thought “Who am I to give wellness advice right now?”. My creativity has plummeted, my need for human connection is suffering, and my mental health is certainly being challenged in every single way.
As a Health Coach, I have found it a challenge to give sound, strict advice over the past few weeks. Can I fully enforce that someone not indulge every once in a while when food is one constant we all have right now? I know I personally have been treating myself to more chocolate than normal. Can I enforce someone stick to a strict workout regimen when sometimes it feels good to give our bodies a break? Can I advise that someone just focus on meditating and de-stressing when our emotions are influx daily?
The answer is no- at least not strictly. In my eyes, there is no “right” or wrong way to being in this quarantined life. Some days feel better than others. What I needed was to take the pressure of myself to perform, to create and to constantly putting on a show like everything feels okay when in fact, it doesn’t. We are ALL human, myself included- and what I CAN do is show up to support each and every one of you- as a human- to do OUR BEST each day.
And what IS important is that we listen to our bodies. We listen to our subconscious minds. We take action and pay attention to what FEELS good- and lean into that! And remember to BREATHE. Most of the time, we do the things we know will make us feel good, alive and energized- and we pay attention to the ones that take away from that feeling- because allowing THOSE moments to persist is what moves us further and further away from feeling like ourselves.
Maybe you need to limit your media exposure. Perhaps you need to power down your phone or block out time for yourself to just be, think and feel without any pressure of running to the next activity. Maybe it would be helpful to set clearer boundaries around your energy. Maybe it would be helpful to challenge yourself if you’ve been lazier than normal. To some extent, all of these situations have applied to my life in the Q.
Because in all the uncertainty, as I explained to my bestie- there will be LITTLE moments of joy and light- where you feel yourself coming back to yourself. And slowly but surely, you’ll find yourself on the upswing.
So if you’re struggling to feel like “yourself” again, know that healing is not linear. Know that it’s okay to talk about it. Know that every day may not be perfect, but as long as you keep your wheels in motion and find small ways to show up for yourself each day- whether that’s cooking a healthy meal, steering clear of the alcohol, giving yourself permission to sleep in, saying “no” to the conversation you know will drain you, or giving your body the TLC it needs with a workout- slowly but surely- you will come back to yourself again. We will show up with more love and compassion than ever. And the world will heal. You have not “lost yourself”- you’ve been there all along.
Sending you SO much love as we continue to navigate this uncertain moment of time.