View profile

Not Feeling Like Yourself? 2 Areas You Must Consider

Not Feeling Like Yourself? 2 Areas You Must Consider
I actually ended up getting COVID-19 back in February.
So did my wife.
We fortunately had milder cases, but it took us a solid month to feel like ourselves again.
And that’s what this issue is all about:
How long does it take to feel like yourself again when the world has other plans for what you can and cannot do? Of who you can and cannot be?
And does that even matter at all?
If you take the time to learn about the two categories below, the answers will surprise you.

Where Did My Life (And My "Self") Go?
When I learned that we would be heading into a worldwide pandemic in February and March of last year, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
But what I thought I knew with certainty was that the raging tide of a new virus would come and go like other experiences I’ve had in my life.
But here was the great kicker.
What happens when you have experiences that fall outside the realm of what’s normal for you?
When that happens, it’s surprisingly easy for you go from feeling like yourself to, suddenly, not feeling like yourself at all.
One day I was confident I knew who I was and how I could move about the physical spaces of my world.
The next day, that all changed.
Here’s the hard truth:
Our lives are a series of upheavals. We just don’t know when they’ll happen. And we don’t know how we’ll respond.
And the seriously tricky aspect of it all is our selves are interspersed in these upheavals.
So, to find yourself becomes exploring an art form in which you are a foreigner.
How to Feel Like Yourself Again
It’s when your world shifts that your self, your very understanding of who you are, must shift along with it.
To facilitate this difficult process, it can be helpful to have some guiding lights.
These two categories are the ones I turn to when times are tough and the world is spinning out of control.
Feeling Out of Body
Feeling like yourself has many components, one of which is the feeling you have within your body.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t even know what it meant to feel my body for the first 20 years of my life.
I lived in my head. That’s just how it was for me.
But the body knows where you’ve been.
It remembers your every move, even if your mind can’t always recall it.
And to come back to yourself, you must first come back to your body.
You must check in with how you’re feeling.
How you do this must meet your natural style, but here are a few ideas:
  • Set times throughout the day to check in with your body. Set a reminder on your phone if you need to.
  • Start a deep breathing habit. Breathing deeply can actually change your physiology. You don’t need to learn a martial art to be in tune with your body.
  • Choose a body-focused activity, and do it for 15 minutes. Go for a walk. Do some sit-ups. Walk up and down stairs. Movement pulls you out of your head and into the physical awareness that your body needs.
Feeling Out of My Mind
For me, the hardest part of the COVID experience has not been that I’m physically confined to where I can go and what I can do.
It’s been the sense of dread and unknown fomenting in my mind.
In that way, I mentally have not felt like myself for periods of time over the last year.
This instability can have deep, cascading effects.
Because the mind is linked to who you and I are.
It’s linked to our bodies and our hearts.
It’s connected to our sense of place and our understanding of being.
If the body is the vessel, the mind is the navigation.
And what good is the vessel if the navigation is stuck?
So, feeling like yourself requires that you tap into your mental awareness.
And the BEST way I’ve ever found to do this is to get the thoughts out of my head.
In my head, thoughts take on a life of their own.
But thoughts that become words that are spoken, or written down on paper, or shared with a friend or significant other, well, they become something else entirely.
They become what they are again.
Just thoughts–and nothing more.
What "I Don't Feel Like Myself" Actually Means
You can find who you are. It's always within your reach.
You can find who you are. It's always within your reach.
By now, you know that not feeling like yourself is not a rare phenomenon that only affects the weak and the afraid.
It’s extremely common, and there are ways to fight through it, just like COVID fought through the physical and mental defenses of so many of us.
When you don’t feel like yourself, it’s not game over. It’s merely a time to pause and reflect.
No great personal growth can happen without reflection.
The two categories I’ve shared above are among the most essential to focus on when you don’t feel like who you know yourself to be.
But when you put in the work, when you stop so that you can start again, you can change your life.
You can feel like yourself again.
Or a new self.
Whatever it is, your role is clear.
Seize and claim who you are, no matter what is happening around you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this food for thought. Reply and let me know if you did. Or if you didn’t. I just like hearing from you.
I hope you’re having a good week. You’re a warrior. Keep going.
P.S. I put a lot of time into this one. It felt good. If it helped you, I hope you’ll share it with others who might benefit. Thanks for reading.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

The Mental Health Update Mental Health Newsletter provides you with authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD meaningful AND accessible.

This is different from typical mental health newsletters and articles about mental health challenges.

It's not just an Anxiety Email Newsletter or a Depression Email Newsletter - It's two weekly articles packed with timeless mental health wisdom and inspiration to start your day in a thoughtful, uplifting way.

I was tired of other "mental health care" newsletters blasting out generic lists of links and depression articles.

And I was especially tired of them not focusing on the everyday reality of mental health issues.

So I decided to come up with something I wanted to read.

This health newsletter is like a caring friend that just wants you to feel better.

Mental health awareness articles don't need to be all doom and gloom and filled with jargon.

With The Mental Health Update, you'll get practical mental health information, tips, and new ways to view the world. Especially now, with people reeling from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, we need trusted voices telling it like it is.

We discuss topics like anxiety, depression, OCD, the mental health to mental illness spectrum, social and communication skills, and much, much more.

This is what a few subscribers had to say about The Mental Health Update:

"If you haven't yet subscribed to Jordan's mental health newsletter, you absolutely should. It's chock full of good stuff to read and will help make your day better. Not unlike a daily vitamin for your mental health and soul..." - JR

"Encouragement from someone who has “been there” when it comes to mental health struggles. Comes in the form of stories and simple, actionable tips for reframing and working with - and through - your issues. One of the few newsletters that has survived my ruthless inbox decluttering sprees. Highly recommended!" - Kelila

"Jordan's mental health update is a welcomed email in my inbox. It often provides me with a chance to break from the mundane tasks of working in an office and take a moment for myself to hear his thoughtful and well put together thoughts on many aspects of mental health. As someone who works in the psychology field it's often a nice reminder and way of grounding myself to all the great work that's going on and the journey we all must take in supporting mental health. Thank you Jordan!" - Rob

I take my no-spam policy very seriously. I consider it a mental health obligation to not abuse your trust or raise your anxiety.

Newsletter articles sent on Tuesday and Thursday.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Missoula, MT