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.