To say that the whole world is suffering from a large dose of overwhelm feels like an understatement. There is a tangible tension as though we’re all buzzing with something that doesn’t belong in our bodies. Whether this is nervous tension, fear, frustration, dis-belief, confusion, anger, sadness … it’s fair to say that life as we knew it has been fairly and squarely tipped on its head. It would be unusual if we were unaffected by the changes that have been taking place; people losing their jobs, getting sick, losing loved ones and not being able to hold or attend their funeral.

When we’re confronted with unexpected and challenging situations, our response can be fight or flight; we may react by being angry and wanting to fight back, to try and control the situation so we can change the outcome, or we may just want to run away and hide and we’re so scared we’re happy to do what we’re told by someone in authority. But there is another option … we can choose to be aware of what is going on around us, recognise that we can’t change the situation, and instead of reacting, use the opportunity to deepen within ourselves.

What does it mean to deepen?

Instead of reacting to all the things that are causing us to feel overwhelmed, we can take a breath, stop and actively choose to bring our focus back to our body, checking in to see how we can support ourselves to feel more settled, which may start with self-care, how we get up in the morning and prepare ourselves for our day, feeling our feet on the floor and whether our steps feel rushed, hard, or if there is a flow in how we’re moving. Considering what food will nourish us without making us feel lethargic, or racy. When those cravings start rearing their heads, because we don’t want to feel the intensity of what’s going on around us, instead of raiding the pantry or binging on Netflix, go outside, take a walk, or soak in a hot bath.

Once we start bringing our attention back to the way we’re living, the choices we are making in every moment, we ignite a sense of purpose; as we bring more care and love to the relationship with ourselves, we bring the same enrichment to all of our relationships. As we deepen within, the ripple effect on everyone around us is enormous. We become a point of reflection for others to observe, whether they choose to engage in conversation with us or not, it doesn’t matter, the settlement that we are now allowing ourselves to feel is felt by others as though we are holding them in a virtual tender hug.

Further reading

A moment of pause

Anxiety: what is it and how does it affect us?

How a speck on the wall becomes a super giant monster

Recharge tips for busy parents

Lockdown need not drive us crazy

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