Following this time of profound change, constant pivots, loss of freedom, trauma, grief, fear, and uncertainty, it’s important to reflect on who we have become.
I know who I was pre-pandemic is very different than who I am now.
May is Mental Health Month and one way we can care for our mental health is by expanding our capacity to understand what we feel, why we feel it, and to manage our emotions in healthy ways to relieve stress, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and stay aligned with our authentic self (AKA – emotional intelligence).
To support you in navigating this transition in a healthy way, I’d like to invite you to be with the loss of the old you, of the old life, of the you who did not know what was to come.
Hold yourself with curiosity and gentleness (instead of criticism and negativity) as you explore how this challenge has changed you.
Many of us (raising my hand here) are ready to dive back into life.
Aching to ‘live’ again.
As you do, reflect on what motivates your urges.
It is love?
I really want to connect with others and feel alive in my life again.
Is it fear?
If I don’t fill my life up again, I might have to feel all the sadness that’s beneath the surface.
This distinction between whether we are motivated by love or fear can be a subtle one.
But it’s essential.
When we are motivated by fear, we can lose connection with our true self, be reactive instead of responsive, stress our nervous system, and lose track of what really matters.
When we are motivated by love, we become physically and emotionally stronger, stay aligned with our values, and feel confident taking the next step forward.
Stay present with your body – what are you feeling?
Like, for really real.
- Get to know what’s happening beneath the surface.
- Were you calm and competent during the storm?
- Did you stay strong and steady for everyone else?
- When the stress starts to subside, do you need time to fall apart and put yourself back together?
- Did you enjoy the simplicity of a smaller, slower life?
- And, are you concerned about having to return to a life that no longer feels aligned?
- How can you be discerning about the parts of your life you want to go back to and the parts of your life you want to leave behind?
As you emerge, whenever that may be, go slowly, grieve what you have lost, get to know what was found, celebrate the resilience in who you have become, make space for what’s next.