A little something we have all been experiencing in one way or another, and based on current projections, may be experiencing for a while. Even after the immediate threat is gone, we're going to be working on our "New Normal" and trying to repair, rebuild and reimagine for some time. The chaos is exhausting though. Maybe you're more forgetful. more irritable, more tearful, more numb, or all of the above on rotating frequencies.
If you're like me, you've been experiencing a lot of feelings in recent months. Anger, Sadness, Fear, Fatigue. If Fatigue had a character, like on Disney's Inside Out, what do you think they would look like?
I picture someone purplish gray, with messy hair, an oversized sweater, and lot of foot dragging. Fatigue says things like, "No, no honey, we're too tired to be sad today. Try again tomorrow." and offers suggestions like, "We could sit on the couch and stare into a technological void," when we're trying to figure out what to do today.
Just like the other "Big 5" featured in the movie, Fatigue is trying to tell us something, and wants to help us. But Fatigue can be louder than the other feelings, and none of them like it when they are not heard and acknowledged.... they start to build up until they burst, which is rarely pleasant for any of us.
It is difficult in the chaotic states of a global pandemic to give yourself the time and space to feel. But if Fatigue is the loudest voice in your body and mind, it might be time to find that space. Here's a little How-To Guide:
1) Identify your physical space and time: Where can you go in your home? What is the quietest moment of your day, within your existing routine.
2) Get away from the technology: TV, Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, SnapChat, Animal Crossing.... and many more. Set them aside, not forever, just for a few minutes.
3) Close your eyes and breathe
4) Do a just for me activity: Whatever you have time and space for. Brush your hair, sing in the shower, paint, dance, stretch, nap, write.
5) Close your eyes (or open them if your napped) and breathe
6) Think of something you are grateful for, or something you are looking forward to (could be in 5 minutes or 5 years), or something you are proud of, or something you find beautiful, or something good that happened within the past 24 hours.
7) Close your eyes and breathe
8) Return to your "regularly scheduled activities" and repeat as necessary.
You can do this in 2 minutes or less, or you can spend a couple hours. No matter what the amount of time, the more often you take these intentional moments for yourself, you'll find Fatigue yelling at you a little less often; giving you more time and space to hang out with Anger, Fear, Sadness, Disgust, and of course, Joy. We need them all to get through this.