The pandemic has swept us all up in its high tide and buffeted us around a bit. Just when we got used to treading waters, as we ‘live with Covid’, it actually does rain. A lot. And the water levels rise.
I know many of our members have been impacted with flooded houses, garages and gardens. This comes on top of having navigated your family, workplace and community safely through the last two years. It’s a route that has felt uncertain. The signposts have made us change direction many times and even the destinations have been suddenly switched around. To cope with more disruption, uncertainty and loss can feel so disappointing, and exhausting. IT FEELS HARD TO STAY MOTIVATED AND POSITIVE WHEN THE ROAD IN FROM JUST GOT LONGER.
The events of the week have my thoughts turning to resilience fatigue. While my home stayed dry, I’ve had my own journey in the past weeks. I broke my hand, rain destroyed my laptop, and then I caught covid. I am in isolation aiming to be positive by calling it a ‘retreat’. But there’s nothing very Bryon Bay about being sick and having caused your family to shut down for a week.
I’m just off an important phone call with one of our beautiful teachers, Martina where I told her how uncomfortable I have been needing to ask for help. Asking for help is not the language of my family of origin and now with a broken hand, I need to do it. And even more so this week because I was not able to leave my house. I told Martina I was feeling helpless and weak, and she reset me, smart lady that she is. She said, “You’re feeling vulnerable, Christina and this is all part of courage.” – We both like Brene Brown’s work, which teaches us,
“We can measure how brave you are by how vulnerable you are willing to be”
The problem with first world problems. And what to do if you are feeling reliance fatigue
As I write this, and it’s raining down like bullets in my small world, I am also reminded that bullets really ARE raining down in Ukraine and people there have bigger problems than mine.
Often we smile wryly to friends as we talk through our issues and then label them first world problems, like a reminder that we are being selfish for wanting things different when we already have so much. But do know that when your nervous system is under stress, your brain flicks into its alert mode. And it doesn’t matter whether the stress is real or imagined, the amygdala in your brain is still sending signals to the body to stay in its stress response. THERE DOESN’T NEED TO BE ANY REAL OR ACTUAL DANGER TO KEEP THIS STRESS CYCLE GOING. Just the thought of the possibility of danger is enough to perpetuate it. Your body can really stay on high alert even when there is nothing ‘big’ to worry about. In other words, even though you have food and shelter, and no bombs are falling on you, your mental worries, or your ‘first world problem’ feels real because your body experiences the stress as very real.
So if resilience fatigue is hitting you, there are nine ways you can help yourself through.
- You’ve got to cut yourself a lot of slack and BE REALLY, REALLY KIND TO YOURSELF. Seriously kind.
- MINIMIZE THE EXPECTATIONS. Delete all the usual perfectionist thoughts and expectations. Unapologetically. Now is just not the time for them.
- Get over issues about needing to be a superwoman and just ask for help.
- KEEPING THINGS SIMPLE. Chunk everything down to really small, do-able bits. Order in dinners.
- Share with and LEAN ON YOUR FRIENDS. A highlight of my week was a friend dropping an almond chai at my door.
- TOP YOURSELF UP. It’s all about the small daily self-care ingredients, and don’t underestimate the medium-sized weekly ones either.
- CREATE A SENSE OF RETREAT: Space to think, Space to be, Space to breathe. A yin class is great for this.
- PLUG YOUR ENERGY LEAKS and lengthen your exhales. You can fill your energy bucket using your breath. The breath is what we all share and it’s a remarkable tool to access calm within and to keep our mood and energy levels topped up. (Check our breathing course starting next Monday)
- Having something really great to look forward to. Booking a holiday even if it’s a long time away will help.
As I proofread this it’s a day later. I realise I am already feeling brighter and better and I can’t wait to see you in studio or virtually on Saturday!