Emotional resources tips to use whilst in confinement
Uncertainty makes us all feel vulnerable, however we need to remember that we are resourceful and resilient. Undoubtedly, we have all been confronted in the past with life adversities that we managed to overcome by using the internal and external resources available to us at the time. Keep feeling hopeful and stay connected to yourselves and with others. Now more than ever we need to find safe ways for staying connected.
Human beings develop their feelings of safety by connecting with others, we are all programmed to co-regulate our emotions. According to Dr Porges’s polyvagal theory, when there is emotional suffering, we are programmed to give out signals of distress so that others can help us regulate our emotions by showing us empathy. Emotional isolation may lead to detachment, avoidance and freezing (depression). This will stop us from using our resources to cope during these difficult times.
The kind of social distancing and self-isolation we are asked to do at the moment does not require emotional isolation. Let’s stay connected as best as we can. Please find below some tools and ideas that might help you feel connected during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Emotional resources kit:
During these challenging times communicate with people that you feel close to via face-time if possible. Their voice, facial expressions and body language create a greater feeling of comfort and safety. They have a soothing effect.
Do breathing and body scan exercises, by doing so you enhance the connection to yourself. If you feel tension or compact energy in certain parts of your body, move with those, express them via physical movement. Movement does not always need to make sense, it can be free and spontaneous movement. Trust your body, it has its own wisdom. Let your body talk. Your bodies may be feeling more depressed than your minds do in confinement. Stretch them out, breathe in sending oxygen to every single cell in your body and keep on moving. A revitalised body helps your mind generate balanced thoughts.
-The notion of time is an interesting one to explore: what happens if i do the same action slowing down or speeding up? Is there a difference?
-The notion of flow teaches us how with flow comes less anxiety and depression: how different is it to perform an action in a robotic way or just breathing and flowing with it? With what emotion does each modality come with?
-The notion of space is so relevant: How can I expand in confinement? Can I? Of course you can! If your body is your home, you can create space in it for your emotions to flow. But actually there is all this space outside your body as well that you can take. You can do so much movement in just 2-3sqm if you chose to. It is not space that limits our movement but are beliefs of how and where movement takes place.
Connect to the present moment, if catch your mind catastrophizing about what might this outbreak mean for the future bring your mind back to the here and now. Let’s avoid predictions. Whatever life brings you will adjust your coping skills and resources accordingly.
Ask yourself every morning: what are my needs for today? How can these be met?
Ask others that form part of your close social/family network if there is anything they need help with.
Care for plants in your own home. See them grow.
Nurture relationships that you may have more time for
as other activities have been restricted.
Care for yourself in a mindful (not rushed) way.
Is there a kind gesture I can do for others in my building, my neighborhood, the society, my social media community? However small. What can I give that is mine or of myself to support others?
Remember to be grateful especially so in times of adversity. Many things have changed for now but there are also resources and gifts that are still available to us. Be thankful for these and discover new or old gifts during this time of global suffering and fear. If you focus on what you are thankful for you will be surprised by the depth and the meaning of what is available to you right now. What we tend to take for granted is usually of vital importance to us all. Nurture this. Accept it and give back. Let this flow and grow!
Please visit my Instagram account for additional helpful tips during this outbreak (account name: motionrelease).
Stay healthy, safe and connected!