Life is very different now in light of our current experience having to self-isolate and socially distance ourselves, isn’t it? For many people, this poses an unwelcome change to their day-to-day as it has been drastically altered in such an instantaneous pace! My name is Shelley, and I am a Psychotherapist providing mental health help in the York region. In today’s article, we will discuss how quarantine and self-isolation impact the mind, and what we can do to make this experience a much more pleasant and even positive one!
What is Going on in Our Minds?
Personally, what I am noticing about others and myself is that without our many tasks, responsibilities, and daily “distractions”, we have much more time to ‘be with’ ourselves, our feelings, and our triggers.
We are a race of people who have many options available to us to stay out of our experience, our feelings and our emotional environment or what I like to refer to as “Our felt sense”.
When we begin to feel things that are uncomfortable, we always have many options for distraction.
We can call a friend, an old flame, or even create a new group event so that we can totally distract ourselves from the feelings that are coming up for us.
We can go spend 2 hours at the gym, go shopping, drink a bottle of wine, join in on a last-minute event or gathering, build a garden, hook up with a friend to gossip and build drama, go out for a drink (or 6) on a weekend night… or any other event that has us not be alone and in touch with our felt sense.
We will do almost anything we can to not have to feel.
Many people struggle a great deal with being alone. I used to struggle with that too so I can really understand how this current shift in our world may be affecting those who have a hard time being alone.
The thought of “If I am alone, that means that I am not important enough to anybody for them to make me a priority” would always run through my head. I would create numerous stories in my mind about how happy everybody else was, how busy they were having fun without me. Feeling as if I was the only person alone in the world. My anxious brain would go off on many tangents and none of those were good for me.
My point is this; When we are forced to isolate, to be alone, to not go out seeking distraction, then we really have to ‘be with ourselves’. We have to listen to the loud voice of our Inner Critic. That empty feeling in our stomach or chest. We have to process our emotions rather than stay busy enough so that we don’t have to feel them. We might even feel the pain of our Inner Child for the first time. Our anxiety may overwhelm us and even breathing becomes difficult.
These feelings can feel completely overwhelming! I really get it. I was in this place for most of my life until I ventured into my own healing journey while becoming a Psychotherapist.
What you can do to Start Feeling Better!
My wish for you is that during this time of self- isolation, you can venture into taking the time to heal the parts of yourself that keep you stuck, keep you feeling lonely, feeling not good enough, not smart enough and not attractive enough. To be able to learn to sit with your emotions and ask them what they need? How long they have been there and what they require to shift.
Take this time to be extra gentle and forgiving to yourself. Sit in silence and revel in how incredible you really are! Figure out what you really deserve. How do you really want to talk to yourself? What boundaries do you feel are in your best interest to begin setting with yourself and with others now and when we all go back to our “normal lives” after social distancing measures are lifted.
Can you begin to imagine a life where you love yourself, accept yourself and forgive yourself?
We all have the time now to begin doing these things for ourselves and we deserve to take it!
This Pandemic in some ways is an incredible gift to us and our earth. Self-care, self-love and self-healing can be a beautiful outcome for us.
I am going to list some fantastic books here that can be very helpful in beginning this journey.
Some of my Personal Favourite Books that can be very helpful in Beginning this Journey
- Co-Dependent no More by Melodie Beattie
- Healing the shame the binds you by John Bradshaw
- The shadow effect by Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson and Debbie Ford
- The worry-free mind by Carol Kershaw and Bill Wade
- The Dance of Connection and The Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner
- The Body keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk
- Love sense by Sue Johnson is fantastic for those needing assistance in your relationships
- Getting the Love you want by Harville Hendrix.
Please Feel Free to Reach out!
If you feel the need to reach out for professional Psychotherapy and mental health help in the York region then let me help you through this important journey. Please reach out for a complimentary consultation.
As always, it is my pleasure to be able to assist you in this journey.
Please take good care and be safe, make good choices over the next few months.
With Gratitude and love,