Holding our Breath.
Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Jasmine in the greenhouse in May.
How is the return to normal life going? I feel like I have been holding my breath. Anxiety seems to have been many people's prevalent emotion for a while now. The unknowableness of the pandemic and its' outcome, social life returning but rules still in place and the knowledge now that everything can change almost overnight have shifted our previously solid ground. We need to find a way to release our breath and our tension. I wonder how many people have been holding off sorting out a problem with their health, jobs or relationships until we come out of hiding? So now is the time for a return to ourselves and often some difficult paths to navigate. Deep breaths. I believe this return is as hard for our psyche as the lockdowns were. We need compassion for ourselves as we work it out.
Terrible things have often happened to us in the past but the support system we had was other people. Be it war, grief,or personal disaster other people were our route out of mental distress. This was taken away from us or limited to those we lived with. Now we have been granted more access to others but it can feel very difficult to renavigate those social connections. So as we try to put those connections back in place we should be gentle and supportive of ourselves as this is not easy. It can be overwhelming psychologically and physically.
It is easy to say "be nice to yourself", have "self-compassion" but my experience is that these can be empty words. It is easier to ask yourself how you would treat another, vulnerable, suffering person and then turn that treatment on yourself. I will write more about this in the future.
Overwhelmingly however, I believe that therapy can help as we work out how we are going to cope with living with this new state of uncertainty. Person centred therapy, which I trained in, believes that if we can live with uncertainty and be content in the moment that we have achieved the most advanced state of living. Not easy but certainly worth aiming for.
On that note I am now fully open for face to face client work. I believe that the best way to accompany someone on their journey to better mental health is to be fully present with their full being in the room.