There is lots going on in the world these days. After 16 months of significant restrictions, my area of world began to open up in July. And I found that a lot harder than I thought I would!
Thinking back on it, it all makes sense. Normal day-to-day activities have been considered dangerous for a long time. It has not been okay to hug a friend or invite kids to play in our house or send my kids to school or go into a non-essential store. My nervous system had enough time to readjust to this new normal. And then rather quickly, we were allowed to do these activities again. In fact, the opening up was faster than my nervous system could adjust to.
This summer, I have felt an increase in stress when people were jumping back into activities. It was exhausting! I was not ready to go open myself back up this quickly. And now, I'm concerned about our increase in variants and readjusting to some cancellations that my kids have in their upcoming plans.
This yo-yoing back and forth is not over yet and I'm not alone in finding this a challenge. So, what do you need to help your nervous system adjust to restrictions increasing and decreasing?
For me, I've found that time in nature has been a wonderful way to readjust slowly. I've been able to start seeing small numbers of friends and family while being outdoors. Being connected to the natural world is also a way for me to easily feel grounded and to sleep better.
When starting to engage in other activities, I have found that I need to titrate my exposure and go back to busier places very slowly.
As well as the changes with Covid-19, this week has brought upheaval to the people of Afghanistan. Many of the clients that I saw this week served in the Canadian military in Afghanistan and are needing to find ways to process this news. In other parts of the world, we are dealing with fires and earthquakes. It has been overwhelming!
For all of us, bringing mindful consumption (one of the skillful habits from my course) to our media intake can help our nervous systems avoid overload. Again, seeing how you can titrate your exposure and mix it with an activity that calms your system, like time in nature.
I was lucking enough to start my Friday with a paddle with my son and a swim around an island. It has allowed me to come back to my desk and wrap up the week from a fresh place. I hope that you can also find a way to bring some calm to your body this week.
Wishing you a mindful week!