World's biggest psychological experiment
With at times 2.6 million people around the world in some kind of lockdown, we are conducting arguably the largest psychological experiment ever!
This is something we have no training or experience in and it has been extremely tough on most of us, at least in some way. Of course there have been the silver linings: becoming creative again, loving our gardens, baking bread, resting, reading, the list is endless and I am sure each of us has something that we would personally add.
This slowing down, this taking away of many distractions, gives space for the mind to run free. It allows feelings and thoughts that have perhaps been ignored or pushed down to surface and this is not easy.
Personally, I have had days of wobbliness and sadness and then harsh judgement of these same feelings.
At times I feel there is an unrealistic expectation to be happy all the time. What is not often talked about is that at times it is ok and even appropriate to not be ok. To be human is to be flawed!!
If you are tapping into reservoirs of strength and inner resilience celebrate that, you are much needed. If you are struggling this is a normal response. Sometimes we must allow ourselves to be humbled by a situation. To feel and allow ourselves to be messy and not know what to do next.
Give yourself permission to feel and be with what you are going through. however, if this all becomes too much please reach out to someone or ask for some professional advice and please let go of the unrealistic expectation that you must present a happy face to the world at all times.
For us in regional Victoria we have started to gently emerge and open our wings. Be kind to yourself during this transition. Some of us will want to socialise a lot, others will need to go gently and slowly. Whatever feels most natural to you. Do so with out judgement as neither way of being is right or wrong.
Below is a really useful exercise from Russ Harris, psychologist and author of the Reality Slap, a helpful book if you are wanting to explore being with your emotions and thoughts kindly and mindfully.
Drop The Anchor
This very brief exercise can be done at any time and in any place. Dropping anchor is really useful if you find yourself overwhelmed, lost in the future or the past. It will quite quickly ground you into the present moment. Try it several times a day.
Take 5 -10 seconds to do the following:
Push your feet hard on to the floor and straighten your spine
As you do this, take a slow deep breath.
Look around and notice 5 things that you can see.
Listen carefully and notice 5 things you can hear.
Notice where you are and what you are doing.
Remember to hold yourself kindly as you do this.
Take good care of yourself Go well