Here we are, amidst yet another historical time in 2020… would it be too much to ask to not live through something historical this year? Ha ha, but in all reality, I’m ready for it to slow down—but for some reason, I’ve felt guilty slowing down.
If you're anything like me, here's your permission: slow down. Stop, even. Take a break. Take a breath.
Between an election, a pandemic, constant debates, and more, our nervous systems are on overdrive. You might find that you’re getting forgetful about things, you might find that you’re getting emotional over things that typically wouldn’t get to you (full disclosure, I cried during an Allstate commercial the other day), you might feel exhausted all day long.
I'm here to tell you that those experiences are normal.
There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need to “pull it together” or be strong in front of your friends and family. It’s okay to breakdown. This is new, this is foreign… we are all adjusting.
Because of this adjustment period, it can be very tempting to engage in social media debates, and before you do, I invite you to pause. Ask yourself the following questions before responding to that post or sending a DM:
- Am I feeling defensive?
- Do I feel the need to prove or teach something?
- Am I trying to be right?
A lot of us are having a difficult time self-regulating (hence the reason we are feeling tired, emotional, irritable—basically, not feeling ourselves). And, I’m here to tell you: not all hope is lost, there’s amazing thing our nervous systems do—they can sync to other people’s!
Have you ever been drawn to someone’s energy, or felt like you were in a really funky mood until you saw a good friend who gave you a hug and then all right was restored in the world? That’s their nervous system down-regulating yours. Pretty rad, right?
Now, this can also go the other way. If you’re not feeling grounded, and get sucked into someone else’s heated presidential debate energy, it can be incredibly destabilizing. We can feel our fight or flight kick in and react in ways we never thought possible.
It’s more important now than ever to slow down, practice some self-care, and breathe. Perhaps we turn off the news and take an evening stroll around the block. Maybe we logout of Instagram for the evening and call a close friend.
We need connection now more than ever. Be the nervous system that can down-regulate someone else’s. Bring the energy to the world that you seek—and watch in awe as it reflects to you.