How to connect with your feelings in lockdown
"In a difficult time like this, it can be easy to lose track of how we’re coping and feel disconnected from our own feelings." Elise, 23, shares her tips for checking in with yourself during the pandemic.
Lockdown has affected each and every one of us in different ways. We have all had to spend significant amounts of time alone or just with our household to protect our loved ones.
For many, working from home has become the new norm. Although this presents certain advantages, the lack of face-to-face communication leaves us craving interaction. Now, more than ever, it is important to acknowledge the importance of communication for our wellbeing.
One thing I have observed during the last few months is when someone asks me how I am, usually my reflex is to reply “I’m not too bad,” or “I’m good” without thinking about it. Often this is because I’m not sure how I’m actually feeling. In a difficult time like this, it can be easy to lose track of how we’re coping and feel disconnected from our own feelings. But here are some techniques you can use to help you check in with yourself, uncover hidden feelings and make you feel more present:
Journaling is a simple yet great way to unjumble your mind. You only require a pen, paper and yourself. When you write down your thoughts, it can help you to then view them with greater clarity. Often, we have too many ideas spinning around inside our head, and it is hard to make sense of them. Yet, when we see them in front of us, we can then begin to assess our own behaviour and uncover the reasons behind why we may be experiencing that particular feeling.
Creative/free writing is different to journaling in that it is a way in which you are able to turn your thoughts into something new. I would recommend poem writing. To begin, you can write down one or two of your main feelings. From this, you can then map out your ideas and allow yourself to get creative with words. There are no rules here; the sky is the limit.
Voice notes have allowed me to feel more connected to my friends during lockdown. They provide a more personable form of communication than texting. On days where I have had little to no contact with anyone, I have been really enjoying having a heart-to-heart conversation via voice notes.
For me, yoga has had a significant impact on my mental wellbeing. It has helped me to gain balance, perspective and focus. It is an immersive experience which nourishes the mind and body. While working from home, yoga has been the perfect daily ritual accompaniment, as you can practise for as little as ten minutes at a time. It is a very diverse practice, and you can adapt the style to fit your individual needs. From Yin to Power Vinyasa, there is a style for all. Yoga also teaches you the fundamentals of breathing, which can help calm the mind.
One of the biggest lockdown lessons I have learnt is the power of open communication. More often than not, we continue to put ourselves under excessive amounts of pressure to carry on, regardless of how we are feeling. It is a natural reaction to believe we need to be busy to be productive. Yet sometimes we need to be still to be productive. We need to allow ourselves time to process information. I hope that these techniques will aid you in feeling more connected to yourself and calm the mind.
Author: Elise, 23
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