We are well into the third month of lock down. It has been quite a trip so far and we don't think that it's going to end soon. How have you been feeling?
A roller coaster of emotions
The extended isolation, constraints around movement and the challenges of social distancing and connecting with those we love have certainly taken their toll on us. We have watched as our emotions have gone on a roller coaster ride. One minute we have felt resilient, hopeful and determined that we can get through this; the next we have felt defeated, dismayed and hopeless. Sadness has overwhelmed us at times, a grief for a known normality we may never, ever have again. The uncertainty, the fear, the inability to plan, has scattered us mentally. Lockdown brain is real, folks.
What comes will go
We also know that these feelings are normal and all part of being under ongoing lockdown. But knowing that does not make dealing with them any easier. The upside is that we have been given the opportunity to practice what we preach. We have a daily Shape of Emotion practice that we engage in that helps with mitigating the impact of the tsunami waves of emotion. We have had to work at consciously communicating how we are feeling and stifling the need to fix if the other is not in a resourceful place. We remind each other that what comes will go and our job is to focus on what we can control.
Allow yourself to feel
The challenge has been to be present to the feelings, good and bad. Not judging them or ourselves, not comparing our situation with others and therefore whether we deserve to feel the way we do or not. Just allowing ourselves to feel. And it is not a light "just", because it is not easy or, at times, pleasant. Inner work takes commitment, determination and courage. It is not for sissies and that's why so many people don't, won't or can't do it. But, like anything, the hard work pays off. In a stronger immune system, better sleep patterns, stronger relationships and deeper compassion and self love.
Another positive outcome is that it has also given us the strength to get creative and work on some exciting new initiatives. Here is what we have been doing:
Online Shape of Emotion curriculum
We have developed an online option of our Shape of Emotion curriculum. If learning Shape of Emotion is something that interests you, please tell us if you want to find out more. We'll be sharing the dates of the course soon.
We have a variety of online talks that we have offered. Our Emotions Matter - really talk has elicited positive feedback and interest in our work. We have given several taster talks where we offer an overview of how emotions are made, what happens when we do not attend to them and a "How" in the form of a taste of Shape of Emotion. These have been particularly well received for being practical, clear and informative.
More Emotional Fitness Classes
We extended our Emotional Fitness Classes from once a week to three times a week and have built a base of regulars from all corners of the country and continent who find the regular release invaluable for their sanity and ongoing wellbeing.
Our first webinar on mental health
We will be presenting the first in a series of webinars on mental health and emotional wellbeing, starting Wednesday 8 July at 17:30. What to do before everything gets too much - easy to use tools and techniques to keep you mentally well and emotionally fit is the topic of the webinar and promises to be a no-nonsense look at what you can do as opposed to what you should, have to, must do. Register at: www.5th.place/webinars
A podcast is coming, too!
Chantal's favourite thing to do while completing domestic chores is to listen to podcasts. This inspired another project: 5th Place Emotions matter - really! podcasts. Coming to you soon from your favourite podcasting platform.
Date: July 8, 2020
Time: 17:30 - 18:30 CAT
Where: Online, using Zoom