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Feeling Lonely and Anxious?

You are in good company.

For many, current times have bred loneliness and anxiety. Our communities have been wrapped in fear going on two years. This ongoing external and internal stress can cause us to lose our center and feel more and more disconnected from ourselves as well as from one another. Hence that feeling of loneliness.

In addition, many people I am seeing in my practice right now describe feeling seeped in anxiety. They will say "I don't know why I feel so anxious, but it's really becoming unbearable".

Free floating anxiety is a by-product of long standing fear and uncertainty about both their safety as well as concern about where the world is headed.

When we observe the division among family and friends. When we no longer have any idea when and if life will get back "to normal" (whatever that may be).

For many, these feelings are becoming all too familiar and with that comes higher levels of worry and anxiety.

Below are some basic tools to help you and those you love navigate uncertain times:

  1. Breath. Get back to basics. Breath in and out and feel yourself grounded in this moment. As you breath think about a time and place that brought you joy and happiness. Relive that moment. Our nervous system doesn't know the difference between a memory and current experience. We can reset our nervous system by re-engaging in a positive memory for a few minutes.

  2. Look at a picture of the Earth from space. We can get so wrapped up in the drama taking place around us that we lose perspective that we are here for a great adventure and every day can be an interesting chapter in that story. Some chapters are more challenging and less enjoyable, but they are part of this grand story.

  3. Allow. Allow yourself to have the feelings that you are having without running from them. We often notice when uncomfortable feelings come forward, we try to get and keep as busy as possible. Yet, when we settle down or get in bed, we may notice those feelings didn't get processed, but rather just suppressed and are now stalking us. When we allow ourselves to sit with the discomfort and breath, the energy often moves through us and releases out of our nervous system.

  4. Envision. Looking forward and creating a day in your mind that would bring you contentment. Maybe a walk to the coffee shop. Sitting and reading a book in a park. Putting your bare feet onto the ground. Visiting with an old friend who often has a positive outlook. Reminiscing about past joyful experiences. Inviting a friend for a picnic by a lake.

  5. Cultivate Acceptance. Many of were raised on the belief that we were in control of our lives. What many are discovering, maybe for the first time, is that often things happen in life that were unexpected as well as unwanted. Allowing the grief of this realization will lead to acceptance moment to moment.

We are living in unfamiliar times where life looks different than it used to and we are all still getting used to the "new normal". With big changes can come discomfort while we are adjusting. Being loving and patient with yourself as well as those around you will offer more internal peace and grace as you navigate the new map that we are living in.


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