Nearly everyone I know is exhausted, including me. Oof.
I thought it was the combination of losing a friend, then saying goodbye to one of my beloved kitties, plus the ongoing stress of owning two businesses during a pandemic... I'm sure those things aren't helping, but I think the overall exhaustion is this:
It's been a year.
One full year later and we're still talking about the "new normal" when, at least for me and nearly everyone I know, few things feel "normal".
I think our collective exhaustion is due to our collective *grief*. Grief about all the postponed and canceled plans, grief about the things we miss about our previous lives, grief about sick or transitioned loved ones, grief about lost income, lost hope, and lost connections.
I don't have the solution, though I sure as heck wish I did.
I do, however, have suggestions. I have tools and resources that can at least *help* to create a bit more Ease and even a pinch of Rejuvenation.
What are your Needs?
For starters, get in touch with your needs. Take the time to check in with yourself and ask your body, mind, heart, and spirit "What do you need, right now?"
I shared this Needs List with a client recently. There's also the more classic one on this NVC website.
Once we identify which needs are being unmet, we at least have a shot at meeting them.
This can be the harder part, though.
I encourage you to get creative. Missing friend time? If you aren't comfortable with meeting in person, I'm sure you know by now that you can video chat on Zoom or FaceTime, but what about connecting on WhatsApp? I've found that exchanging voice messages with just a couple of very close friends feels surprisingly nourishing - with the agreed understanding that no reply is needed in any specific time frame.
Perhaps you're missing socializing over food. If you're comfortable, make plans to have a backyard gathering where y'all pick up tacos or some other food that isn't shared but can be enjoyed together. (Research shows that enjoying something in the presence of another person boosts our enjoyment of that experience. No wonder so many of us are feeling the effects of isolation!)
Nervous System Self-Care
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Learn easy and simple self-regulation techniques during these (currently FREE) 30-minute classes from Kristen Toth.
Add in some Levity & Joy!
When life feels heavy, take a dance break. Watch a video that makes you laugh out loud. Play at a playground. Soak up some sunshine. Make silly noises with kids or friends or family members. Sing a fun song. Singing this song always boosts my mood!
What are your needs? In this moment? Today? This week?
I suspect that you could use some REST. How can you lighten your load? Who can you ask for help? What obligations or commitments can you say "no" to (which you could think of as saying "yes" to yourself)?
And of course, if you're ready for loving support and encouragement, let's plan a quick chat to see if we're a good match for Happiness Coaching.
In the meantime, I'm going to lead by example by honoring myself with rest this weekend, while being easy and gentle with myself for not being able to do as much as I'd like. Perhaps you'd like to do the same.