These perplexing, pandemic times have thrown all of us into a new territory of being. Our way of life is not the same and the tenacious changes are leaving many of us feeling worried and exhausted.
Therapists are carrying unusually heavy caseloads and turning clients away. We are so stressed out! Can you relate?
The struggle with the weight of today’s daily stress is tangible in so many ways. We need strategies for coping with the stress and exhaustion of uncertainty.
What Happens When We Feel So Groundless?
When we are unable to connect the dots back to any experience in our lifetime that we can relate to having overcome, we are left feeling even more suspended and groundless. The majority of us do not like this feeling of intense uncertainty.
Pema Chodron, an American Tibetan Buddhist and well-known author, from her book Comfortable with Uncertainty, says that:
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.”
What Happens When We Are Forced Out of Our Comfort Zone
Here is a big moment in time when we are being thrown out of our nest and challenged to live fully. The thing is, we like our comfortable, semi predictable nest. Being thrown out of our comfort zone is often what we want to avoid. Feeling groundless is scary even when it offers the opportunity for great growth and the potential stretch to the next level of adaptability.
Our brains are hardwired for keeping us alive, so the majority of us feel threatened when we are out of our comfort zones. Only about 10% of us thrive on obstacles and groundlessness.
When we are forced out of our comfort zone we often experience stress, anxiety, and fear in our hearts, bodies and minds. We need strategies for coping with the stress and exhaustion of uncertainty.
The primitive part of our brain, the amygdala, mobilizes (the stress response or fight or flight ) to deal with the potential threat. This threat could even be the fabrication of fear in our own minds and not just something like a poisonous snake in our path.
Coping with the Stress and Exhaustion of Uncertainty
If we are constantly in this stress response, our bodies do not get the chance to recover. We just don’t have the reserves to take care of ourselves or others. This makes us susceptible to exhaustion, illness and burnout.
Here are 8 Tips For Better Coping:
- Put down what is not essential. What can wait?
- Go back to basics: rest, hydrate, move gently, nourish yourself.
- When you’re tired, less is possible. Be OK with that and adjust your “to do list.”
- Apply coping strategies that relax and calm you like nature hikes, dancing, singing, yoga, meditation, naps and deep breathing.
- Say “no” to those activities or people that deplete you and “yes” to what nourishes and restores you.
- Minimize refined sugar and caffeine as these promote stress in the body.
- Go easy on yourself. Remember how far you have come.
- Reach out and ask for help so you can tame your stress and feel better!
If we can let go of resisting change and allow ourselves to be okay experiencing the uncomfortable feelings of stress and uncertainty, we begin to relax into the groundlessness.
It takes courage to allow ourselves to be okay with the experience of uncertainty. To experience our lives up in the air and simply observe it with a fresh perspective is not easy, but possible.
Being curious and observing life more closely, we see that there is freedom in nothing being fixed. This openness can offer us a new, fresh perspective.
One Thing You Can Do Now
From this place of relaxing into the unknown, ask yourself this: “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself and others?” Now, take your next step.
One More Thing…
If you would like assistance with better coping in your life, please book a free clarity call with me and we can unpack what you’re struggling with and create a plan to move you in a better direction.
Mucho love, light & blessings,