15th April 2020
When thinking what I wanted to say here, I imagined writing about the uncertainty of this time, the anxiety it might be provoking, the struggle of trying to carry on and adjust to this idea of a ‘new normal’. All this is true but I wouldn’t be saying anything that people aren’t already saying or feeling for that matter. And I also don’t want to hold myself up as some kind of authority, offering advice about anxiety management, accepting the uncertainty etc etc. I’m not sure that feels helpful right now or that it would be coming from an authentic place. I guess because I’m trying to adjust and get my head around what is happening just like everyone else.
For me this has meant focusing on different things to ‘normal’ or focusing on the same things in different ways. This includes my counselling practice and taking the step toward working online. It’s been important to give myself space to consider what I need in order to take this step confidently and allow my practice to evolve in the most natural way against highly exceptional circumstances. It’s also included negotiating different routines at home, acknowledging individual need for space and trying to adapt to a very different way of living. Like most of us, I imagine.
As we move into a kind of acceptance of lockdown the idea of space will resonate for us all. For some there may be a lack of it as families find themselves forced together like never before. For others there may be too much of it as individuals are forced to self-isolate and retreat from normal social activities. There may well be a feeling of both. And I’m acutely aware that for many in society – particularly those who are dealing with Covid-19 first hand – probably don’t have space to stop and think at all.
There seems to me a kind of space that we all need. Space to pause, take a minute and breathe in order to feel more anchored to ourselves and to the moment. It helps because it gives a sense of control at a time when so much is out of our control. It helps because it gives a feeling of calm when our bodies and minds might be feeling anything but that.
I’ve included a short video by Betsy Polatin (a breathing and movement specialist trained in the Alexander Technique) who guides a five-minute breathing practice. I’ve done it and think it’s helpful. If you choose to do it, which of course is up to you, I hope you find it helpful too.
Thank you for reading.