I had to run one errand in public yesterday, and the psychophysical tension caused by this once-simple act depleted my body for hours. Add in all the other changes in lifestyle and the accompanying kaleidoscope of emotions, and I’m finding myself aching for more and more rest.
As we find ourselves floating in this liminal space, between two worlds, one lofty concept keeps rearing its head: self-worth. In a culture that overvalues productivity and fuses vocation with identity, are you able to listen to the messages that your body is telling you? Or is part of your anxiety clinging to these misguided concepts as a means of escaping reality while also robbing you of your right to heal?
As we are forced to wait and see where exactly we are all heading, invite yourself to be patient in figuring out who you want to be when we get there. Allow yourself to wander, play, and rest in the shadow of the in-between. Take your time. Ask yourself daring questions and be willing to hear new answers as they unfold. Stop looking for your happiness outside of you, and find ways to nurture yourself on the trip.
Practically speaking, nurturing yourself now will benefit your resilience in the long run. While prolonged stress continues to activate the fight-or-flight region of your brain, actively pursuing activities and behaviors that shift brain activity out of that region will help prevent your brain from habitually operating from this place in the future, especially once the outside stress begins to subside. Rest, meditate, dance, be silly, create art, watch a good movie (or a guilty pleasure). Shift your quest from finding all the answers to finding some mental and emotional space.