Settle the Ball
I recently made time to listen to Brené Brown's post on her new podcast, "Unlocking Us". Her most recent post, Brené on Anxiety, Calm + Over/Under-Functioning is a brief, 25 minute respite from the weight that we are all shouldering.
In it she has several wonderful gifts:
1. A beautiful soccer metaphor that helps us manage the transition we are feeling from the adrenalin rush we all experienced initially, to the weary fatigue and bewilderment that we might find ourselves currently stewing in.
"Settling the ball" is what happens when a soccer player receives a ball from elsewhere and essentially transitions it to usable play. Her metaphor describes taking a chaotic situation and making it manageable. I have referenced it in my mind several times since hearing the metaphor and it helps me stay focused on the best outcome for any given "wild ball" I receive, whether it is external or from within my mind.
2. She also provides a creative and user-friendly solution for those moments when you and your partner or other family members are vying for care; when everyone is functioning at a low percentage and has nothing left to give. Her advice is practical, applicable and accessible. As always, she leads with her own personal story that helps normalize and validate my own experience.
3. I love her research-supported explanation on scarcity and empathy. Have you noticed people diminishing the difficulty of their experiences for fear that someone else has it worse and they are just complaining? Maybe you hear yourself doing that too?! There is plenty of empathy to go around and she reminds us that the more empathy we feel and give, the more we have.
Yes, it's Grief
Recently, my sister gave me the lovely gift of this article on grief. I admit, even though feelings are a main staple of my field, I was initially surprised to see that word. Right now the world feels laden with anxiety and fear, for sure. But grief? YES.
This article helps us understand the foundation of the feelings we are feeling that are at the surface. Anxiety and fear have roots in different kinds of grief and once we can understand that, we can honor those feelings by allowing ourselves to be sad and recognize the losses that we are incurring during this experience. When we tend to focus on anxiety as the primary feeling we don't often give ourselves the chance to be sad about the things we have lost and fear losing in the future.
Getting In-Sync with Others
Bessel Van der Kolk, MD, leading researcher on trauma gives us a 2 minute encouragement to get connected to others, and why.
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Elizabeth Wade is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Ames, IA. More importantly, she's a regular human being struggling through this crisis, just like you.