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On Feeling Activated in Today’s World

It’s without question that the current events taking place in our country and the world are the catalyst for some great BIG feelings. Some we are aware of, others are buzzing in the background.

Anger, which often erupts due to feeling uncomfortable with the emotions of fear, loss, and sadness seems as if it is surrounding us these days. With the uncertainty that hangs in the air due to the pandemic and the economic and political unrest, it isn’t surprising that so many of us are feeling activated, agitated, and stressed.

In the middle of this, we still have our day to day responsibilities of work, parenting, domesticity, etc. to tend to, not to mention self care and staying healthy. These responsibilities can feel especially weighty when we are charged up emotionally and energetically - and we all respond in different ways - which largely were learned when we were young and had fewer means available to us to cope with and process stress.

Some will go into a state of overwhelm that leaves them paralyzed, which could be expressed as lethargy, indecision, inability to find motivation, and more. On the other end of the spectrum, others in an agitated state will become hyperaroused, and feel as if they must “DO” something, anything, and will be unable to rest or relax.

It’s up to us in these instances to recognize and be aware of what is happening, and to use the tools we have available to help ourselves feel what is happening and regulate, or (and this is a big one!) ask for help in doing so.

Asking for assistance from loved ones, friends, or seeking professional assistance from a therapist or other trusted helper may sound or seem simple, but it can be a daunting task for many. As a (mostly) reformed extremely independent woman, I can really relate to feeling like a failure, a nagging burden, or whatever reasoning us do-it-ourself-and-only-ourselfers can imagine.

The truth is though, that as humans, we are physiologically designed to live and thrive in community. We simply cannot live our fullest, most beautiful lives as soloists. Asking for and receiving help can be a simple and profoundly healing experience for all involved. Sometimes, when we are feeling activated, help can come in the form of a hug or a moment of gazing into the eyes of someone you trust and asking them to remind you that you are ok. Or you might ask for help with some of those day to day tasks that feel overwhelming right now, to give yourself some space to rest to do something that helps you feel centered, like taking a walk, a bath, or even a nap.

There are times and situations when asking for help isn’t available, and we do need to understand what can be done to help ourselves when needed. Sometimes we haven’t yet identified what helps bring us back to a feeling of balance, and other times it can be simply a matter of deciding what will feel best in a given situation. Writing down a list of things that help you feel good (hugs, movement, time with friends, listening to music, being with a pet, etc) and putting it in a visible place can help remind you of these things when you need them most.

Give yourself and others some grace, friends, we are all wading through the mud these days with varying levels of success. We need each other, so please be kind. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, ask for a hug or hand to hold, and let's move forward from a place of love and balance.

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