How are you feeling today? Do you feel like you need coping mechanisms for HSP’s/Empaths during the Corona Coaster?
I currently feel as though I am on the high end of the corona coaster. However, the reality is that my mood energy level, an overall sense of well-being can shift and change on a daily, weekly, and even hourly basis. Which is actually normal to have fluctuations in mood as an HSP, or empath, or even just as a human being.
But what happens when we have a global pandemic? This collective trauma caused by the loss of life, jobs, businesses, loved ones, all the natural disasters that have been happening, all the divisiveness that is happening in the United States, and then you add that to our own personal struggles.
What happens when we have a Global pandemic? How do you
As you can imagine is what people have started calling, The Corona Coaster.
As an HSP or empath, this can feel even more like a roller coaster. One of our main traits is that we feel things much differently. All the stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and feeling like it’s all just too much, and really just wondering when will all this end and things get back to normal?
Well, if you haven’t already figured this out, things are not going to go back to normal. And depending on who you ask, this may not be a bad thing, the way things were functioning before, were not working for everyone. A lot of the spiritual teachers that I follow keep saying that this is a big shift, a big shift in consciousness, a big overall change.
Why is this so hard?
As HSP’s and Empaths we love to understand things at an intellectual level. We have a tendency to be deep thinkers and feelers, and that makes this situation even more difficult for us to handle.
Some of you may be familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If you aren’t, it is a pyramid and at the bottom of the pyramid are your physiological needs. Food, water, things like that that you need to survive. The next level is safety, then belonging, then esteem, and then self-actualization. So most likely, you were in the higher part of the pyramid before the pandemic hit. And as soon as we had to do shelter in place and we had to be home, you dropped down to the safety part of the pyramid and maybe even the physiological part of the pyramid because we went to grocery stores and some of our essential needs were not there. Or you were concerned about whether you were going to get the food you needed or not. So that threatened the physiological level. With all of that playing in, it makes sense that those higher levels of the pyramid aren’t as much of a priority when we are concerned about these other needs.
We are usually in other parts of this hierarchy, but we have spent a lot of time in survival. We are in a constant state of fight/flight mode, whether we are conscious of this or not.
Your usual coping mechanisms may no longer be working
With this added level of collective trauma, rapid changes, and personal stress, it is no wonder that the usual meditations that you used and the journaling or other techniques are not feeling like they are enough. Here are some things to try instead:
Shifting your Perspective: The Story about the Corona Coaster you tell
Ask yourself, what is your perspective, or the lens that you look at the world through? When you experience an event, hear a story, or even have a memory that has to go through your brain to be processed before you can perceive it. What have you been focusing on? Be honest with yourself.
If you want to feel less anxious, tell yourself a new story. Think about how you can see things from a different perspective. Maybe focus on what is working vs. what isn’t. Our brain’s default is to focus on all that isn’t going well which is not going to help you overcome anxiety.
It is time to focus on what is working in your life, your community, and your family. When something happens that is not the way you would like things to be, going down a negative spiral of thought is not going to make the situation better. Instead, acknowledge the thought that this event didn’t go the way you wanted, allow yourself to feel the sadness or whatever emotions come through. Then think of what is good, what if anything you can do to contribute to others to improve the outcomes, or if there is anything you can do to change the situation.
Listen to your Physical Body- Your body communicates with you
Our physical bodies are an essential source of wisdom when we choose to pay attention to. Most of us go through our days lost in our thoughts. We tend to ignore bodily sensations regularly while focusing on our work or inner world. HSP’s and empaths are known to have a rich inner life so it becomes easier for us to ignore our body’s wisdom.
I am going to recommend that you pay attention to what your body is telling you, it is key to your well being.
For instance, if you are feeling hungry then your body is telling you something. Take a look at your diet, did you eat what your body needs today? Are you dehydrated? Hungry? Or do you just need a break? Hunger is a signal to pay attention to. It may not mean you need to eat, but you must take care of your body to decipher the message.
Listen to your body for the emotions it communicates as well. Your body will tell you when you are stressed, we have a physical response to stress. Your heart rate will increase, your muscles tighten, and maybe your stomach hurts. When you are in that state, notice and make changes necessary to move into a more aligned and calmer state.
How many physical sensations a day do you ignore? Try paying attention to when you are tired, hungry, thirsty, or feeling pain. Your body is communicating with you, pay attention. When you receive a physical sensation, take a few moments, and check in to see what your body is telling you.
Release and Process the Anger (In a Healthy Way)
Anger can go hand in hand with anxiety. Are you feeling irritable, do the littlest things frustrate you? You may have pent up anger. It is time to pay attention and release anger in a healthy way that harms no one.
You can use your body, the kinesthetic, to release the anger. If you are not sure how to do this, here is a list of some things you can do to process the anger and release it from your body. First, it is important to recognize what is happening, notice the anger, and then choose a safe way to release it.
Throw things safely: Can you go into nature and through acorns? How about stuffed animals against a wall? How about a baseball or tennis ball at a court wall?
Whatever you choose, imagine that your anger is being thrown out of your body. The object you choose to throw is a conduit for your anger.
Scream: I am going to recommend you scream in an empty room and not direct this at anyone else. This is not meant for you to take your anger out on someone else, it is to get the frustration out of your body.
Punch a pillow: take some pillows and imagine you are punching your source of anger. Imagine the anger is leaving your body and going into the pillow.
Stomp your feet: You can imagine you are stomping out the anger.
Go for a run, spin, or other meditative movements. You can use the exercise to move the energy out of your body. Set the intention before you begin and imagine the energy moving out of your body.
Once you release the anger you may notice the emotion underneath. Is it a disappointment, hurt? Then you can really work through the emotions and then once you’ve moved past anger.
Use Essential oils
Use your sensitivity to your advantage. Essential oils work really well for many sensitive people and empaths. There are some great essential oils that help with relieving stress. My favorite is Lavender, and or a chamomile blend. When I am feeling out of my body, I love a grounding blend.
Make sure that you use a high-quality essential oil, it is important that you invest in what you put into your body, what you breathe in, or put on your body.
You can diffuse the essential oil into your room, if it has safe ingredients you can wear it like perfume, some oils are even safe to ingest.
Here is a link where you can purchase high-quality essential oils: https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/kavitamelwani
Access and Channel your Creativity
Use your creativity to express how you are feeling. You can draw, paint, color, or make a collage. Be creative, play with the medium you choose, don’t worry about the end result. Use the creative tool to have fun and release the emotions from your body. We store emotions which can cause health issues, including anxiety. According to Dr. Gabor Mate, a lot of stress and disease can be linked to childhood trauma, anxiety and stress, and unexpressed emotions. Here is his video on the topic. Overcoming anxiety without drugs will take some effort, but it is definitely worth the effort.
You are not alone in this!
There are so many ways to overcome anxiety. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and exercise are often recommended and a great outlet to release that negative energy. If you are beating yourself up then read on how to develop self-compassion when you are feeling burnt out.
Please know that this is not forever and it is a great opportunity to grow. We are much needed now, so you must learn resilience.
If you feel you need extra support, I am going to encourage you to reach out and find some. Invest in your mental health.
If you would like to find out about working with me you can apply for a complimentary 30-minute clarity session where we can discuss where you need support, what can help, and whether working together is a good fit. Below is the link to do this!
Whether you reach out for support with me or someone else, please know you deserve support, and we can’t do this alone!