1. Be Gentle
We all go through major life transitions (i.e. moving away from our childhood home, an employment change, a death, retirement, a major illness) at one point or another in our lives. During these times, we may find ourselves in this state of disconnection, unsettled, and extremely confused.
Be gentle with yourself.
Catch yourself when you say words like should/have/must. Sentences that begin with, "I should be doing more...", "I have to be strong....", "I must find a way....". The statements cause more harm than good, and can be so difficult to manage.
Be gentle with yourself.
You're allowed to go through what you're going through. Allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling. This could be guilt, frustration, sadness, depression, heaviness, etc.
2. Bring Yourself Back To The Basics
When we're in a state of disconnection, we need to get down to the basics. With Maslow's heirarchy of needs, the basics for you and your body are the following:
- Digestion/Excretion of waste
Are they at the level they should be at?
(i.e. eating frequently?, getting 8 solid hours of sleep? digestion is ok?)
Those 7 items are the required pieces we must have to build a strong foundation to develop a sense of security (the next level) and love/belonging (the level above that).
3. Ground Yourself
During times of disconnection, we often find ourselves in states of confusion, disorientation, and difficulty concentration. Along with being gentle with yourself (see #1), grounding yourself will be wonderfully helpful to you. Some of the easiest ways to feel grounded is by connecting with your senses. Here are some examples of engaging your senses:
- Sight: Go for a walk in the park, look at beautiful art online/in a museum, colour/paint, watch a comedy show
- Smell: Bake, enjoy some beautiful flowers, light a scented candle, try essential oils
- Touch: Run your fingers through grass, feel the couch/chair underneath you, pet an animal
- Taste: Enjoy some different flavours (sweet/sour/tangy/savoury), enjoy some sparkling flavoured water, savour some chocolates or other delicacies
- Hearing: Listen to music, play a meditation and engage in the relaxation, listen to the stillness of the house (or open a window and try to hear what is going on outside--birds, cars, windchimes)
4. Surround Yourself with Love
During these difficult times, surround yourself with people who love and will support you. It is very tempting to become hermitted and withdrawn. While taking a break for a while can be helpful, it is also dangerous to do this for too long.
Your family, friends, colleagues, community members, neighbours, and fellow parishioners at a place of worship can be a huge support to you during this time. Welcome their help, and try to accept their love and concern about your difficulties.
If you are having difficulty speaking to them, this Toronto Psychotherapist can help you get into a good space, and actually specializes with identity issues. I have helped many clients gain clarity, develop ways of coping more effectively, and set goals to become more grounded and centred.
Please remember that I offer free, 30 minute consultations for anyone who is considering therapy. If you're in the Toronto area, I'm in North York (Yonge/Finch) and we can review if we're a good fit for each other!
Take great care!