The South Coast has had more than its fair share of trauma in the past 12 months. From fires to floods, then COVID and an ongoing battle with increasing rates of suicide.
The mood is sombre there is a sense of despair. When will it end? What can we do? No one is left untouched as we currently stand. So let’s unite, stand together (1.5 m apart of course). Let’s think about how we can connect in a world that is trying its darndest to disconnect us.
Connection, or attachment is essential to human survival and is said to characterize human experience from the cradle to the grave. We are born wired for connection and this connection goes beyond the surface level, it’s about feeling in tune with the universe, with ourselves and with others.
The more connected we feel, the easier it becomes to overcome obstacles. Life will always throw us lemons, but with connection we can make lemonade, we all love a good lemonade stand right?!
So let’s take a look at how we can unite, within our universe, within ourselves, and within our community to continue to build the resilience that we all have within us.
Connection to the Universe
- Bring your awareness into your mind and body. Acknowledge and accept each observation through your senses.
- Bring your awareness to your breathing, just breathe in and out, normally and naturally.
- Now bring your attention to where you are seated. Feel the connection of your body on the chair, feel the chairs connection to the floor.
- Then bring your awareness to how the floor is connected to the building you are in and the buildings connection to the ground it is built on.
- Let your awareness expand to the earth below you. Notice how the earth is holding you. Allow the earth to keep holding you in this safe space while you keep breathing in and out, feeling the interconnection of your body and the earth, no isolation or separation.
You might also like to use a grounding technique to connect yourself to the present moment and the sights, sounds and smells of nature around you.
o Notice five things that you can see, five things that you can hear, five things that can smell and five things that you can feel.
Check out mindful.org for more ideas of how to increase your awareness and sense of connection.
Connection To Yourself
- Notice your feelings both physical and emotional. Take a minute to do a body scan, notice what you are experiencing and where you are experiencing the feeling in your body.
- Put words on the experience. ‘I am feeling brave.’ ‘I am noticing a warm feeling in my heart.’ ‘I am nervous and excited at the same time.’ ‘I am enjoying the smell of the salt air.’
- Accept your thoughts and emotions. When we stop avoiding, we are able to let go of stress and feel in touch with the world. Instead of judging your thoughts and emotions, just notice them. They are much less scary when we take the judgement out of them.
- Engage in enjoyable activities that you can do on your own. You might want to go for a walk in nature, or with your dog. You might want to try a new recipe or learn a new skill.
- Practise self-compassion. How can you bring comfort and care for yourself just as you would for others.
Check out self-compassion.org for some wonderful resources to guide you through how to become more compassionate towards yourself.
Connection with others
- Smile at people, you’ll probably find that they smile back.
- Initiate a conversation, if it feels scary just talk about something general, like the weather. Personally, I am very excited about Spring arriving shortly!
- Ask people about their day, act interested.
- Give out compliments, you’ll probably make someone’s day and people love to connect with those that make them feel good about themselves. Take compliments when you receive them too!
- Find a hobby and join a social group. If you enjoy running, join a running group. If you like art, take up an art class. If you like reading, start a book club. Of course these things may look a little different at the moment (thanks COVID) but they are possible in some capacity and it is becoming more accessible with updated COVID safety plans.
Let us know how you go with your connection. We can all learn from each other.
If you or anyone you know continues to feel isolated, one of our experienced psychologists can provide support with learning how to re-connect to the universe, to yourself and to others.