I hope this note finds you well as we journey into February. For many of you – especially our Northern Hemisphere friends and those on the North American East Coast – this time of year brings much cold, and dark.
We’re wired to ‘tend and befriend’
Whether or not you’re sensitive to the cold or to the changes in sunlight, you may find this winter especially difficult as we continue to journey through a pandemic. The isolation is so hard on our nervous systems, brains, and well being.
As human beings, we’re wired to connect – to tend and befriend – when we’re under stress. Without these sources of connection and buffers of support, we’re often left with other stress responses – fight, flight – or feed!
If you find yourself feeling scattered, irritable, eating more than normal, or consuming a lot of media or internet surfing, this may be a gentle way your nervous system is asking for connection and support.
Coming home to ourselves
When we find ourselves struggling, what we often need is gentleness, and connection. We feel so much better when we reach out to others when we’re feeling tired or overwhelmed!
But because stress puts us into a frozen or hyperactive mode, we often forget these simple things that reconnect us to optimism, care, and joy.
So we need gentleness to counteract the drivenness, gentleness to soften the fixing mindset of stress, and gentleness to move us into a place of receiving help and support.
Through gentleness, we come back into our hearts and bodies, to reaffirm and re-member that there’s nothing wrong with us.