To cope with this pandemic, I have: 1) stayed informed, sometimes to the extreme of a news binge, 2) cleaned the house, which clears the mind, but most of all, 3) I have been cycling through my feelings throughout the day.
It's the emotional releases and clearing of the immense clutter in the emotional brain from the pandemic that can help us the most. With the extent of chaos, loss of life, physical restrictions, and massive societal and global changes, without that emotional processing, the brain defaults to numbness and overwhelm.
One way of thinking of using EBT emotional processing tools during a pandemic is that we are fighting our own war, an internal, neurophysiological one. The sheer extent of change that life is pouring into our emotional brain causes the thinking brain and the emotional brain to disconnect.
When that happens, we stop "knowing" ourselves.
Really knowing ourselves means knowing ourselves in the reality of our lives. I awoke in the night and felt . . . nothing. It was like a brain fog, and I knew enough to reach for my EBT app and cycle through my feelings. If you are not yet using EBT, the tools are emotional, aimed at clearing high-stress states, and an app guides you through the process.
I cycled through my feelings and discovered why I was so numb. It wasn't just that I needed to release my feelings, but the curious mind has to find circuits that blocked us from reducing threat. Why was I so unprepared for this?
What I came up with in doing the Cycle was the unreasonable expectation that I got my safety from being removed from reality. THAT rang so true, and when I finished the process and used the Take Action Tool for a sense of completion, I felt a warmth and safety inside that made me happy I had processed my feelings.
I realized that the stress of this caused me to lose myself. And by releasing those emotions and peering into my unconscious mind – with an unreasonable expectation bubbling up – I knew myself again. This self. This in-the-midst-of-a-pandemic self.
And that seemed to be all I needed at the time. I'm still feeling the glow.