It’s no secret that life means lots of twists and turns, moments of deep joy and moments of deep grief, easy days and complicated days, and so on. (And of course, we are often holding these seemingly contradictory experiences all at once.)
When the heavier feelings arrive, we sometimes get stuck. I personally feel like the queen of canceling plans because when I’m having an off day, I tend to lean fully into the weight of it all and struggle to access my tools for processing and/or releasing. Anyone else?!
While talking with a friend today, they shared that they were headed on a drive to a place where they could be surrounded by the sounds of nature. It has been a few tough days for them, and they are using their tools to take care of themself and move through their feelings! This reminded me of this blog post I’ve been wanting to write for some time now… about how we can cultivate rituals for tending to our hearts and gently offering ourselves a reset.
Feeling Feelings AND Making Shifts
Feeling our feelings is an important practice. AND we sometimes need to help ourselves make a shift out of the heaviness or intensity of our feelings. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally okay to cancel plans and to spend a day listening to sad songs and feeling feelings. As I said, I do this on a semi-regular basis. AND I know that I need to encourage myself to move through and with my feelings, rather than being stagnant. I know it’s not helpful for me to be completely consumed by heaviness, as it inhibits my processing.
I see and hear this with clients too. Here’s a little metaphor that might illustrate this experience: You know how binging something on Netflix can feel really fun, until it doesn’t? Leaning into the chill vibes can feel soooo good. AND at some point, you may start to feel heavy or stuck, like you just can’t get away from the screen even though you are no longer really enjoying it. I think feeling our feelings can be the same way… It can be exactly what we need or want, until it isn’t.
Thus, we need rituals and tools for making shifts in and with our energy.
Creating Rituals for Shifting Your Energy
I’ve found 5 main routes to shifting my energy, and I offer there below. As always, there are simply ideas, not prescriptions. Please take what works for you, leave the rest, and edit and adapt to suit your needs and preferences. Repeat a practice a few times or try a few different things, as needed. As you create and engage in these rituals, your job is simply to notice what feels supportive and helpful.
- Tap into your senses. Offer yourself a sensory experience that feels comforting or energizing. A few ideas: take a walk or drive, listen to music, eat something delicious, take a bath, talk to your plants, pet your animal. The key here is to be mindful and really allow your senses to be activated.
- Tune into your breath and body. The breath can be an anchor to the present moment, and it’s always with us. Spend a few minute sintentionally following and notcing your breath. You might also like to move your body as a way of shifting your energy– find 30 movement ideas here!
- Change your environment. Either move to a new space or change something up in your environment. This could mean leaving the room or the home altogether. This could also mean doing things like changing the lighting, moving furniture around, or making your bed.
- Symbolically release your feelings. You can write your feelings out, crumple them up, and burn or shred the paper. You can yell into a pillow or up towards the sky. Find a way to symbolically or energetically let go of the weight of the feelings.
- Seek accountability or community. Ask a friend or loved one to support you in changing things up. This might mean asking them to join you in the ritual or it might mean texting them before and after you’ve done the rituals you want to do. We don’t have to do hard things alone; in fact, we really need one another. <3
It’s All a Process
Being human is a process. Feeling feelings is a process. Shifting energy is a process. So, I invite you to be as kind and gentle with yourself as you can along the way. As you explore new rituals, you may enjoy exploring these self-care practices. Here with you!
*Photo credit: Rawpexel