How To Use Self-Isolation To Reconnect With Yourself And Build An Authentic Life.
As an introvert, I thought I’d be enjoying self-isolation a lot more than I am.
What I am enjoying is the time and space to think about what is truly important to me and what parts of my life I need to change or completely let go. It appears coronavirus has given us all an opportunity to reconnect with ourselves.
What does it mean to reconnect with yourself?
What strikes me as Bruno my Wolfhound X Mastiff and I walk around our suburb every afternoon is how unhurried people are. Everyone is taking a collective beat. Young people are sitting on blankets in the park, chatting. Those of us who still have jobs are sauntering back to our home offices after a lunchtime stroll. Life is a lot less hectic, everyone realises that they don’t have somewhere else to be. As a result, there’s no more shoving past each other and a lot more acknowledgement of the people you pass in the street.
People are reconnecting with their humanity because the push for more has been removed.
When we’re not striving for more money, more status or more things, we have the chance to think and reflect on the way we spend our days.
We have the opportunity to think about who we spend our time with and how we treat those people. And we have time to look into our own hearts and ask if we’re happy with the way we’re living our precious life. This is reconnecting with yourself, and it takes the gift of time.
That sounds scary
Reconnecting with yourself can be scary. It may bring about change, and no one is comfortable with change. It’s why we’re all a little on edge right now and hoarding toilet paper. We need to feel in control in some small way as change envelops us.
But stop for one moment and ask yourself this question:
If coronavirus were to magically disappear at this very moment, would I want to go back to life as it was?
Be honest, would you want to go back to your life exactly as it was? If your honest answer is yes, then stop reading this post immediately and go bake a celebratory cake because you deserve it.
But if you identify areas where perhaps things weren’t serving you, read on for some ways to reconnect with yourself. So you can begin to work on living a life that is more authentic to who you are or want to be.
Reconnect with yourself through song.
Remember when you were a kid? And you would sing your heart out at kindy? Remember how good it felt? And remember how it didn’t matter if you were woefully out of tune? All that mattered was that you were singing your heart out and you were being heard.
As adults we’ve learnt to hide our true voices. We make sure we are acceptable to society with the words we choose and we become self-conscious about the way we sound. But singing is such a beautiful way to reconnect with your heart.
Let me assure you, I am NOT a great singer, but that doesn’t stop me. I sing stupid out of tune songs to my husband all the time. I like to imagine he finds it endearing- I’m sure that’s not the case. But if you’re not ready to sing out loud in front of other people then cool. Hop in the car, close all the windows and go for a long drive. Be sure to have a playlist with all your favourite songs on it. As soon as you’re far enough away from home, crank up the volume and sing to your hearts content.
Singing will help you release any tightly held emotions and frustrations that are getting the way of your healing. Let all of that stuff go as you sing and allow yourself to feel your heart again.
Get reacquainted with your body
Recently I visited an osteopath because my body was so tight that I was having back spasms and calf cramps. After that initial painful visit I felt like a new woman. I honestly hadn’t realised that I was holding so much tension in my body.
But along with the muscle release came a whole lot of emotional release too. What I didn’t know was that if you don’t deal with emotions and instead stuff them down, they eventually manifest as physical aches and pains. Buried feelings never die, they hang around in your body until you release them.
I now visit my osteopath monthly. I’ve also started seeing an acupuncturist who helps me release stored energy. I can not overstate how much my emotional health has improved. My yoga is a lot better now too…
However, now is probably not the time to be booking in appointments for allied health treatments. Save that for when things return to normal. Or whatever normal will be when this is all over and done with. Perhaps a regular sweaty workout will do to help you reconnect with yourself. Or a morning stretch to get your blood flowing.
We spend so much of our days seated in front of a screen. Moving your body, taking time for self massage and reacquainting yourself with your physical body will help you reconnect with your heart and release stored emotions.
I first about morning pages from Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. It’s become an essential part of my morning routine. And it’s so simple to practice.
The basic idea is this:
Every morning, as soon as you wake up before you reach for your phone, open your journal and write the first things that come to your mind. Whatever comes, just write it down and let it flow. Even if it feels nonsensical to you.
Writing like this first thing and not censoring yourself allows your subconscious to offload anything it’s working through. Getting all of that stuff on paper allows you to start the day with a clear mind and unburdened heart. This, in turn, allows you to connect with yourself on a deeper level and maybe allows you to tackle some of the deeper issues you’ve been avoiding.
I also like to take a few moments after my morning pages to write down what I’m grateful for that day. This puts me into a state of mind that’s open to perceive and therefore receive more goodness throughout my day.
Breathwork is a wonderful tool for processing emotions, healing anxiety and increasing self-awareness.
Breathwork used to be something practised by monks, gurus and yogis but in our modern age, it has evolved to include techniques that are used as a means of therapy and self-healing.
The beauty of breathwork is that it reduces the physical stress response you feel in your body, and it helps calm your mind. Studies have shown that breathwork is effective in treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It works by helping you enter a deeper state of mind, where you are able to release buried emotions, long-held grudges and even trauma. And if you can release yourself from that, then you can reconnect with yourself and allow yourself to grow.
I have a series of free meditations on the Insight Timer App. If you’de love to try one follow this link to a simple guided breath meditation for inner peace
Ask the right questions of yourself
When you’re soul searching, don’t ask questions like “Why does this always happen to me?” When you ask questions like this your subconscious will try to find an answer and that answer may come to you as “Because you deserve it.” Or “Because you’re useless” None of these answers are true, but probably pre-conditioned responses.
Instead, ask empowering questions like “What can I learn from this so it doesn’t happen again?” And then let your inner voice find the answer.
In order to reconnect with yourself it’s important that you understand what you want from life. What makes you feel good. What you want to create for yourself.
Grab your journal and write yourself a question before you go to bed. Then, in the morning when it’s time to do your morning pages, maybe your uncensored subconscious will answer the question for you.
Some questions you could ask yourself include:
What parts of my life do I really enjoy?
What would I like more of in my life?
If my best friend had to describe me in 3 words, what words would I like them too choose?
The evening Wrap up.
I love this practice so much! It’s like putting your day to bed and tying up any loose ends so you’re not carrying baggage into the next day.
Every evening before bed spend a few minutes with your journal. There’s no need to write an opus or an essay. Just jot down a few lines about:
- What went well during the day
- What you enjoyed
- What you could have done better (if anything)
- A few things you’re grateful for
- What you’re hoping for tomorrow.
By ending your day in this way you finish it well, make peace with yourself and allow hope for the next day.
So turn off the TV and remove yourself from that anxiety loop. Make the best of the situation and show yourself some loving care. This is the perfect time to reconnect with yourself.