In these times of global uncertainty, I wanted to share a few thoughts and resources for positive coping and stress management.
As both a yoga teacher and therapist I fully encourage feeling into the full rainbow of emotions, sensations, and thoughts, however, in situations of extreme stress, loss, and uncertainty I also encourage coping practices that allow for both conscious opening and closing. In unprecedented times of change where everything is rapidly evolving and we find ourselves in uncharted territory, it’s nice to feel a little more in control of what we are experiencing and that OKAY. You don’t have to feel everything so deeply all the time. Over time I do think that the ability to titrate experiences builds a form of resilience and tolerance.
Resilience is the result of being able to successfully lean on and mobilize our internal and external resources to meet the demands and stressors we face. In times of rapid change and extreme stress, this can be particularly difficult, especially when so many circumstances are out of our control. In these times holding space for our fear, looking for helpers, finding the good, leaning on our supports, and cultivating internal resources of calm, relaxation, peacefulness, and contentment are important.
Examples of conscious closing could be grounding, containment, and deliberate distraction. The most simple way I can explain this is by imagining titrating your feelings/experiences similar to the opening and closing of a water faucet. It does not always have to be fully on or off, there are ways we can control the flow. You can either close the flow of water completely by turning the tap off, you might open the tap just a little for a gentle trickle, and you can open the tap all the way and let it gush.
Similarily in situations where you are feeling overwhelmed or maybe have to keep your shit together, you might consciously choose to shift your attention away from what you are feeling in order to get through. Compartmentalization can be a good thing sometimes and I see first responders and front-line workers do it all the time, the trick is having tools that allow us to shift in and out. Conscious closing is not the same as unconsciously closing through numbing and dissociating, rather more of a self-soothing or coping mechanism that is done on purpose in order to get by. In other times you might have the time, space and resources to lean into vulnerability through conscious opening. The conscious opening can be scary, especially for those with complex trauma histories and therefore containment and grounding tools might better allow us to navigate difficult experiences so that we might breakthrough instead of breaking down.
I am currently doing my best to upload various self-care practices for grounding and containment during these challenging times of global uncertainty. These can both be found on both our free and unlimited membership site here. I have recently uploaded a Yoga Nidra for resilience found on the Nidra page and containment and stress management practices on the self-care sessions page :
I also found this great booklet from Psychology tools that I wanted to pass along for those looking for some support in working with anxiety and worry. This booklet offers some research-based cognitive practices, and education for better managing uncertainty, anxiety, and worry.
Instead of postponing the upcoming Mind-Body-Energy: Yoga Psychology, Stress, and Beyond I have decided to offer it as an online program that you can attend live via Zoom classroom or watch through recordings. This course offers education on stress, grounding, containment, and emotional intimacy and regulation. You do not need to be a yoga teacher to attend, in fact, this course is great for counselors, parents, teachers, nurses, first responders, and anybody looking for tools to better manage stress. More details and links can be found below.
Finally, for those looking for additional support, I will be offering tele-counseling and accepting new patients in April. I work with individuals, couples, and teens on a variety of issues including stress, anxiety, depression, body image, emotional distress, trauma, and wellness. The modalities I work with include mindfulness, somatics, compassion-focused therapies, EMDR, DBT, and Gottman couples counseling. Please consult your insurance provider for coverage details. A sliding scale is available for those who require financial assistance. Please reach out to me via the confidential form found on my counseling page: