SO YOU LEFT THE HOUSE AND TALKED TO OTHER PEOPLE.
Best case scenario, you had an amazing time that exceeded your expectations and reminded you that going out into the world can be a richly rewarding experience!
Worst case scenario, you never want to leave the house again.
Last week I posted a bunch of ways to help you wonderfully sensitive humans get out into the world of other humans – who are not always so sensitive. So, this week we are going to talk about what you can do to recover.
>>> So excited to order the Embodiment 101 series that you don’t want to read a whole post? Go here!<<<
Or stay and read. Let’s go….
This might seem so freaking obvious, but you may be surprised at how many people will resist a good nap in order to be “productive”. Actually, you might not be that surprised. That person might be you. You might talk a good nap game, but are you walking that talk?
I’m reading this smart book called Essentialism, which I recommend and will likely wax on about more sometime, but for now, for nap purposes, it tells two stories that really nail the nap thing. In the first story, the author, Greg McKeown, goes to the Google campus, famous for creating a work environment that values rest and play as food for creativity. When Greg looks at the usage logs on the rad nap pods (NAP PODS!) he notes that only ONE PERSON used them during the entire week. Even in a culture that promotes napping, we the people resist. We cling to the tyranny of equating our lovability with keeping our noses to the proverbial grindstone.
It needs to stop.
In the second story, McKoewn talks about the CEO of a large corporation who is known for being incredibly productive, innovative, and energetic, where a co-worker was inquiring about her weekend habits with her husband at a party. Does she kayak? Mountain Climb? Run Marathons? Her husband sets the record straight with: NO! She sleeps! Like, all weekend. Hours and hours, day and night. Because she GETS IT. She gets the relationship between LEGIT presence and meaningful recovery. Sleep is paramount. It’s number one on the list. Do not underestimate the power of a good night’s (or day’s) sleep. That’s why this is first on the list despite it’s considerable Captain Obvious-ness. Be like the CEO, not the nap pod ignoring Googlers.
Bathing is the holy grail of recovery. I am such a bath nerd that it’s become this weird, unconscious habit. If something stresses me out, I’ve been known to get myself in the bathtub before I even realize what I’m doing. You know how you accidentally eat that whole carton of chocolate malt balls and don’t really return to consciousness until you’re getting an echo of your shame back from the deep well of an empty carton? That’s kind of what happens to me with bathing. Minus the shame. It’s important to note that I work from home so habitual bathing is an option. Though I have been known to forget about appointments and realize I’m neck deep in epsom salts when a call is coming in and I’m all: WTF JUST HAPPENED. All to say: it sure beats getting drunk and hungover, or the aftermath of a malt ball binge. The results of a hot bath are: clean skins, calm brains, and sound sleep. Also, I believe we can actually wash off energy that isn’t ours? Whether or not you can science that, you *can* believe it. Intention is powerful, so utilize it and multi-purpose your bath to be the extraordinary wizardry of complete recovery.
3. Health Binge
Spend a day (or a few) doing monitored hydration and clean eating. You don’t just digest food, you have to digest all the sensory input and anxiety that happens around a social situation. Give your digestive system a chance to reset by eliminating some, or all, common allergens like: dairy, soy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and wheat. Get some exercise. Do some meditation. Do All The Healthy Things in your self-care toolbox to help you recover. Obviously, doing this stuff on the regular is paramount both to being present and recovering, but we don’t always do it all. I encourage you to utilize the courage to be consistent! I also welcome you warmly, without judgement, to pay special attention to self caring on the days after you have to do A Thing.
4. Netflix Binge
Much like a health binge, a Netflix binge is a brilliant recovery method! Not even kidding. Netflix binges are best enjoyed, and most enjoyable, in a strong and flexible body, but they are not to be discounted as great recovery tools. I actually had a psychologist (the same genius who suggested I probably needed to find a place *somewhere between* suicide and The Pulitzer Prize) who told me that watching TV was actually good for my overactive brain. I couldn’t agree more. You know your self. You know when your body really needs movement and air. Also, you know that sometimes being still and allowing your brain to hang with your good friends at Dunder Mifflin (who never want to engage in small talk with you) is the right medicine.
And seriously, this is a kind of golden age of great television series. There are some amazing writing, acting, and engaging storylines. Avoid commercials like a pervy, drunk uncle. But good TV can be your really cool aunt who drives a convertible!
::: Thank God, I’m self-employed or that last metaphor would have ended my writing career.
5. Art (visual, literary, music)
Good TV could fall into this category, but I wanted to make an art category all of it’s own, because it’s so damn important. Consume it. Let beauty soothe your sensory input system. Let your hope in humanity be restored while consuming the ingredients of inspiration and ideas. Stare at colors on a canvas, get immersed in a great story, let music do magic on your brain chemistry. And remember, art isn’t just the incomprehensible exhibition at the museum, it’s anything representative. You don’t have to love it all, nor should you. Find what moves you. Go there.
I have a weird resistance to telling you to go outside. I was the nerdy kid who would spend days in my room drawing and writing. My mother would have to *force* me to go outside and play. I do some outside stuff now, and when I do, I’m always so happy. I love trees and rivers and the ocean, fresh air. But, I still have to make an effort and be my own mother to make myself go outside and play, because creative brainy pursuits are my path of least resistance. As rad as they are, they can be pretty sedentary and my body suffers. I have a feeling you might be similar… So, here is me saying to you, it really works and it’s worth it! Go outside and play! To make it easy. Can you include nature in your routine? For example, I choose to run in a park instead of on a treadmill. Maybe have coffee in your yard instead of in your kitchen? Go for a walk or a picnic. Drive to a scenic spot and sit. Nature is not only full of Oxygen (FREE OXYGEN!), but it also has the power to remind us how connected we are to a grand scheming dance that, while we may never fully comprehend its steps, is leading us ever forward with strong, loving arms, and swift-footed assurance. (Which will totally disperse any post-party exhaustion nonsense.)
7. Video Games
Do you love them? Then play them. Please don’t believe the hype that gamers are all disconnected trolls. Gaming is anything you want it to be and you can be a disconnected troll in any medium. AMIRIGHT? At its best, gaming is connection, interaction, immersion, flow, rewards, validation, immediate feedback, and the cool phenomenon of giving your brain an opportunity to organize, categorize, and strategize in a most satisfying way, a way that rarely happens so succinctly in “real life”. Remember Tetris? It has become the subject of a variety of studies that have proven valuable in linking playing to things like increased brain plasticity and lessening the symptoms of PTSD.
Want to know more about the power of gaming? You should know Jane McGonigal. Here is one of her TED talks. If you love them, her books are A+ for better understanding the potential direction of our current culture – even if you, yourself, don’t love games. But, if you do, USE GAMING TO RECOVER FROM OVERSTIMULATION!
8. Back to Basics
Keep starting over! I don’t mean when you lose and you have to start from scratch and stay there. I just mean go back to the foundation of all of your practices – just for recovery and fortification. Also, it’s a nice brain trick to plan for less. It helps you get out the door, on the mat, the cushion, or in the shower (looking at you, my people!) to know you can start at the beginning.
Example: A run can be a walk/jog. A yoga practice can be sun salutations, or Savasana. Meditation can be five minutes instead of twenty-five. That kind of thing. Remember, no efforts on this path are lost, everything you do towards your wellbeing stands on the shoulders of everything you’ve done before. Revisiting your foundation itself is a grounding practice. You are always in your roots. This will ensure your ability to spread your wings.
Even for ten minutes. Do it as an action, as well as a prayer-in-action, towards your stronger self. Do it for the circulation, the literal blood-to-heart stuff, and to circulate any stagnant energy picked up in your interactions. (Then bath it off!) Do it for the increased digestion so you can process your thoughts and feelings, transforming them into well-articulated love stories and useful ideas. Do it for a great ass – whatever it takes. It makes a difference. So put on your pants of optimism (AKA your running/yoga/workout pants) and make a move, babe. Your strong body will carry YOU with more grace.
10. Embodiment Meditation
Any meditation you love that brings you back into the safety and sanctity of your own body will help heaps.
Also… I made a seven audio session series JUST FOR YOU, you precious, tired creature. Embodiment 101! I’M SO EXCITED. These powerful breathing meditations will not only be useful in your recovery from all things that stress your sensitive self… they are also a fantastic tool to increase your inner fortitude to prepare for deeper, more fulfilling connections. With others, and maybe more importantly, with yourself.
They are so good, you guys.
You are really going to love them. Helping you achieve mental, physical, and financial freedom is my greatest joy. Also: letting you know that you are so fucking lovable. Just as you are.
Questions? Ask me. I believe in you.
*The image in this post is by me. It’s my mom’s bedroom. She’s a legit nap witch.