Below are a few highlights from Cecilia’s latest Coffee Talk “Emotional Survival Skills and Making Yourself a Priority” – you can watch the full video over on our YouTube channel here.
There is a lot of talk about being able to do hard things and have hard feelings. That you’re strong enough and you can do this. We’re trying to cheer people on as much as possible and sometimes this comes off as that ‘flou flou’ type of self-care. But I want you to really think about this differently. To really think about self-care in a way that it needs to be grounded in emotional integrity.
What does emotional integrity mean?
It means that when we are reacting to the world around us, we’re doing it in a way that lines up with who we are and who we want to be.
The tricking about this is that in times of stress, of being threatened, of feeling rejected or when we’re feeling resentful or unsafe and overwhelmed (which we’ve been living like for at least 10 months now) is that we go back to our old coping skills from childhood or our youth.
Why do we tend to go back to our childhood?
Because our brain and our mind go back to a default place. It remembers what it was like to survive something that felt really threatening.
We have been living with this ongoing stress for a while now. And I know that we’ve adapted really well and we might think that we’re not doing much because we’re isolated and there’s not much to be stressed about. But, in reality, it’s the opposite – your body is holding a lot of pressure and stress. Although we’ve adapted really well, we are actually holding a lot of that long-term stress in our minds, our hearts, and in our bodies.
Because of being in this prolonged stress response, a lot of us are reacting emotionally. In a way that takes us back to a younger traumatized version of who we are. And the thing about going back to those reactions is that we tend to go to being juvenile in our emotional reactions. It feels like we’ve stepped out of our adult role and we’ve jumped into this other role. What happens with this, is that we create these reactions in our relationships or with people around us and then we’re not really proud of it when we look back and do some reflection.
By having more emotional integrity we can be grounded in the moment and react in a way that is really in tune with who we are and who we want to be.
So how can we have more emotional integrity?
We need to remind ourselves that although we’re adapting to this stressful situation, it’s still really stressful. The stress isn’t gone away, we have just increased our threshold and our ability to manage the situation that we’re in.
One way to regain some emotional integrity is to journal. Here are a few things you can ask yourself:
- Why am I reacting in this manner?
- What does this remind me of?
- Where’s my emotional integrity?
- What do I need to do for self-care?
Self-care is important, we say this a lot. But it is true.
Even though, we are somewhat quarantined or staying away from others – we might think that we’re not doing very much and therefore, we don’t really deserve self-care because we’re not expending a lot of energy that is visible.
But the truth is, psychologically, you are spending more energy than you probably have ever expended before. So your self-care needs to be very tactical, purposeful, and you need to be really focused on it.
By journaling, you are finding the emotional slippage and regrounding yourself in emotional integrity. You are uncovering your triggers and discovering how it’s different in this situation that we are currently living in versus your situation a few years ago.
And, this work might be something you have probably done a lot of work on in the past, in your healing journey. But you’ll want to go back and do some different work, do it again in order to gain new insight into your current situation.
You can watch the full Coffee Talk with Cecilia over on our Youtube channel here.