The Importance of Connecting Within

How are you holding up in these strange early days of 2022?

Whether you’re feeling frustrated about the never-ending pandemic, stressed because your kids are schooling from home (again!), or lonely or isolated or sick, you’re definitely not alone. So many of us are experiencing something uncomfortable right now.

Wherever you are, in whatever situation, I want to send you some warm vibes and a little love.

I also want to encourage you to make time for yourself in all of this uncertainty and chaos. It can be almost counter-intuitive when we’re feeling high-strung or anxious, but clearing space to connect with ourselves, even in very small doses, can make a big difference.

I spent most of December feeling maxed out as Covid numbers rose and restrictions increased. The stress culminated when two of our kids were locked in their rooms for five days right before Christmas, self-isolating.

But then after the negative test results, the modified holiday gatherings, the gift opening, and the long distance video calls with family, I finally found some quiet space to journal about all that was happening. It was when I was putting pen to paper that I felt a shift inside me. There I was: spending time with myself again, focusing on what was happening inside me, something I hadn’t been able to make time for in crazy December.

It was like taking a much-needed deep breath.

I re-remembered that when everything is swirling outside, I always feel better and more grounded when I take the time to check in with myself. And that no matter what is going on in our house or in the world, spending a few moments with the inner me is never wrong or a waste of time.

When stress is high, we modern-day humans often choose to soothe ourselves with something outside of us. Alcohol, food, shopping, drugs. And then there are the screen-related distractions. Has watching Netflix or scrolling Instagram become your pandemic remedy? My personal favourite is the “Wordscapes” app. I tell myself it’s okay because it’s a game of words 🙂

In addition to doing these things (because let’s face it, this might not be the best time to quit all of our self-soothing strategies), consider setting an intention to also connect with yourself on a daily basis, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

Would it be possible to devote even five minutes to writing? Responding to simple questions like: “What is happening in my body?” or “What do I need right now?” is a good way to focus within. Give it a try and see if you notice a difference in how you feel.

Small acts are important acts, even if they are all we are capable of in this moment. And connecting within nourishes us in a way that our devices and our distractions never will.

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If you’d like a guided writing experience, sign up anytime for my “Start Small” Writing Challenge. I’ll send you a short friendly note with a writing prompt every day for a week. Everything about it is small, even the price!

Author: Renée Hartleib