Listening to Your Body as You Re-Emerge into Post-Covid Social Life
After the last year of pandemic, our need for connection is strong yet re-emerging into social life is presenting new challenges. Just as there were a range of responses to quarantine, there are a range of responses to the re-opening of the world.
Here are some of the things I’m hearing as we navigate this transitional time:
If any of these sound familiar, you’re not alone.
In this time of transition and readjustment, it’s more important than ever that we listen closely to our bodies and our true inner desires. The shake-up of any transition provides an opportunity to make new choices about who we want to be and what life we want to build for ourselves. As social life quickly floods back into our awareness (and our schedules), I encourage you to be intentional about how you engage.
Somatic Practices to Support You
Pacing refers to the rhythm and speed we use in different situations. In transitional times, pacing is especially important. Is a fast or slow transition going to be the most supportive for you? We all have our own patterns and preferences around pacing, and different situations will call for different rhythms and speeds. By playing with rhythms in the body, you can assess what pace feels right for you in this transitional time.
2. Expansion and Contraction
I think the covid pandemic as a collective contraction characterized by retreating, retracting, and turning in whereas now we are in a collective expansion characterized by a return to social life, engagement, exploration, and outward focus. Our personal experience of expansion and contraction may or may not align with this collective rhythm. Just as we need both the inhale and exhale of the breath, we need both expansion and contraction to stay nourished in our lives. By exploring expansion and contraction in the body, you can assess where you are personally and use this information to inform how you want to engage (or not) with the world.
3. Finding Your “Yes”
How do you feel a "yes" or a "no" in your body? Sometimes we might feel confused about what we really want, what would be most true and nourishing to us. At the same time, there are plenty of situations where we are clear about our "yes" and "no." Imagine an obvious example of a "yes" and notice how that feels in the body. You will likely notice specific feelings or sensations connected to your "yes." Similarly, by imagining a situation that you don't enjoy, you can identify what feelings or sensations signify a "no" for you. Your body's sensations can provide an internal compass, pointing you towards your true desires.
As a dance/movement therapist, I am passionate about using somatic practices to help my clients navigate times of transition and make decisions that are authentic and nourishing. If you would like support in this process, please reach out for a free consultation.