The comfort of a summer breeze…

Happy Summer!  Even though the calendar reassures me that it has only been twelve months since this same summer day last year, it just feels different.  Like it has been multiple lifetimes since a summer day was relaxed and breezy.  (Anyone else start humming a Seals and Croft song with that visual?)  Seems each day and month and year anymore is a bit of a doozy…and there is an effect on each one of us and our traditions and celebrations and vacations that help keep us balanced and grounded. 

There is something about shared experiences – it’s a reminder that we’re not alone.  And while a global pandemic is the definition of a shared experience, so are some of the more basic things we each experience.  Things like chronic health frustrations, losing a loved one and the griefs and joys of big life changes.  While we each have a truly unique story, we share a pretty small set of emotions. 

There are a lot of emotions swirling around these days.  Even as we each constantly move towards our own version of “normal”, unexpected emotions may show up – more fear, sadness, anger, anxiety than what we may have anticipated feeling.  Or maybe you’re just ecstatic and ready to hit the movies and concerts and farmers markets and all of the things that make summer fantastic. 

Whatever you’re feeling right now, know there is nothing wrong with how you feel.  All of those emotions – comfy or gross – are there for a reason. 

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to say something to someone and decided to be quiet instead?  You argued about it over and over in your mind, but stayed silent?  Can you remember how that felt physically?  The nervous stomach, difficulty concentrating on anything other than what you want to say, slightly sweaty palms, really focused – almost tunnel vision?  And then the situation passes but you still feel the effects of that stress response.  Because that’s what it was…a stress response.

I believe that’s what happens when we hold in and ignore our emotions.  We get a stress response because our body says we need to “say” something by feeling and acknowledging an emotion, but we stuff it with the fleeting promise that we’ll deal with it later.  And then later doesn’t happen. 

Despite what many of us have learned over the years, there is no situation where it is inappropriate to feel what you’re feeling.  Keep in mind there is a difference between feeling and expressing.  Feel what is there.  Name it.  Say, “I see you”.  And then, if you need, take some time to let things calm down so you can express yourself in a manner that fits the situation, e.g. no temper tantrums or throwing things.  (Even if that’s what would feel amazing!)

That’s the hard work – honoring what we feel. 

But then here’s the reward – we become more balanced and grounded.  More confident.  More rested.  More resilient.  All because we can embrace the emotions that come along and we know that we will make it to the other side of that experience. 

And even if you start to wonder if you really will make it to the other side, remember the multitudes of friends and strangers who have felt something similar.  You are not alone.

Hoping that you find some comfort in those balmy summer breezes, rediscover the summer traditions and celebrations that make you happy – or create some new ones that serve you perfectly for this unique moment in time. 

More than anything…take care of you!

Sixty-Second Self-Care Tip

This one can take so much less than sixty-seconds, but it may take some practice.  When you sense a wave of emotion coming on, whether you know the cause or not, pause for 15-30 seconds and simply name what you’re feeling.  Are you feeling anger or fear or excitement?  Jealousy?  Gratitude?  Security?  Inspiration?  Name it.  Acknowledge it.  Find your own words, but it could be something like “I feel angry right now.  Hi, Anger.  I see you and I feel you.”  It can all be done in your mind or quietly under your breath. 

If you’re not really sure what emotion you’re feeling, take the full sixty-seconds and explore it a bit.  There is no right or wrong here.  (And just know if you Google “list of emotions” you may start feeling overwhelmed!)

The cool thing about this self-care practice is when you acknowledge an emotion, frequently it will calm down, allowing you to move on with what needs to be done right here in this moment.  Think of it as a kid who wants to be acknowledged – he gets louder and louder until you say “I see you”.  There is some processing to be done to get it completely gone…but this is the first HUGE step in getting there. 

Do you know your emotions and stress level play a huge role in your genetics and biochemistry? They can be one of the many puzzle pieces to solving your food sensitivities or histamine intolerance...they even play a role with MTHFR! If you want to learn more, consider joining the waitlist for Food Sensitivity Code, coming this summer. Because what if food sensitivities really doesn't have anything to do with food?!


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60-second self-care, histamine intolerance, MTHFR, self-care, stress, summer


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