The 2020 Limbo (and how to bend yourself healthfully and shimmy under the pole)

The 2020 Limbo (and how to bend yourself healthfully and shimmy under the pole)

Risa Bos, MA, LMHC

Yes, this is a play on words since “limbo” is both a state of uncertain waiting AND a Caribbean group dance/game that encourages bending your body to clear the obstacle, (in this case the Limbo pole) testing your ability to bend backwards without falling, while being cheered and encouraged by the other participants. That last part sounds a lot like a support system! “You can do it!” “Dig deep!” “Get low!”

Does anyone else feel stuck in limbo lately; the uncertain type? That can easily make the jump to feeling paralyzed, fearful and plain shut down. In this tumultuous, perplexing, overwhelming time it is more important, perhaps, than ever to go inward, check in with our emotions and fears, and do the things that will make us feel stronger, more focused and happier.

Use this time to explore your inner emotions and make some changes, whether big or small. I have a particularly fearless friend, the founder of Life Skills Resource Group, Cindy Fabico, who recently went on a week-long solo retreat into some remote mountains in Tennessee to do what she termed “A Journey into Myself”. She’s always doing baller things like that, and I hope she’ll write a book one day along the lines of Glennon Doyle’s or Rachel Hollis’s work centered around finding your true self.
Anyway, each day of her journey she shared her activities, whether beautiful, embarrassing or scatter-brained, and always raw. I’m sure she’ll want to blog about her experience, so I won’t go into detail, other than to expand upon such an idea and encourage individual thinking about how to shake up our lives while in this pandemic limbo.

–First, do the limbo dance, or any physical movement to get your energy flowing. I’m a die-hard proponent of daily yoga, whether just a 15 minute practice or a sweaty, empowering hour of yoga. You don’t have to go to a studio and pay to practice, I do Yoga with Adriene on YouTube.
But you can dance around the house to the Hamilton soundtrack while cleaning, or get out and do some yard work or take a bike ride. Whatever gets your breath moving!

–Set an intention each day to be just a little happier. Most people believe that happiness is a sustained state of being, and that you’re either happy in your life or you’re unhappy. The actuality is that happiness comes in moments, and those moments are likely to be more frequent when you’re mindful and, therefore, able to notice the small things: a Mockingbird’s
song, the beautiful colors of a sunrise or sunset, laughter, connection to and helping others, accepting and loving yourself, flaws and all.

–Feed your brain! There is so much going on in the world right now that seems confusing and scary. Train yourself to be a critical thinker. All this means is that you don’t just accept as fact something you hear in news broadcast, read in an article or hear even from a trusted source. Do
your own digging into the facts and decide what you believe, based on the data you collect.
NOTE: it is neither necessary nor helpful, then, to attempt to persuade everyone else to believe as you do. This futile effort could unravel all of the work done in the previous steps.

Accept yourself as you are, and pay close attention to the self-talk that goes on in your brain. Commit to catching those judging, hurtful messages and intentionally question them. What is the kinder alternative to a hurtful inner dialog? Flip the message into something that communicates gratitude, acceptance and the belief that things are unfolding as they should.

Re-invent yourself! Remember how Madonna followed what seemed like a schedule of reinventing herself every ten years or so? I love the idea of that. If you’re not happy with who you feel you’ve become, change your story! We are all the product of the narratives we have of our lives. We feel victimized, unappreciated, unfortunate, unhappy with our bodies… Change
the “Yeah, but…” aspect of staying stuck in your story, thus giving yourself the freedom to see your life through a different, clear lens. These don’t have to be sweeping changes, just change one thing, (your sleeping habits, nutrition, exercise, reaching out to reconnect with friends,
dressing differently, reading more, volunteering or otherwise helping others). That “one thing” can be a jumping off point that energizes you to make other changes!

De-clutter your life. Throw things away, give things away, sell things…whatever combination creates more space in your life. Things hold energy, and it’s not always good energy. (think furniture you shared with an ex or a piece of clothing that doesn’t make you feel good when you wear it) Go back to Netflix and watch Marie Kondo’s series on de-cluttering.

–“The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.” – Esther Perel (if you’re not familiar with Esther Perel, go on YouTube and listen to her Ted Talk and subsequent interviews about sexuality and relationships.) Look at your relationships: to your children, your
significant other, your co-workers, your friends, to money, to things… Which of those relationship dynamics are strengthening you and which can you shift to a healthier energy.
NOTE: this is something an expert therapist can help you work through.

So…Limbo, not stuck but malleable and able to bend into a different shape and reality. Your perception is your reality, so be intentional and, above all, informed in how you look at things. Our skilled therapists at Life Skills Resource Group are offering telehealth sessions and some are seeing clients in the office, using social distancing and hygiene protocol. If you’re feeling stuck or otherwise emotionally unbalanced, call us at (407)355-7378.