Looking after yourself when you are out of your comfort zone

the picture described in the textThere is a picture going around Facebook at the moment of a blackboard with two circles drawn on it – a small one in the bottom left – saying ‘your comfort zone’ and a larger one top right taking up most of the board, saying ‘where the magic happens’.

The caption underneath reads:

Growth and progress take place—almost invariably—outside of the comfort zone. So, if you spend your life resisting what’s uncomfortable, you’ll never make progress…

I love it – it resonates with what I believe – but as I write this I’m having one of those resistance moments.  I feel far outside my comfort zone and filled with doubt and panic.

Now I know the feelings will pass, so I’m not too worried about them. Instead of dwelling on the what and why, I thought it might be interesting to try to note down where in my body I’m feeling this resistance to see if there are physical solutions to help me look after myself at this time.

My neck and shoulders are tight – no surprise there, that’s usually where I hold tension. I can feel a throbbing at the base of my head that’s threatening to become a headache. My face keeps frowning. I’m unable to settle to a single task, instead flitting from thing to thing, my limbs awkward like Bambi learning to walk. I feel clumsy and inept. It’s almost like I’m itchy (I’m not) but my skin doesn’t feel quite right. My stomach is churning too – again, not quite an ache but definitely making itself felt. And although its late as I write this, I’m not feeling at all tired but part of me is nagging at myself to go to sleep as I have a lot to achieve in the morning and should be resting.

So what can I do? Firstly, I have arranged to have a massage tomorrow night. I’m going away on Friday (so no blogs for a week!) and I want to go feeling good and not feeling tense. I could have a bath, or some wine, but don’t quite feel like either. I’ve got up and come downstairs, set myself an hours deadline after which I will go back upstairs and rest. I’ve written a list of things to do tomorrow to try to offload some of the tension.

That’s interesting. Just writing ‘no blogs for a week’ has freed up something in my neck. My plan was to write two blogs and schedule them to appear whilst I am away – two big things on my list of things to do tomorrow. I wasn’t planning to stop, but typing here and now, it came out… Very interesting.

I’ve jumped up and down a bit – felt silly but did make me feel better and made a cup of herb tea. I’ve cleared three more things off my list of things to do simply by getting them done. I’ve made a plan for the morning, and made myself smile as I did so – just hold a pencil in your mouth between your lips. Apparently it shifts your mood.

Ok. Still scared and slightly overwhelmed, but that’s ok. Shoulders slightly down and frown gone. Stomach more settled and I’ve started to yawn. I think it’s off to bed and I’m going to do that ‘concentrate on each part of your body’ thing where you deliberately tense then relax each body part.

Tomorrow, maybe magic will happen!

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