“Is it just me, or have our social calendars gone from non-existent to bursting at the seams?”
“Yeah, I feel like I have something booked every weekend between now and the fall…”
“How are you managing all this?”
“I’m not.”

Dana Llewellyn, LMT and I met up for a walk outside a few weeks back and this was essentially how our conversation went.  We both reflected back on our time in lock down and the spaciousness that came as maybe the only silver lining to one of the most challenging years of our lives.  There were no social commitments, no concerts, no vacations.  Saying “no,” had never felt easier.  Now, both fully vaccinated, we’ve opened ourselves up to the privileges and opportunities associated with this extra layer of covid protection.  Outdoor concerts, backpacking trips with friends, road trips to visit family – it’s all starting piling back up.  And after a year of “missing out,” the fomo is real.  I find myself committing to multiple things per week and it’s catching up to me.

You are not alone

S p a c i o u s n e s s.  This is what I find myself craving most of all.  What do I “miss out” on when I stack my adventures on top of each other?  I’m missing time to reflect on the experience I just had, to bask in the lingering glow of excitement, meaning, and connection.  I’m missing time to ground and reconnect with my “normal,” everyday life.  I’m missing time to connect with my roommates at home and to tend to my space.  And as I wear myself down, I’m missing the emotional and energetic bandwidth to manage my own stress and to hold space for those close to me who are hurting.

Anyone else ever take a hard time or an uncomfortable feeling and then pile a bit of shame on top of it?  Guilty!  I had fallen into this head space of thinking that I was alone in these feelings of overwhelm and that they were a result of my own personal failings at time management and boundary setting.  The more I opened up about my experience to people around me, the more I found that I wasn’t alone.  The more I realized I wasn’t alone, the less that shame pressed down on me.  Why am I writing all this?  To tell you, if you’re feeling this way – like the world starting pouring back in this summer and you put too much on your plate – you’re not alone.  Many of us are navigating time management, social commitments and boundary setting right now.  And we’re a year out of practice!

Massage, Home Care, and Personal Practices

Dana and I spent the rest of that afternoon brainstorming ideas for how to create more spaciousness in our lives.  We returned over and over to the sensations of groundedness. When we are grounded, we are living in the present and connected to our environment.  This allows for a greater sense of balance and stability. Being grounded can create spaciousness by directing our awareness to the immediate “here and now,” rather than the scheduled “there and then.”  By allowing the mind to calm and the senses to perceive, we create space for the mind and body to rest.  Perhaps some of these ideas will resonate with you too:

Nervous System Calming Massage Styles:

Craniosacral Therapy
Reiki Energy Work
Lymphatic Drainage (also good for immune system)

At Home Care:

Meditation
Yoga Nidra (here’s one Dana crafted for her personal blog)
Taking a hot bath or shower
Stomping your feet & “shaking it out”
Self Massage or “self myofascial release”
Spending time outside – sitting in your yard, hiking, earthing

Personal Practices:

Plan time for rest, build it into your schedule
Learn to say “no”
Abundance mindset (versus scarcity mindset)

What helps you cultivate a greater sense of spaciousness?