Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 2 June 2020
I truly believe that out of uncomfortable and difficult situations or challenges, come some of the most innovative solutions. Maybe after reading this post you will agree with me, even if just a little.
At the beginning of this pandemic I felt like I was doing really well at managing the stress of it all. I was busy trying to organize my clinic, my staff, my patients and how to best support everyone in the new reality we were all dealing with. I even re-vamped our annual spring detox to have more of an immune focus.
I had already been in the habit of eating properly, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, taking my supplements, journaling, yoga, and meditating. In fact these things have been a staple in my life for the last two to three years.
And yet about eight weeks in I was experiencing an overwhelming sense of anxiety and feeling of defeat. I started to have difficulty with my sleep. I started to have more nausea around food. I had been losing weight. I was becoming more emotional, especially around my cycle.
All warning signs that my cortisol levels were jacking up higher and higher.
What didn’t make sense to me was that I was doing all the self-care things I know how to do. All the things that worked for me when I went through a significant stressful period before.
I was even taking my forced time off to do some things I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do. I painted the upstairs bedrooms. I completed a puzzle. I went hiking in a few new places that I had been meaning to get to.
And yet, I was still having difficulty. Why?
It all had to do with how I was thinking. Not what I was doing or not doing.
What if this pandemic, although it is our greatest pain, it could also be our greatest gift?
For me, the greatest pain has been not being able to do my job. The thing that I feel fits my purpose in this world. My anchor. The thing that I was still able to focus on during stressful periods in the past. All of a sudden, gone.
It wasn’t until I identified this via a heart-to-heart conversation with someone that the lightbulb went off. I was still stuck in the limiting belief that what I DO in the world was more valuable than who I AM.
That awareness was now able to shine a light on the real stress. Not the superficial ones that I was trying to convince myself of.
It is only through a change in our thoughts will we create a change in our behaviour.
By identifying this limiting belief I was then able to start deconstructing it and without “trying harder” my anxiety started to reduce. In my case this belief was a big one so I even decided to enlist some professional help.
So no matter where you are at, whether it’s trying to eat better, trying to go to bed on time, trying to exercise regularly, trying to meditate, maybe instead of “trying harder” you just need to start thinking differently.
Now I would love to hear from you! How is this difficult time also a gift for you? Leave a comment below and I’ll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!
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