Kassi Martin's Blog
Your Immune System Needs You! and breathe...
How are you?
The World feels rather scary and alien right now as each day passes.
Many of us won't have been through anything like this before. Many, many of our Ancestors experienced - and survived - all sorts of disease pandemics over many, many centuries. I take solace in what has been passed to me Generationally.
This will be in my DNA offering me much support. And in your's too<3
I do feel calm and surprisingly joyful - much of the time. I notice the peace and stillness suddenly, but then my Anxiety rises when one of us comes back home.
"Wash your hands.... Properly!" My words call out in a conflicted way. Trying to sound Firm and Calm yet I know there is a higher pitched anxiety running through my voice. Underneath I guess the Ulterior is; "I feel anxious you might have brought the virus into our home."
We all have our own Personality traits. I have the kind of Personality that is commonly known as "The Responsible-Workaholic". Its formal Title is The Obsessive Compulsive, so I, and those others with this personality adaptation have a tendency towards OCD when we are stressed.
Many people who do Not usually have these personality traits are feeling the strain and beginning to develop behaviour that isn't usual for them, such as elbowing doors open and shut to avoid touching door handles and consequently gathering unseen Virus infection that may have been coughed or sneezed out.
My Overly-Responsible part of Self is generally around in relation to others. What this means is, if I am doing anything for - or with - anyone, I will always put 100%+ into whatever that thing is. I go the whole hog basically.
When anxious, those of us with this personality style will slide along the spectrum towards the "workaholic" end which means we do more, we work harder, try harder, check things (is the gas off/door locked), clean more (bleaching and scrubbing door handles, taps, loo flusher etc., much more than we normally would when we are not stressed. We do these things in order to make ourselves feel comforted, less stressed. It doesn't really help our Health or Mental Health in the long run however.
The saying goes; "When we are Stressed, we Regress."
So when stressed, I - and those with this personality trait - and those who are feeling afraid of the Virus right now, may have a tendency to do more of these kinds of checking/cleaning/working harder behaviours to try to reduce our stress levels and self soothe.
These days I am able to self soothe and relax deeply in other ways due to all the personal therapy and therapeutic art I've done for myself over the years.
Cleaning/checking/working is exhausting and draining and has quite a knock on effect within us - our stress levels will be raised, bringing about health issues and ultimately impacting our immune system. This isn't good news, because we need our immune system to function well under the present circumstances.
You may find as another knock on effect, the skin on your hands dries up and cracks open because you are cleaning so much, using bleach and other chemicals to try to sterilise your home but possibly causing different problems.
We also impact those around us because they can sense your stress and also feel it as if it originates in their own body. Our fears are transferred to our partner and children causing more stress in our home environment.
This can lead to lots of tetchy tension and snappy feelings. We might snap at those we most love, not because we are angry with them but because we feel afraid of a virus that we can't see, nor control, and are caught in a cycle of fear, checking, cleaning, stressing and doing more to manage our big feelings.
There is hope however - always - and having been obsessive compulsive in the Past and knowing how well I manage today, finding ways to self soothe and calm our nervous system so our immunity stays strong is vital.
I have added a free video resource to my You Tube channel where I share lots of tips and strategies for taking good care of yourself. It's very practical, useful and informative. Also rather different to the usual self care info out there.
Here's the link:
Soothing your fearful, tormented Self will be vital if you usually struggle with checking/cleaning/working type behaviours in an attempt to reduce stress.
Try saying something like; "Of course I feel anxious and stressed under these abnormal circumstances. It's totally understandable. But now is the time to take lots of good care of myself." Then notice how you feel having suggested this to your self... hopefully you will notice a settling, calming, inner peace within.
When I take good care of myself I am able to take better care of others.
You will find some really good tips on my video - and saying this with lots of love - please, Do them, Try them out, put them into Practice not just once, and notice how you feel... watching and simply moving on won't help at all.
In order to feel better, we have to put these tips into practice. I really say this kindly and lovingly but also from a wise place within me that wants you to really feel better, calm your frazzled nerves and reduce your stress as This Is What Will Help. Keep your Immune System working well.
Back in my 20's and 30's, when I was hanging by a final shredded nerve at times, I'd have just cleaned more, bleaching and scrubbing and checking and probably poisoning my body and lungs with cleaning products.
Making art is also incredibly healing. It is mindful which means it will reduce your stress levels fast and make you feel better. It's a wonderful distraction. I have three free gifts on my art courses page here on my site. Take a look. Really consider actively helping your self. I find it is the only way.
Here is Wildflowers - one of my Free Gifts https://www.kassimartin.com/e-courses-sign-up/wildflowers
You can find Magic Squares and Releasing Feelings here; https://www.kassimartin.com/e-courses-sign-up
Take care of yourself and put self care high up on your list. Your Immune System needs lots of calm to keep you well.
I will be back very soon.
I am offering Counselling support online still via Zoom although not in person at the present time.
I have 20+ years post grad experience to share with you. Don't hesitate to reach out. Breathe deeply and evenly... <3