We live in a fast-paced world, with the added stress and effects of the pandemic.
We are constantly “Doing” and have forgotten the art of “Being”.
There even seems to be an accolade if you’re constantly busy, ‘succeeding’, juggling it all…and maybe you have a sense of ‘lack’ if you personally are not holding it all together? Struggling?
Anxiety – overwhelm – sleep issues – fatigue/exhaustion – irritable – stress-related eating/drinking – low mood/depressed – health issues – ME/CFS/Long Covid
These symptoms were so common even before the pandemic – and understandably, the percentage of people experiencing stress and burnout is even higher now. We can end up ‘normalising’ the symptoms and not realising that our nervous system is constantly set on “high”, so that we find it really hard to unwind, or slow down. Our sympathetic nervous system is stuck in hypervigilant mode, the fight, flight or freeze function. But for health and wellbeing, to heal, we need to shift into the parasympathetic nervous system, our ‘rest and digest’ mode.
Anxiety & Stress
“I’ve always been a bit of an anxious person, and my work was very stressful. Gradually, over a period of time this all built up within me. I’d go home anxious, worrying about not getting projects done on time, and ended up feeling overwhelmed. I couldn’t sleep well, was comfort eating, and then slipped into depression. I was signed off sick, and felt quite hopeless to be honest. Sarena’s Positive Psychology work was recommended to me – and it was like a bright light went on! I couldn’t believe how quickly I made progress; from the PP tools to relaxation and yoga breath work, it all came together like a magic recipe! My biggest surprise was learning some chants; I don’t know how they work, but they made a huge difference. Working with Sarena meant I had support and (she explained) accountability. “Your kindness and encouragement Sarena were so appreciated, thank you.”
Suzanne D, Cheddar, Somerset.
ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
“I was very ill with ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) for about 5 years, and didn’t find the NHS helpful. You have to think and look ‘outside the box’. As Sarena had experienced ME/CFS herself, I knew she’d really understand the challenges – too many people don’t and can be critical. Her specialist training in Yoga for Stress, Burnout & Fatigue meant that she could guide me on home practices that I did on a daily basis. This included some simple sound work – which I still use daily. Coaching was really supportive too – it was brilliant for helping me keep on track with regular self-help practices, which can get a bit of a drag year in year out! So she re-inspired me I suppose. I’m doing so much better – still a work in progress – but I’m getting the balance right (mostly!)”
Jenny W, Wells, Somerset
“Sarena, I think you’re amazing! You really laid it on the line – take steps now, or get into serious, serious trouble! You were right – and your clarity and honesty were a breath of fresh air. Explaining what was happening biologically made sense to me – the psychology of why I was so driven was insightful – and it’s a hard pattern to change when it’s been with me for decades. I know, I still cheat…but you always find a humorous way of nudging me back on track. The yoga works. The Positive Psychology works. And your coaching …can be challenging at times, but that’s what I need to change. You’re always kind, and encouraging and I’m so grateful. Thanks boss!”
Mike T, Bristol.
Radical rest is a new concept for many people. The symptoms are almost identical to ME/CFS. Constructive rest, guided relaxation, meditation can all play an important part in allowing your body to heal. TV is fine to enjoy, but if that’s the only “rest” you do – you’re still keeping your mind active/busy, and the body responds to whatever you’re watching. Enjoy a good film, a soap, a documentary – but do put time aside for true, deep rest. Restorative yoga, meditation, Yoga Nidra* are all vital in healing.
(* Recordings of Yoga Nidra and relaxation can be found in my Podcasts)