You know that feeling when you just want to scream and shout and let it all out?
As a teacher in the world of wellbeing, it’s not my normal advice to act out your frustrations, but then again, we are hardly living in a state of normality.
Having moved house as we went into lockdown, it’s fair to say I have had to contend with a few frustrations.
The biggest one has been no fixed internet line. Yes, thanks to Borris and Queen Nicola, as my friend likes to refer to her, no BT engineers have been allowed into my property.
So each day has been a technical roller coaster. You might be reading this and thinking ‘just use BT hotspot‘. Well that’s what I thought initially. Only to discover that BT hotspot sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. And the times the hotspot connection decides to ‘drop out’ happens to be when I’m on a virtual call – wonderful.
During the first few weeks of lockdown I was called to deliver several global webinars on ‘wellbeing in the workplace’ all the while praying that my internet connection well, basically stayed connected. The irony of what I was teaching was not lost on me.
Working from home and working with people on line was nothing new to me, but working from home when everyone else is at home was.
Being in lockdown cut off from human contact (unless you include the lovely checkout lady at Aldi who always seems to smile no matter what) is hard enough. Add to it the layers of frustration that build as a result of lockdown and it’s enough to turn anyone from cool, calm and collected into the She Devil.
The neighbour for example, who lets her dog out in to the garden daily and stands by as it spends the next few hours barking away incessantly had me wondering what the penalty was for shooting a dog.
The constant slamming of the main front door as various deliveries were made (I assume wine).
The fact that my front door buzzer wasn’t working meaning I missed several deliveries.
The day I was expecting my new lap top to be delivered and provide some form of relief from the old lap top, which had decided to create its own form of lockdown by crashing throughout the day.
On said delivery day, I’d sat poised like a Meerkat waiting for DHL, acutely aware that my front door buzzer didn’t work. I hadn’t thought to put a note on the front door because I’d assumed the delivery driver would call me.
Nope, that’s too much like common sense.
So when I heard my phone ping and the message come through that ‘you are not home’ from DHL. I ran outside to jump on the DHL driver. Up and down the streets I ran like some crazy lady, but they had vanished. The next day I put a HUGE sign on the front door.
Add into the mix the neighbours who unwittingly seem to stand on the landing outside my front door having a good old chin wag while I’m trying to hypnotise a client. Or decide that now is a great time to do DIY.
I’ll be honest, my cracks were starting to show.
When your current stress relief strategy isn’t working
Had I been delivering a stress management seminar I would have given delegates advice about how to navigate their way through times of stress and change while remaining calm and in control. I may have suggested many of the ways they could manage their stress levels such as meditation; breathing techniques, journaling or EFT Tapping.
And while I had been doing all of these daily, I recognised that my frustration had reached a point where something else needed to happen for me to return back to a place of calm.
One of the things I miss the most are the work out classes I used to go to every week at my local leisure centre. There’s nothing like an hour long session of Body Combat to release any pent up emotion you may be feeling.
With that in mind I decided to put on some music and start punching. If you’ve never done Body Combat let me reassure you that punching doesn’t not involve flattening ones work out partner. Instead it’s a non contact workout where you act like you are Jackie Chan for an hour throwing punches and high kicks!
Within minutes I felt the built up frustration leave my body. I’d ‘acted out’ what my body desired and gave motion to the emotion.
How to act our your emotions
If you are feeling the frustration of lockdown (and I wouldn’t blame you!) and want to scream and shout and let it all out, then I recommend you put on one of your favourite songs and tune into what your body wants.
If you feel angry for example, then let your body release that anger by throwing some air punches until you feel calm again.
If your legs are restless and you feel like you want to run away and escape then run fast on the spot.
Or simply try shaking – and literally stand and shake your body for ten minutes. I love the Taylor Swift song ‘Shake it Off’ when I am shaking!
Which ever way you choose to give motion to the emotion you are feeling and release it doesn’t matter – what matters is that you release the emotion so that it doesn’t get stored in the body leading to a build up and holding you in the stress response.
So put on your tunes and start punching away – just make sure you are 2 metres away from people so you don’t punch them 😁