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Making Space 2022: Day 9

Since I have been getting a bit wordy in my posts, I’ve decided that I am going to put the videos at the beginning of each one and the chatty bit at the end.

That way, if you just want a video to try, you can have at it right away. If you want to read on, the advice part is at the end.

Here are your videos for today – Because emotions tend to run high at this time of year, I chose three videos about dealing with and processing your feelings. Even if you aren’t feeling angry or frustrated at the moment, the movement or the meditation will still be good for you.

Whether you try these or something else, I wish you ease as you make your way through your day and into the weekend.

Please be kind to yourself.

💚⭐

A video from Yoga with Bird entitled ’10 Minute Yoga Flow To Let Go Of Anger and Stress. The still image is of the instructor lying on her back on her yoga mat with her knees pulled up to her chest with her arms wrapped around her shins to pull them closer towards her. She is wearing patterned leggings and a blue bandeau top. There are yoga blocks and a plant in the background on a white fuzzy rug.
This video is a bit longer than the ones I usually post but you can just do part of it if you are short on time. The instructor has a slightly irreverent approach and the video includes songs with NSFW language, judge yourself accordingly. This video is from EMKFIT and is called ‘Angry Boxing HIIT Workout – if you’re in a bad mood.’ The still image is of a person in black shorts, a sports bra, and sneakers, doing a side kick while shouting and punching. The words Anger Management and 20 min HIIT Boxing Workout are on the left side of the image.
This video from the Blissful Meditations YouTube channel is called ‘Guided meditation for experiencing emotions and anger’ and the still image shows a long-haired person in a bodysuit suit sitting cross-legged on a broad expanse of sand with some trees in the distance.

Now for the chatty part:

Martha’s December 9, 2020 post was called Stomp, stomp, stomp and it was all about releasing pent-up emotions so you could get on with your day. As always, she had some great tips in there so go check that out when you get a chance.

Reading Martha’s post reminded me of a quote from an episode of Stargate Atlantis that I used to have taped to my wall.

I can’t find the exact phrasing right now but it was from an episode where the two main ‘warrior’ characters, Teyla and Ronon were having a conversation about a difficult situation they were in. Teyla was justifiably furious but her anger was getting in the way of the things she was trying to accomplish. Ronan (in a competely non-dismissive way!) said something like

‘If your anger fuels you, use it. If your anger distracts you, you must put it aside.’

I don’t remember whether she decided to use her anger as fuel or whether she put it aside for the moment and tried something else but I just loved the distinction there. She wasn’t being told not to be angry. She wasn’t being told that her anger was wrong. Her anger was acknowledged and then she had a choice about how to forge ahead.

This time of year, when we are all a little extra stressed, our emotions tend to be pretty close to the surface. It can be easier to find things to be happy or excited about but we can also find ourselves feeling a lot of anger, frustration, and resentment.

I’d like to remind you that it is ok to be feeling that way.

You’ll want to be careful about how you express those feelings, of course, but the feelings themselves are ok to have. Yes, even the so-called ‘negative’ feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment.

Those feelings are telling us something important about a situation that needs to be changed.

I’m not a psychologist or a therapist and this isn’t exactly the place to get into a deep discussion of relationship dynamics or effective communication. If those things are major issues for you and you need emotional support on those topics, I hope you can find a mental health professional who can help you.

If you just find those things to be challenging from time to time, here are a couple of articles with guidelines for communicating emotions that may help and I’ll add this little bit from my storytelling and coaching practices:

Please be careful about the story you create in your head about *why* the other person has done the things that they do.

While it may be true that the person is not be doing their share because they are, indeed, a lazy jerk – after all, some people are – their apparently laziness might be something else entirely.

It’s possible that they don’t understand what needs to be done, that they haven’t learned the same cues that you have about when things need to get done, or that they thought you enjoyed doing all of the things and didn’t realize it was causing you stress. If you try to communicate from the assumption that they are a lazy jerk and you are the saver-of-every-day, it’s going to make it hard to change the situation.

I’m not suggesting that you ‘fix’ your anger for other people’s comfort. Nor am I suggesting that you let people away with terrible behaviour. What I am suggesting is that if you want the situation to change, you might want to get the information your anger is guiding you to discover and make space for yourself to have a different experience in the future.

So, to go back to Ronon’s advice – if your anger is fueling you to make a change in an unfair situation, then use it to make things better. Use it to see what is actually going on and to create a better approach for now or for next time.

But, if you are incandescent with rage and it is filling your brain, keeping you stuck, preventing you from making needed changes, or just keeping you in a mental loop of documenting the offenses against you, taking good care of yourself might include releasing some of that emotional overwhelm by stomping around (as Martha suggests) and/or by trying the videos above.

Once you can think clearly again, once you have made some mental space, you can choose to use your anger as fuel to make the changes you need to make for your own wellbeing.

Trying not to be angry is not useful and it definitely won’t help. Feeling your feelings, being kind to yourself about your anger and deciding whether to use it as fuel or to put it aside for the moment will be more helpful to you in the long run.

No matter what you are feeling today, I wish you ease and I hope you can make space for your own needs on your to do list.

About Making Space 2022

In December 2020, Fit is a Feminist Issue blogger Martha created a tradition – a series of reminder posts to take good care of ourselves during this last month of the year when it is far too easy to get swept up in your to do list, no matter what you are celebrating or not celebrating. Last year, it was my turn and after an introductory Go Team post called Give Yourself Some Space, I created a series of reminders called ‘Making Space‘ that offered a suggested short exercise video and a suggested meditation in case you needed an easy way to find space for yourself in your schedule.

For 2022, I’ll be doing the same thing but I’ll also be including a link to Martha’s post from the same date in 2020 and I’ll offer a few extra ideas for relaxation, creativity, and self-kindness here and there.

These posts are not about insisting that you do more, more, more during this busy season. Instead, I want to encourage you to remember that there IS a *YOU* who is doing all of the things and you are worth taking good care of.

Perhaps the things I suggest aren’t what you need in the moment. That’s totally ok. Perhaps you can use something else to create some space, something that will help you feel more relaxed or more in charge of your day.

Let us know what you think....