I’m just back from 10 days of vacation in Hawaii. It was a long-planned winter getaway – a fun week with 14 family members and several days just for my husband Chuck and me. Heading into the trip, I felt in my bones how much I needed the break. And it was the first time in over two years that we’d had a large Mann family gathering. I unplugged from everything except the joys of laughing with my siblings, soaking up sun and salt water, and reading great mysteries. (Tip: check out the Dublin Murder Squad Series by Tana French.)
Settling back into my routine, I’m eager to keep the vacation vibe and soul restoration alive. One change I commit to now: renewing a long held practice that got lost during the pandemic – keep one weekend day tech-free. Instead, I’ll plug into nature walks and practicing watercolors.
Neuroscientist Dr. David Rock just published a timely piece in Harvard Business Review: We Need Time to Rehabilitate from the Trauma of the Pandemic (hbr.org). Rock describes the past two years as “a prolonged period of psychic pain” that disrupted three crucial psychological needs: our desire for certainty, control, and connection.
What does Rock advise as we wrestle with finding a new normal? Three suggestions: 1) Take things slow because we’re tender, 2) Reward even small steps of progress, and 3) Have patience and “…compassion with where people are…”
Drawing on Rock’s phrase, even after a wonderful vacation, I still feel tender. Many of my clients do too. The last couple of years have taken far too much, in so many ways. I invite you to slow down, be kind to yourself, make space for healing. That’s what I’m doing.