For many of us, the stillness holds feelings that we’ve been running from.

How are you? No really, how are you?

Most of us feel like we don’t know how to fully answer that question during this season, that it can change from day to day, hour to hour, or even moment to moment.

I’ve been fairly quiet on this platform during 2020, fighting my own personal battles this year that I never could have anticipated. All that talk I do about self-care and processing your shame and reaching out to your support network to let them love you, even when you mess up and feel less worthy of love? Yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to, trying to practice what I preach. A wounded healer, one who is taking care of my own emotional needs while also working a job that helps others in their emotional struggles. While I don’t relish in my own pain, I am grateful for the slow, deep work of healing that transforms itself into deeper compassion for more and more people as they too are struggling to grapple with the pain foisted into their stories.

Beyond my own personal struggles, we all are more than 7 months into this whole worldwide pandemic thing and we aren’t done yet. There is mounting tension as we draw closer to the election, although our country has been in turmoil for quite some time. We are still trying to grasp at creating a “new normal.” Every time we start to feel a little safer, a little more secure, and a new bomb seems to go off and obliterate that fragile safety and security.

In my work as a life coach, I have talked to so many clients recently who are struggling emotionally and mentally. It’s not just them; truly, so many of us are. I’ve had conversations recently about self-care, that so many of us are choosing to engage in activities that just pass the time or numb us out because we are afraid of what the stillness will bring.

For many of us, the stillness holds feelings that we’ve been running from. Feelings of loss, of grief, of uncertainty, of anxiety, sadness, anger, vulnerability, and shame. Some of us find that critical voice in the silence, be its source from ourselves or from other painful relationship in our life. Some of us are afraid to face failure, places where we have massively screwed up and don’t know how to wrestle with our guilt. Regardless of what each of us may be afraid to encounter in the stillness, we worry that it will swallow us whole, that it will break us.

However, I think it’s possible that we need to reclaim the stillness now more than ever.

In all the chaos and the yelling, the anxiety and uncertainty, we need stillness. Maybe we need a good cry as we let ourselves feel the feelings we’ve been avoiding. Maybe we need to go for a drive with the windows down and sing to our hearts content. Maybe we need to sit in the backyard with a cup of tea or have a picnic in the park. Perhaps a staycation (in a safe, COVID precautions way) or camping (if you’re into that kind of thing lol). We can honor our sadness and loss; it is okay to acknowledge it and let ourselves feel it. It is okay to have a lower capacity right now, to say no, to set boundaries.

Then we can ask ourselves “What can I do today that will bring me joy or bring me peace?” Not just things to pass the time or distract myself or numb myself from the feelings I want to avoid, but actual joy for my soul and deep peace for my spirit? It is not extravagant to choose these things; it is a means of survival.

And maybe reclaiming that stillness needs to be done with some help, with a life coach or a therapist. That’s okay! I have needed that myself in various seasons of my adult life. It’s okay to feel like it’s too much to tackle on your own; we all need a little extra help sometimes. If our stillness holds emotions that feel too big to sort out ourselves, if there is loss or trauma we need help processing, if the shame voice seems like it will take you captive and derail your lives, then maybe it’s time to consider an investment in yourself through a life coach or a therapist.

As it just so happens, I work for an incredible organization called Restoration Counseling. While I’m not a licensed therapist and can’t do any official diagnosing, I do have my Masters in Psychology and over a decade’s worth of coaching and mentoring experience. I am taking new clients and am doing all my work virtually, so everyone stays safe and healthy. So if you are in need of someone to walk alongside you during this challenging season to deal with stress, basic mental health, issues in relationships or with family, coping skills, transition, etc. I would love to work with you. I offer free 20-minute consult calls with no obligation, as well as 25% off the first 4 sessions for those who have financial need. I see some clients every week, some every other week, and some even just once a month. If you are looking for some extra support and guidance, I’d love to be a part of your support network.

We were never meant to go it alone; please reach out if you need it. I’m holding hope for you, for me, for all of us, even the midst of the chaos of this season and in our world.

Nicole Clifton is a life-coach with Restoration Counseling. She has her Masters in Psychology and a decade’s worth of coaching and mentoring experience. While she is not a licensed therapist and cannot treat anyone for mental health conditions like vaginismus, do EMDR, etc. she is available to walk with people through challenging relationships, processing harm from purity culture, faith deconstruction, etc. You can find out more at email her at nicole@restorationcounselingnoco.comto talk about individual, virtual sessions.

Nicole is also a writer, speaker, and leadership development specialist. If you’re interested in partnering with Nicole on topics like this blog, head to www.nicoleclifton.comto learn more. You can also follow her on her public social media pages: Nicole Clifton – AlwaysNYourCorner on Facebook or nicoleclifton_inyourcorner on Instagram.