2020 is a tale of three stories. The first is everything that occurred in our world. The public stuff that, regardless of who or where you were, was unrelentingly stressful. The second is how it affected you; not IF you suffered because of it, but how much.
The third story tells of all the additional, individualized “life’s messy” challenges you faced, perhaps unrelated to the global events. Kids go off course, car accidents happen, loved ones get cancer, marriages fail, friendships implode, jobs aren’t a fit… The garden-variety terribleness that comes at you in any given year.
As we discussed last week in The Great Depletion, these three stories, personal for each of us yet unanimously felt by all of us, add up to unprecedented mass exhaustion. And this week, we’re moving into repair mode.
I’m unveiling my brand-new ABC concept – Anchor, Body, and Community – to make replenishment our number one goal. I’ll prompt you with self-discovery questions and give you 5-minute fixes to help ground and restore you. Gently and just in time, let’s collectively work our way back to center.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Interpreting water dreams
- Mental vs. physical anchors
- The beneficial skill of doing nothing
- Tapping into your sensual self
- Forgoing the easy friendship
Listen to the Full Episode
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 8:00 am in New York, 3:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 8:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
On Tuesday last week. I felt like I was playing hooky. So for those of you who don’t speak English as a first language, hooky is what you do when you skip school.
I don’t know if you know this about me by now, but I’m not the kind of girl who would skip school. I’m the kind of girl who sat in the front row with her hand up, right? But I was so tired on Tuesday, and I thought you know what, “Energy is my asset and I don’t got much right now.” So after lunch I pushed what I had planned to my calendar back and I took a nap in my office. It was so liberating. And it’s important because if you’re like me people are feeling depleted. I notice I’ve got energy but it’s not like it normally is.
So if you didn’t check out my episode last week on depletion check it out now because depleted is what everybody that I know is feeling right now. And in that episode I challenge you to make replenishment your number one goal. But the thing is there are people who listened and were thinking, “Okay Sundae, I’m so ready to make replenishment as my number one goal, but I don’t know how.” Right? You’ve asked me, “Sundae, where do I begin?” And I get that because if you’re really depleted you don’t even have the energy to do the “thinking.” You can’t muster up the energy or effort to even think about how to get out of where you’re at, right?
So that is why I’m showing up for you today talking about replenishment. So make sure that you check out depletion from last week’s episode because depleted, we talk about how it is actually the act of being bankrupt of something. That could be your energy, that could be joy, that could be purpose, or all of the above.
So let’s dive in this week and we’re going to talk about some very simple starting points. I don’t want to dive in too deep because again, if you’re feeling depleted you don’t want to take on more than you can chew. So in this episode we’re going to have three simple starting points, but if you want to dive in deep, I suggest you check out my podcast 190, Scale of Wholeness. This is a luscious way to dive deeper. To look at where you’re feeling depleted and how you can get back wholeness. So go ahead and do the worksheet that is in the show notes and listen to the episode if you’re ready to go further after today.
Okay. So let’s get started with the basics. Replenish. I said your number one goal should be to replenish. So what does it really mean to replenish? It means to fill something up again, right? But I want to ask you, “What do you think needs to be filled?”
This answer, what I know is going to have commonalities across the global mobility community. I’m guessing what needs to be filled up again is probably our need for connection with loved ones who are far away, right? But for others, you might be feeling the need to fill up other buckets. I’m hearing from people that they’re really looking for balance, energy, and even a fun factor. They’re just so sick of monotony and want some novelty in their life.
So the first thing you can do is just answer the question: What needs to be filled for you? Is it your physical energy? Is it your emotional energy? Is it balanced because you’re feeling overwhelmed? The demands of homeschooling and running your business. Is it the connection with people in your home that are actually right next to you, but you’re so busy doing all of the things you haven’t actually had meaningful time together. Or is it to break out of the monotony that you’re feeling? It could be you need to fill up hope because you’ve lost hope based on some of the things that have happened in your life yet. So answered that question for you: What needs to be filled?
Okay, so here are the three simple starting points I promised you today and it is so simple, it’s like your ABCs; A for anchor ,B is body, and C is community.
We’re going to go into each one of those in more detail briefly. I promise to keep it short today because if you’re feeling depleted I don’t want you to spend a lot of time on this. Just go and do it instead.
So A is for anchor. I want you to think about; What are your anchors right now? If you are feeling depleted if you want to replenish, what are the things that make you feel grounded? I know for me a sign that I’m not anchored is, I’ll have a dream and it will have water and it’s usually like a huge tidal wave and I’m on a rickety wooden canoe. So that’s a sign if I dream that I am feeling out of control, I’m feeling overwhelmed. And what happens is I wake up from that dream and I’m like, “Oh I had one of those water dreams again. I’m feeling overwhelmed. So what do I have to do to anchor? I have to plan, that means I have to write down everything that’s on my mind, everything I have to do. And I need to anchor by seeing it on paper, making a list and then planning.”
So for you, maybe that’s your anchor. Some of my clients plan 15 minutes on a Sunday night to get ready for the week. Other clients get up early in the morning and block off time before their family wakes up to get their thoughts ready for the day, right? You can also look for other anchors that are more physical like a five minute stretch in the morning before you get out of bed. Meditation. A morning walk before the sun rises. Journaling even for five minutes. Watching the sunrise. Cuddling with your little one. Or even just having quiet coffee alone. Right?
What is it for you? What would feel like an anchor? And this is important. It’s so simple. It doesn’t take any time. Most of the ideas I’ve just shared with you take 5 to 15 minutes, but if you are feeling depleted and you want to replenish your resources, adding an anchor will really bring you one big step forward. Okay, the guiding question I want to leave you with on the anchor is, “How can I start my day to feel more anchored? What can I do during my day to reconnect?”
One of my clients starts her day with meditation, but then during the day she has a five-minute reminder on our phone just to check in with her and help her see if she’s feeling anchored or not. For me personally, I was meditating a lot and then I sort of fell off the wagon. And now I knew I could feel it. I needed another anchor and I’m going to start meditation more regularly again to keep me centered and at rest. And I just did it over this weekend and it actually helped me block out noise that was going into my house. And then I fell into a deep sleep, which is really rare to have a midday nap on the weekend.
Okay, that’s anchor. I want you, if you’re serious about rejuvenating and replenishing then think of a five-minute anchor. What is it that you can do differently?
Okay. That’s our A. Let’s move to the B and that’s Body. Right, let’s get really clear. What is depleted in your body? I shared last episode about how my body was physically depleted of let’s say, magnesium, and I went to the doctor and I got my blood levels tested. And I found out I was depleted in iron, right? What’s going on in your body? Are you depleted physically somewhere? If it’s been a long time since you’ve had a check-up with your doctor, this wouldn’t be so bad if you’re feeling tired. It could go beyond a strategy, beyond something around mindfulness. It could be physical and you can’t coach physical, just to tell you that. Could be a hormonal imbalance, whatever it might be. So think about, what do you need to give your body?
And if you know, it’s nothing, very physical but you could be more mindful of what you put in your body then you can have a look at the quality of food that you’re buying. Is your fridge stocked up with all of the new most nutritious things that feel nourishing for you and are easy to fit in your busy schedule. Right?
The next thing you can think about in terms of the body is one thing I have to be really honest was very hard for me when I got started in 2008 with this kind of work and here is the very very tough assignment. I was given by my master coach and it was: Do nothing.
Do nothing. Honestly I had no idea how to do nothing. And I got the assignment of to do nothing for five minutes and I literally set my phone, the timer for 5 minutes. I sat on my sofa and after three minutes I checked the timer. I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” Like, “How much longer is this going to last? I can’t do nothing.” I don’t know if you are like me. It is hard to just sit and do nothing. You might feel restless or your mind is spinning.
So if you are feeling depleted and you want to replenish my challenge to you is to think about what it would look like if you incorporated five minutes of doing nothing throughout your day. For me, I’ve gotten better at that thankfully over the years where I can just pause and sit on the sofa and breathe for five minutes just to let my body calm down, regain a little energy rest a bit, before I do the next thing. And if you’re feeling depleted, this is something really simple you can do that can help restore your energy.
All right, what else is your body wanting to do right now that feels replenishing? Does it want to do yoga? Does it want to do a dance party in the kitchen? What needs to happen with your body? How do you need to move it that will feel replenishing? Those are some ways to help you stop depletion.
Other things that you might not think about I think that are grossly underestimated when it comes to the body is that we are sensual. We are sensual beings. We have senses, right? And often we get busy and overwhelmed and tired. We don’t want to say this. We neglect our bodies sensual needs. We deprive our body of sensory experiences and that is simple is what are some amazing smells that we could have in our home. What can we do to pause and take in some wonderful tastes?
So have you been depleting your sensual experience? Right the things that are the visual things. Has your office gone to hell in your home office or do you actually have beautiful visual things around you to look at? So these are all very nourishing if we’ve got something that tastes amazing, maybe you’re the type of person who likes to have flavored lip gloss. Maybe you’re someone who likes to have, you know room temperature strawberry after lunch to really take in that flavor. What if you had those essential oils and you could just tap a little on your wrist and smell it during the heat of a busy day or put up a new piece of art in your home. Whatever it is, if you’re feeling depleted you can replenish by tapping in to your sensual self.
Next level from that perspective is also beyond our senses, but more on the heart level or the soul level. What are you doing? What are you pouring into your body when it comes to art or poetry or music? Have you denied yourself this gorgeous heart or soul feeling nutrition because everything feels like it’s going to hell? And this is one small thing you can do to add a little bit to your day that’s nourishing and replenishing it.
So your guiding question here when it comes to the body is, what is the most nourishing thing you can do right now? What is the most nourishing thing you can add right now to your day or to your week? And any time you have a choice of how you’re going to spend your time, what are you going to watch? Okay, what would be the most nourishing thing to watch right now? What are you gonna listen to? What would be the most nourishing thing to listen to right now? This doesn’t take a lot of time. It doesn’t even need to cost any money. It’s about being mindful about your body.
So there you go A is for Anchor, B is for Body, and that means we’re ready for C. And C is Community.
So the thing is we are globally more isolated than we ever have been and that means we’re starving for connection because humans are built for connection. We’re built for community. So, of course we’re feeling depleted of community and connection. And the trick of it is we’re feeling depleted but resilience is actually built in community.
So it’s like this catch 22. I want to be resilient. I want to move away from depletion. I want to replenish but I have I’m away from one of the key factors to success, right? So I want you to think about community and how you do community, now. We’ve had a lot of practice with lockdown. We’ve had a lot of practice with social isolations, social distancing etc. Now is the time to be super mindful about community. And for me, one of the things I want you to think about is, “We are in community when we are in community, we feel like we’re at home.”
For me home is where you feel seen. So who do you feel home with? How long has it been since you’ve reached out to them? What has to happen for you to reconnect even for a moment with them this week? Think about what kind of community shares your goals and wants to be supported and support you.
Right. So again three simple things A is for Anchor, B is for Body, and C is Community. And your guiding question is: Who do you feel seen by? With whom do you feel like you belong?
Like we’ve talked about with nutritious food or nutritious ways of filling up our senses. It’s the same thing for our community and our connection, right? So instead of just spending time with those people who might be neighbors or next door or from the school or whatever is easy. I want you to really challenge yourself to think about which people do you feel replenished?
And even if you can’t see them face-to-face, what can you do to spend just 20 glorious minutes with them online to reconnect? And even if time difference is a huge problem. Can you say, “Hey, I know we’re on opposite ends of the world right now, and we’re barely awake at the same time, but you want to just have a chat over audio WhatsApp this week? And when I get your audio I’ll answer you?” So they’re still feeling like they’re part of your connection, right? These are very special times. We have to get creative about the way we do community.
Okay. There you go. I promise to you three simple ways to get started for each of those you’ve got guiding questions, right? It’s important if you’re feeling depleted that you spend five minutes on each one of these. Maybe not all the same week, maybe this week, it’s about your Anchor. Next week is about the Body, and the week after it’s about Community. But just five minutes and think about how you can replenish because no one wants to end this year feeling this depleted.
Let’s gently gently gently acknowledge where you are feeling depleted and then kindly and softly bring ourselves back step by step to replenishment. And if you want to go deeper, don’t forget to check out episode 190, Scale of Wholeness and you can take stock of where you’re at, and what you can do to feel replenished, to feel whole.
All right. There you go. I am thinking about you. I know that things are wonky times and there is a path forward for you to take back control of all of the things that feel out of our fingertips. You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider-Bean. Thank you for listening. I’ll leave you with the wisdom of Anne Lamott: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
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