Do You Suffer From Cave Syndrome?
Over the last few months, we’ve had increasing opportunities to come out of lockdowns and begin resuming our connections to loved ones and our communities at large. But this has left many people feeling anxious and afraid to step out into the world. Its what’s unofficially called “Cave Syndrome” and it reflects hesitancy to socialize or be out in public even when the threat is minimal. Chances are you haven’t heard of this before, because quite frankly, we haven’t really experienced anything like this since the last major pandemic 100 years ago.
If this is you, first of all, know that you aren’t alone. It is happening to people all over the world. In fact, even many self-professed extroverts are having trouble getting back out there. In my opinion, its ok to be hesitant. The threat of covid still exists, and it can still be a fatal, so a degree of caution is still a good idea. But at the same time, we have access to basics that battle covid, including masks, sanitizer, soap, social distancing and vaccines. Where Should I Start?
Reflection I recommend starting with some personal reflection. Whenever you’re feeling anxious about a potential social event (or even just a shopping trip), begin by taking some start deep breaths and simply notice where in your body you feel the tension or unease. Can you identify a shape? Colour? Texture of your anxious feelings? Just observe them. Its important to know you don’t have to get rid of them straight away. This step is just about understanding the physiological responses that are happening in your body.
Next I recommend doing some grounding exercises to help bring clarity to your mind and calm your body. What method works best for one person may not work best for another. Even more confusing, what worked for you today, may not work tomorrow. So for that reason, I recommend practicing a few different techniques so you have different options to use in the moment.
Methods To Try:
Take deep breaths and imagine roots growing out of your feet into the earth. As you b breathe in, your roots grow deeper and deeper. As you exhale, you blow out your troubling feelings. Continue this until you feel your roots wrap firmly around the core of the earth.
Massage your legs and feet. As you bring attention and sensation to your feet, it helps to pull that extra energy out of your head.
Rub crystals associated with grounding and protection. Most popular include: Apache Tear, Black Obsidian, Black Tourmaline, Amethyst, Smokey Quartz and Jet.
Rub crystals associated with calming and soothing the mind. Most popular include: Howlite, Unakite, Blue Lace Agate and Rose Quartz.
Go for a walk in the woods. Getting out in nature is one of the absolute best ways of soothing the soul and balancing your energy.
Have a salt bath. Salt baths help to pull off energetic gunk that’s stuck to you, and helps to rebalance your energy systems. I recommend soaking for at least 20 minutes, and you don’t need anything fancy. Any salt will work. Just be sure to give the tub a good rinse afterwards as salt can be corrosive.
Try aromatherapy. There are many essential oils that are associated with calming and grounding. My most favourites are patchouli and lavender. You can add them to your favourite unscented lotion or make a spritz with a water bottle. Some people really enjoy using personal jewelry diffusers or room diffusers. The key is to use therapeutic grade essential oils, not fragrance, or you won’t receive the benefits.
Reassess After you’ve had a chance to do some grounding its time to reassess your feelings. For this, its important to use your discerning mind. Are these feelings trying to tell you that you are taking an unnecessary risk? Or is it just the newness of the situation that has you feeling the way you do? Your discerning mind is very important in helping you to determine what’s the next best step.
Start Small If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the idea of being out in public again, then don’t start with a big event. Start small. Meet a friend for a quick outdoor coffee. Take a run to the store when you know it won’t be too busy. As you start getting out again, it will begin to get a little easier and a little easier.
Once you’ve taken the first few steps out to the world, begin to make this part of your weekly routine. Its very easy to say “phew, I did it, that wasn’t so bad” then return to life on the couch. So keep joining the world.
Chances are, as we move into the colder months, we may end up with some lockdowns again or increased numbers. This is to be expected as we all try to move towards our new normal. But I firmly believe this won’t last. We are seeing changes and we know from studying historical pandemics, that eventually it will come to an end, and most likely we will create a much better world than what we previously had.
On closing, I recommend not to lose what you gained during the time home and alone. Remember to keep yourself as a priority. Remember to take some quiet for yourself every day. Remember to make your home a place you want to be in. But most importantly continue to listen what your body, mind and soul tells you. Barbara Ford is one of the founders of InSpirit Centre and an internationally recognized Spiritual Advisor, Holistic Practitioner, & Paranormal Expert. She is known for her detailed readings and deep knowledge of spirituality. Barbara brings a warm welcoming attitude and a down-to-earth approach to everything she does.
To book a session with Barbara please call InSpirit Centre 289-891-7711