Why am I so tired all the time?

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“I eat the right food, exercise regularly, get 8 hours sleep.  Why am I so tired all the time?”

Not so long ago that was me. In fact some days it still is me. As a somatic psychotherapist I often hear this from otherwise medically healthy clients. What I tell them is that your body and your mind are connected. The muscles of your body hold patterns of tension, acting as armour to protect you not just from re-damaging old injury sites, but also to stop you from feeling psychological or emotional pain. Muscles use up energy. So you may be unconsciously withholding your own energy; blocking your own life force.   Think of all that extra energy that would suddenly become available to you if  you could let everything go. This is what a Core Aliveness class is all about. Unlocking the vitality in your body and making room more for joy and pleasure!

Holding your breath is a way of minimizing physical pain. Shallow breathing is also the best way to minimize emotional and psychological pain.  If you don’t breathe fully you won’t FEEL. But this also inhibits the amount of energy available to you. In Core Aliveness classes we focus on deep, lungful’s of air.

Core Aliveness group classes are a low impact, playful mind-body class based on Bioenergetic exercises, suitable for all levels of fitness, all body types and all genders. There are 3 sections in each class:

1. Establishing the mind-body link and grounding

In the first part we focus on reconnecting your body and mind. It’s all too easy to cut off from the neck down, ignoring the messages from your body.  This is your chance to gently stretch, mobilise and ground your body, listening to the messages your body is trying to send you.

 

 

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2. Energising your body and lungs

In the second section of Core Aliveness class we fire up your body using your muscles, breath and voice – generating heat and energy in your body. Giving you the opportunity to let off some steam!

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3. Letting it all go

In the final section of a Core Aliveness class we put you into poses that allow the energy you’ve just built up to flow through and out of your body. We’re letting go of old stuck energy and undigested feelings, clearing space for more enjoyable states such as pleasure, love and joy. Finally we end up in relaxation poses to let your body-mind integrate all it has learned and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

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We run Core Aliveness Group classes at Coorparoo and Margate.

For more info please see the group classes page or to ask me a question please see our Facebook page  or call Sarah on 0450 22 00 59.

Personal Therapy Sessions

Not ready for a group class? Why not try a personal therapy session and make space for more joy, pleasure and vitality in your life. Find out more on my somatic psychotherapy page.

To book your appointment please book online or call Sarah on 0450 22 00 59

Why am I so tired all the time? was last modified: April 1st, 2017 by Sarah Tuckett

From Burnout to Bliss…. the importance of doing nothing

The importance of scheduling time to do nothing

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How are you feeling right now? Are you running on a full tank of fuel or are you about to break down by the side of the road? Your ability to react positively to the stressors you encounter in your daily life depends not only on your mental resilience, but also on your body’s energy reserves. These days we tend to think of our stressors are mostly mental rather than physical, because there just aren’t as many tigers chasing us as there used to be. However, there are things that put stress on your body’s energy reserves that we don’t often think about. This physical depletion can affect your resilience and your mental state.  So rather than think of ‘doing nothing’ as wasted time, perhaps it’s time to think of it as time spent filling up your tank.

How did I get burnout?

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The graphics below illustrate the relationship between stress and your energy reserves – leading to either endurance or exhaustion. In the first example – low stress and a full tank – you’ll be feeling pretty awesome!

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In the second example however – high stress and an empty tank – you’re on your way to burnout if the stressors continue for a prolonged period.

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Why am I writing about this? Because I burnt out last year.  I practice self-care in the form of eating a really healthy diet, getting 7 hours sleep a night, doing regular yoga and dancing classes, having regular personal therapy and making time to see friends.  However, what I wasn’t taking into account was the fact that I was doing all of that on top of a full-time job and running my own part-time business. I had the (pleasurable) mental stress of work and business but I was using up all my long-term energy reserves because I was eating on the fly between clients and dance classes; going to bed after 10.30pm;  and being ‘busy’ most of the weekend.  I wasn’t  making enough time for “nothing”, for my body to rest.

Hammock - perfect place to do nothing

Here are some of the surprising (ok probably not so surprising) things that can deplete your batteries over time:

  • Not getting enough sleep for YOUR body (7 hours may be great for some but not enough for you);
  • Going to bed after 10.30pm every night.  (If you go to bed too late your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) will kick in to keep you going, putting more adrenaline and cortisol into your system.  Not ideal because there are no tigers to run from at that time of night.  Your body really wants to rest at this time, but you’re asking it to keep going);
  • Dehydration;
  • Doing too much exercise;
  • Eating on the fly and not taking time to rest and digest;
  • Eating poor nutritional choices to keep yourself going rather than just admitting you are zonked and resting;
  • Not enough rest full stop; and
  • And here’s one you may not have thought of…..  Holding onto undigested feelings in your body (anger, fear, sadness, jealousy).  You need to let them go.  Imagine how much more energy you’d free up if you could just let that stuff go… (I’ve written about this in another blog – read it here) . (find out more about somatic (body-mind) psychotherapy)

The good news is that our batteries are rechargeable – it just takes time.  I learned to listen to my body rather than the list I had in my head of the things that I ought to do.  I’ve been there and back again. And now it’s my turn to help others.

As a somatic psychotherapist I will listen to what you’re saying and also look for the clues your body is showing me.  So if you’re feeling stressed or exhausted, come and see me and we’ll make a plan for your recovery.  (Call me on 0450 22 00 59 or book online here).

I leave you with this quote from Winnie the Pooh.  I’m off to do some very important ‘nothing’ for a few hours….

“What I like doing best is Nothing.”

“How do you do Nothing,” asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.

“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, ‘Oh, Nothing,’ and then you go and do it.

It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

“Oh!” said Pooh.”
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Winnie the Pooh

 

From Burnout to Bliss…. the importance of doing nothing was last modified: April 1st, 2017 by Sarah Tuckett

Why massage on its own won’t cut the mustard

(Or ‘Why we work with both the mind and the body in body psychotherapy’)

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As a remedial massage therapist specialising in body-mind massage, I would help my clients release the tension and stuck emotions in their body. They would report that they felt immediate relief and felt wonderful. However this relief wouldn’t last. The next time they came to see me the same patterns of tension would be back. Why? Because your mind is stronger than my hands. And these patterns of tension are like armour that protects you from painful feelings that you couldn’t deal with at the time (anger, sadness, stress). Having a massage gave immediate relief to the symptoms, but left the cause – the wound – untouched.

You store your issues not just in your mind, but also in your muscles. This is why it is so important to work with both the mind and body when dealing with psychological or emotional issues. So this is exactly what we do in body psychotherapy.

So where does this armour come from? Think of what you do when you stub your toe… a typical reaction is to hold your breath whilst hobbling about on one foot. Holding your breath is in an instinctive reaction to stop feeling the physical pain in our body. This muscular armour works in the same way for emotions. By tensing the diaphragm we restrict our breathing and in doing so stop ourselves from feeling the tender feelings in our bellies. By gritting our jaw we hold ourselves back from speaking out, something that could potentially get us into trouble. So why is this a problem? Because it’s causing you physical pain. Or holding you back psychologically.

These patterns of armouring start to form when we are children. As a child we are totally dependent on the love and protection of our parents or primary care givers. We play roles in order to gain love and attention from our parents. A defence against rejection. Think about the terrified child who pacifies their alcoholic father, bringing them food and coffee in order to avoid a violent outburst. I myself played the role of the academic achiever in order to gain my father’s attention. If I didn’t achieve I believed I would be unloveable. I feared I would be rejected. I don’t mind admitting that I carried on this belief until I was 40. It was only through therapy that I started to see where this faulty logic came from, and slowly I started taking different decisions.

Think about the roles you still play as an adult. Your work persona versus your private persona. How you act around your family versus how you act around your friends? Which is the real you? Any of them? Like actors we play a role, we wear a mask in order to gain acceptance and love from the people around us. The happy person. The caring friend. The leader. We do it to be socially acceptable. And sometimes we believe that our true self will not be accepted, or worse will be un-loveable or rejected.

Over time, these masks or roles become structured in our bodies. Our body becomes shaped to the self-image we create. Initially we consciously hold our muscles in patterns to effect the mask that we need to show, or to stop ourselves from feeling the emotional pain of rejection or abandonment. Over time the holding pattern becomes unconscious and the muscle tension becomes chronic. We are no longer aware that we are doing it and these holding patterns become the norm. The self-deprecating people pleaser has an open, smiling face, despite the tears that lie within. The sad, lonely person rounds their shoulders to protect the heart, their entire energy drooping towards the floor in defeat. The fearful child holds terror in his eyes and anger in his jaw and shoulders from where he’s not been able to express his own rage for fear of rejection.

But we’re no longer children. We no longer need to rely on the love and protection of our parents. We can stop playing these roles, but it takes time and we need to proceed gently, because these patterns are ingrained in your subconscious; these childhood wounds are deep. This armour should be treated with kindness and melted away gently, after all it helped you survive as a child.

In body psychotherapy our goal is to return aliveness to the body. To gently melt the armour. To discharge the stuck emotions. To release the trauma. We do this by working with the breath and physical movements. As we release the tight muscles a client will often remember events, memories or emotions associated with that tension. The client may sob as they feel and release the childhood grief, or express the anger that they were unable to express as a child for fear of rejection by mum or dad. We may revisit the same stories time and time again as we release the tensions, like peeling the layers off an onion. But one thing is sure… as you release those tensions and withheld emotions, you will feel more alive. You will have more energy for life. And you will have more capacity for joy.

It takes an awful lot of physical energy to maintain these muscle-holding patterns, and mental energy to maintain the façade of the mask you portray. Imagine if you could let go of the mask and truly be yourself? Think of the additional energy that would be freed up.

With the help of a brilliant therapist I started to listen to my inner voice and started following my non-academic interests. I started following my own heart. But it’s still there… the inner voice that tells me that perhaps I’m not good enough and therefore don’t deserve love. It’s something I work on every day. But that voice is growing quieter and quieter each day. And now it’s my turn to help you.

With love

Sara Elizabeth
xxx
Mobile: 0450 22 00 59
www.saraelizabeth.com.au
info@saraelizabeth.com.au

To find out more about how body psychotherapy can help you have a look at my Services Page

To find out how to contact me or info about my opening hours please visit my Contact page. Or book your appointment online.

Why massage on its own won’t cut the mustard was last modified: April 1st, 2017 by Sarah Tuckett

You don’t have to be crazy to have psychotherapy

There’s a common misconception that psychotherapy is only for ‘crazy’ people and neurotic New Yorkers.

But what if you’re just feeling stressed, anxious or depressed and you just want someone to talk to? Someone you can be completely honest with and not worry that they’re going to store that for use later on in an argument. What if your life has just hit a rocky patch and you just want a shoulder to cry on?  What if you just want to feel heard?  Why not give psychotherapy a go?

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So what if for one hour a fortnight (or week, month, 2 months – it’s really up to you) you could go somewhere and talk freely about all the things that have been really upsetting or annoying you? And the person you were talking to really listened to you. They didn’t try to interrupt you to tell their side of the story. They just listened to every word you said. Without judgement. In complete confidentiality.

So as they saying goes, you could really get whatever it was off your chest. You could stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. You could let go emotionally and physically. Cleaning up and defragging your emotional hard drive. Opening up space for more love, compassion and fun to enter into your life.

So why not give it a try….. Call 0450 22 00 59 to book your appointment or book online.

Kind regards

Sarah

You don’t have to be crazy to have psychotherapy was last modified: April 1st, 2017 by Sarah Tuckett