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Nine of Swords

The 9 of Swords is the stuff of nightmares. The fears that keep us up at night. Mars in Gemini. Aggressive mental chatter that just won’t let up. Anxiety. Worry. Despair. Habitual harsh self-judgement.

9 of Swords arises when we’re struggling with intense or persistent distressing mental-emotional content but trying to act like everything is “normal”.

These suppressed thoughts and feelings often visit us in the moments when we are not distracted by the activities or busy-ness of the day.

Anxiety and other nervous system stress is exacerbated by trying to pretend that nothing is wrong. There is no shame or weakness in needing help. Especially at this time, when we are all in the pandemic pressure cooker. Whatever mental health issues we may have been dealing with previously are being magnified under the huge stressor that is the uncertainty of life and love in the time of La ’Rona. Give yourself a pass.

Reach out. Keep a list of 5 people that feel safe to call when you are feeling overwhelmed. These are the folks who won’t try to “logic“ you out it (that doesn’t work), but who can help you get back to this present moment and access a feeling of safety. Look into seeing a therapist to have a regular outlet for stress and consistent support, someone that can help you to explore strategies for pulling out of the darkest depths.

I find that in a 9 of Swords moment, anything that helps to get out of the head (ruminating on the future or past) and grounded in the body (present moment) can be super helpful. Reasoning out of these moments is not helpful or effective because the part of the brain being activated during such episodes cannot access higher cognition. So: body, body, body.

Walk, run, shake your body (google shaking meditation for anxiety), dance, sing. Take deep, slow breaths. Breathe in some calming or grounding essential oils, such as lavender or cedar. Give yourself a hand or foot massage (look up reflexology for anxiety). Take a hot bath with epsom salts. Make yourself a cup of chamomile tea. Take a walk. Lie down on the earth on a blanket. Take it back to the basics: eat nourishing, grounding foods (fats and proteins over sugars and starches), stay hydrated, get vitamin D from the sun.

This situation will not stay the same. It will shift and change and we don’t get to know exactly what that will look like. In the meantime, it’s helpful to recognize the many things we DO have control over. The things we CAN do to help ourselves get grounded and stable right now.

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