The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced some old fears in many of us. And our most basic needs have been under question. The stress is real and our lower mood is a natural reaction to it.


Fears are here for a reason and we need to allow them to be there. They are the messages from our body- it simply shows what's important to us.

But once it starts to spin around and becoming the only subject of our attention, that's when it no longer serves us. And that's also a sign that our coping strategies failed and didn't filter accordingly.

Exaggerated fears may mean a lack of grounding. When it touches us too deep than it rationally should. When it takes over the control of simple daily activities. Then people come to see me and say they had panic attacks. Or they first experience somatic symptoms of chest pain, breathing problems and first see a generalist who diagnoses anxiety.


Not ignorant, but resilient to the negative effects of anxiety. Resilience is simply the way you respond to the crisis. How you're reacting shows your level of resilience. One way out is to go IN. Either by psychotherapy or with self-supporting tools of relaxation and breathing exercises. Make sure you pay attention to your kidneys. Too much stress and lack of proper ways to regenerate energy may lead to kidney fatigue.


Enjoying time with your family or simply having quality time to spend the way you usually don't have. The more time you spend your time doing things you CAN influence, the happier and more resilient you become. When you're concerned about issues that are above your control, you sabotage your happiness.


You get to intentionally design a life you want to live. Make sure you choose exactly what makes you expand and feel fully yourself and as much in control as you can. A key is to notice this space of stillness between all the outside busyness and inner chaos, a time when you can be a human being, instead of a human doing, with your full attention. My slow pace happens throughout the day. Slowing down when I eat, appreciating the nourishing meals, making sure I get the necessary balance of action and relax, monitoring sleeping patterns, making conscious choices of what I spend my energy on.

Reach out for 1:1 online session when you feel you need support

I work via Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger or phone. Whatever suits you best at this special time.

Maybe this is a good opportunity to finally reach out for help with some long-forgotten issues that are coming to the surface now?

There are different phases in everyone’s lives. And every one of us needs a different amount of time for these phases. But there is also the time that finally the preparatory phase ends and there is time to act, to put words into action, to finally trust the intuition and switch from waiting in preparation to the actual real life. This moment is quite beautiful. This is precisely the moment in which you can become a fighter.

You spent all the time that you needed in preparation for this day to come. You finally know what is it that makes your heart beat a little faster. You discovered what is the actual role you need and want to play in this life and world. This is an enormous achievement in my opinion. It not only shows that you are sure about WHO you are and that you are connected with your purpose, but it also means that, by now, you’ve gotten all the answers about HOW you think you may get where you need. Only one step separates you from the start. Now is the moment to be a fighter.

The plan is there, your vision of this ideal life is hanging whenever you close your eyes. Unfortunately, when you open them, you realize that there’s a long way ahead. You feel it might be a little too far or too demanding. So, you either stay in the place of comfort or put on these shoes and start the walk. The walk where you sometimes will need to fight.

Fighting, for me, has also positive connotations. You can fight with the reality whenever it is not materializing as you wish it were, by changing your automatic thoughts or questioning the beliefs you’ve had for way too long. When they start to limit you, it’s a big sign for you to address them and sometimes fight them.

A fighter knows what tools or techniques she needs to win.

Do you know what do you need to succeed?

She knows her aim very clearly and is focused on it.

Where is YOUR focus? Do you spend time reaching your goal or on other things?

A fighter trust that she has what it takes- the strength and stamina to go through the obstacles.

Do you feel this power in you? Are you sure you have all it takes?

She’s in it to win it.

Are you THAT committed?

Trust that you’ll never be more ready to start. Just do it and modify the techniques when necessary. Only you have this special vision of what makes your life better. No one else will bring it to you. Step up and start your fight for it.

Fight to be you.
Fight to live YOUR life.
Fight for your right to be happy.
Fight for LOVE.
Fight for all the good things in life that didn’t yet come in your direction.

Updated: Mar 10

Introduction to the Embodied Self-Regulation approach

We are whole beings. At our healthiest, we are the integration of our external self and internal self. From an integrated, embodied self, we make decisions and regulate our emotions based on what we know to be true in our hearts (emotional self), our guts (intuitive self), and our thoughts (cognitive self). This approach is confirmed by many therapists: Kim Chernin, Marsha Linehan, Niva Piran, Daniel Siegel.

Is the self an entity, or rather a process? Would you consider it rather as a separate construct, or rather an ever-changing experience? Which way of conceptualizing the self lets us more possibilities to modify or influence it then, leading to more empowerment as a person?

Big psychologists like William James or Zygmunt Freud tried defining it in the past. In recent research, psychologists put more effort into the concept of self-regulation as it comes easier to measure, quantify and study its nature. Then, how much trying to influence the totality of emotions, physiology, cognition and cultural and social context, will be reflected in the self. Is it an outcome or rather the motor of this whole regulation process? This question seems more philosophical than psychological. In my research, I’m more interested in the daily manifestations of self, practices of self-regulation and the ways to reach the best attainable potential of self so that it develops to its highest possibilities. But in my opinion, the underlying condition is for an individual to admit that the locus of control is inside rather than outside.

Self-regulation seems a healthy basis for maintaining healthy relationships. This is logical- being sure you know who you make it easier to form relationships, as your role in it is clearer. There is also a self-determination theory, linked to the goal achievement, according to which maintaining the pathway towards achievement is an example of self-regulation.

Looking at the definition of self-regulation (Karoly, 1993) we can extract various ways of seeing it: 1) as a transactional process that guides individuals toward their goals over time and changing circumstances and 2) as management of thoughts and behaviors through specific mechanisms, 3) process initiated when the routine is being challenged or 4) as phases: goal selection, goal cognition, directional maintenance, directional change, and goal termination.

This view, however, is based on an individual with an already existing strong sense of Self, otherwise, the goal-setting risks to be unaligned with the core sense of self and lead to frustration. In case of the absence or loss of self, many self-destructive behaviors may emerge. It’s the feeling that Chernin expressed as “there is no I” leading to misattunement, dysregulation and a lost or false sense of self.

“The mindful and yogic path to self-regulation provides an embodied (lived experience) and a cognitive framework for both knowing and regulating the whole, integrated self within the context of life experience. It embraces the whole journey, more so than the goal. The destination is the realization of one’s own true nature.”

In the theory of embodied self-regulation, proposed by Catherine P. Cook-Cottone in 2015, there are few differences from the traditional view on self-regulation in the context of the target of the intervention, the emphasis, the outcome, and the ecological scope. In short, the embodied theory sees the body as a container of the self thus any self-work must include active practices that involve the body-mind connection, not purely cognitive. In the last wave of therapies, emotional regulation and self-regulation became integral in treatments. These are the essentials in mindfulness and yogic approaches by cultivating the awareness of self as an observer of the mind, receptive state of being both internally and externally.

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 © Ewa Kampelmann 2019