We are currently hunkered down at home, sheltering in place due to the Covid 19 pandemic. I oscillate between moments of “this isn’t so bad…I’m enjoying lots of time with my family.” To, “I CAN’T DO THIS ANY LONGER!!!” Having been a fan of the TV show “The Walking Dead”…which is literally about a zombie apocalypse (for those of you who aren’t familiar with it), I have looked at how fast things in our world and lives have changed since this pandemic have hit and irrationally thought…”Maybe it really is the end of the world…and I don’t feel fine!”
As I was writing this blog, I literally had to take a break, lock myself in my bathroom (I have four kids…that’s where I go to find privacy) and let myself freak out over all the change and decisions that have been thrown my way in the past month. And, you know what? It’s not the first time I have had to press in to and succumb to the stress I have been feeling. And, it most likely won’t be the last.
However, after giving myself the space and freedom to “freak out, lost it, meltdown” I feel SO much better! The truth is, we are human. We are not perfect and we are not superhero’s…and that’s okay! We have had our lives completely uprooted. Those unsettling emotions of “this doesn’t feel right, this isn’t normal, I don’t like this, I miss it when…” are all there and they will wreak havoc on you until you allow yourself to release them! With all of that in mind, here are some suggestions of how to let yourself freak out and feel all the “feels” in a productive way:
Make Some Lists
- Stuff That’s a Bummer
Make a list of the things you can’t control right now. Set a timer and let yourself be sad, mad, frustrated…whatever “negative” emotion comes up…until the timer goes off. Be super honest and don’t hold back! If you’re feeling it or thinking about it, write it down!
- Stuff I’m in Charge of
After the timer has gone off, make a list of all the things you CAN control right now. This list can be as simple and practical as “I can control when I go to the bathroom” or as abstract as “I can control my attitude.”
- Stuff I’m Grateful for
Finally, make a list (daily if you need to) of all the things you are grateful for. If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is that I can ALWAYS find something to be grateful for. I have often found that when I start to feel anxiety or angst bubble up in me, if I just I hit “pause”, take a deep breath and list out the things I am grateful for in that moment, life feels a little less overwhelming.
I’m not sure when life will return to normal again, or if it ever will be like it was before Covid 19. But I am hopeful that strength, resilience, empathy, hope and perseverance will grow in all of us as a result. If you gain anything from this blogpost, I hope it is this: You are not alone and you are completely accepted, right where you are. If not by anyone you know, you are accepted by me…freak out and all.