I have been more absent than usual. I try to only write when I am inspired to do so to lesson anything feeling or reading forced. I have been compelled to write So Many Things these past few weeks, but they all came from an angry, reactive space and I am not here to emit that jazz, so I waited. Now, I am here to say:
Fellow Humans: We are NOT OK
Everyone is going through a similar situation right now. A LOT is unknown and unknown is scary. We are not all going through the exact same situation right now and that also makes it difficult. I am positive many people look at what others are going through and feel like they cannot talk to anyone about what they are going through because it does not seem as bad as other people’s situations. In this case, many people go silent. They are overwhelmed and stressed and trying to figure things out on their own. This is never good. Especially in such a scary time such as we are in now.
Let me tell you this – No one is okay right now. Not a one of us. Every adult I have spoken to has had a “breaking point” and I have had several. We are teetering between feeling like “we got this” to preparing for the end of the world to feeling helpless and overwhelmed in a matter of 5 minutes. Our entire lives all got flipped upside-down seemingly overnight and no one is left with a normal.
In this respect, I feel like I have an edge. My entire world has already been flipped and I have already had to deal with figuring out a new normal. I also feel kind of like it isn’t fair because I have already had to do this once and it was pretty recent and wouldn’t you know it, now this. Ultimately, I am already equipped with healthy coping mechanisms and I know what to do for myself and my family when I don’t feel I can make it through the month, the week, the day. I know I can do it because I have already done it, which is a luxury right now that not many people have.
A lot of people have lost their jobs. A lot of people are working from home with their kids there. A lot of small businesses are struggling because they have had to close. A lot of people’s jobs are in jeopardy depending on the timeline of this. A lot of people cannot see their children because they co-parent and the best thing for everyone right now is for their children to stay exactly where they are. A lot of people cannot see their loved ones in nursing homes. A lot of people cannot be with their loved ones as they battle a new virus by themselves in the hospital. A lot of people are putting their lives on the line and avoiding their own families to help save other people’s lives.
There are countless scenarios going on right now that are new and have never been thought of before this week or a month ago. I have no solutions for any of these. We have to stay separated and that totally sucks. I do have some ways to maybe help anyone feeling like they aren’t gonna make it, so I will share those now.
- Eat something. Even if you aren’t hungry, make yourself eat something every day. This keeps you alive and being alive is good. We want you here and We Love You.
- Sleep. Sleep is good for you. I tell my kids “Rest is Best” all the time. Hardly any of us get enough sleep anyways, so sleep more than you usually do. A bonus to sleeping is your mind won’t be reeling while you are asleep. Give your body and your mind some extra rest.
- Stay off Social Media & News Sites. These are aiding your anxiety, I guarantee it. If you are anything like me, you are on them way too much normally and now it has been taken to a whole new level. Make yourself not go on. If you catch yourself going to that app, Stop yourself. Just don’t do it. I promise you it is negatively affecting your mental health.
- Phone a Friend or Professional. If you have someone you trust, call or text them. Tell them what you are worried about and how it is affecting you. They may not have all the answers to make it go away, but telling someone really does help. If you don’t have someone to text or call, then call a professional. A counselor or therapist or a hotline. Tell someone.
- Distract yourself. Do something “mindless.” Video games are good for this or any hobby that you already know how to do without much thought.
- Do Projects. Projects help me a lot. I like to do cleaning and organizing projects because that is how I work. For example, today I cleaned my room. I cleaned out every single drawer and both of my closets. I purged clothes and bags and papers and dust bunnies. I swept and hand washed my wood floors. It looks great and I feel amazing as I sit in my room and type this. I would love to say I made a dresser or something really cool, but I don’t currently have those capabilities, so I clean and organize.
I am not a doctor and I am not promising these things will make it all better because they won’t. These things have helped me in times times when I had no idea what to think or do. I have been placed in a messed up mental space that affected my health involuntarily for quite some time and these are some ways I got through it.
This whole experience really does feel eerily similar to grieving and everything I have gone through since losing my husband. I feel like the entire world is getting a glimpse of part of what I went through. I feel somewhat prepared for what I have been going through recently. I feel like I have to now (again) figure out a new normal. Except this time, so does the entire world along with me.
When it feels like this is too much to handle, it’s because it is. Not that we won’t handle it because we all will, but this is A LOT. A lot of things out of our control directly affecting how we live our lives. It feels unfair because IT IS UNFAIR. You know how adults always tell kids, “Well, Life’s not fair” when the kids don’t get their way? We say it because it’s true. It’s completely acceptable to feel angry and sad and whatever else you feel about this because your feelings are legitimate and valid.
Feel the feelings.
Work through them.
Then get to work on your new normal.
We are all going to come out of this being able to say what happened to us. Being able to tell the story of this crazy virus taking over our country. It’s not about what happened, that’s not the story. It’s about what you do with it. That’s where it gets interesting. We have so many opportunities right now to create great stories. From helping our neighbors to supporting our medical professionals to shaping the next generation of adult humans into incredibly caring and serving individuals. Let’s do this right.
I cannot take credit for this next advice. It has come from several people close to me in the past year and I believe they were told it by other people previous to that, but it is something I always remind myself and that helps me immensely when I am struggling…
When it all seems Too Much. When you are Overwhelmed, Anxious, Scared, Freaking Out, and Going Insane, Remember This:
You don’t have to worry about that right now. You don’t have to fix this right now. You don’t have to worry about next month or next week or even tomorrow.
Work on getting through Today.
If that’s too much, Focus on getting through this Hour.
If that’s too much, Focus on this Minute. Focus on this Second.
We’re all trying to just get through the day at this point, and you can do it. I promise you can.
We are all in this Together, Apart.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.
~Love & Light, Sarah