So your quarantine routine is very simple. You wake up, and go insane? Due to the quarantine, I’ll only be telling inside jokes. But seriously, have you been on an emotional roller coaster? Even your friends who have had few stresses in life are skittish and strung out by this global pandemic. You are all about accepting what you cannot control one day; and the next you feel disturbed, distracted, and downright distraught. Well, at least there’s no FOMO right now. If you don’t know what FOMO means, you don’t know what you’re missing. Heh.
Remember when you would have said: “Happiness is not having to set the alarm for the next day”? Sure, your mantra was: “Coffee, WiFi, my bed: Perfection.” How about now? Are we all over the mind numbing shock of realizing that we are truly living through a global pandemic? The emotional, physical, and even spiritual impact has been different for each and every one of us. We cannot measure its effect on someone’s family or even on their entire community. But one thing is for dang sure: None of us is indifferent to it.
Trust me: Next time I lose my mind, I’m not even going to look for it anymore. There is an enormous difference between confronting a life event, and just resigning yourself to it. One requires you to actively face what is happening, and to have a plan of action to cope. Too scared to think about the future right now? That’s okay. Set some short-term goals to help you make the most of each day that you are given.
Do you know what the most powerful driving force of depression and anxiety is? Rumination. How many times have you chewed on that negative thought? Why, oh, why is this happening? Despite how many times we ask, cosmic questions are truly not able to be answered. Better to be busy than to be busy worrying, sweet friends.
Can you recall the days you would look forward to having days off from school or work to spend time with your family? Remember how annoying you thought shopping at your local grocery store was? Now you dread going so badly that you are at the “What can I make with green beans and cake mix” stage of needing groceries.
Well, guess what? Now is the time to finally develop adaptability, my friends. Where you’re at and your way of looking at things will determine how you manage every single challenge about this dreaded pandemic. So, what has your attitude been thus far? You just feel like shouting: “Hey, pandemic. Paint me green and call me a pickle, cuz I’m done dillin’ with you.”
So very many things that you derive pleasure from are simply gone: live music, movies, the library, sporting events – not to mention interacting with your fellow humans. Let’s be honest. We are all living in an unprecedented time. Amazon says, “Your package will be delivered on Wednesday,” and you’re like, “When is that?” Trust me, I get it. So, how to soothe the collective anxiety around you?
Try not to get caught up in the “what ifs.” We truly never know what the outcome will be. Please take deep breaths and live in the moment. Do not allow yourself to dwell on the unknown future. Remember that it is all right not to be able to carry a load all by yourself. Do not be afraid to ask for support, or even help, if you feel the need.
I cannot say this enough, but, no matter what you are struggling with, do something that makes you smile. Explore the things in life that matter to you, and to others, as well. There is nothing like a sense of purpose to cope with unalterable things in life.
Some family or friends don’t agree with you? Calmly ask them to share their perspective and point of view. Instead of the usual harsh judgments, ask: How can I help you? Share your feelings, always remembering to use “I” statements, please. “I” am worried about you. “I” am scared for you. It’s a lot harder for someone to argue with your feelings, isn’t it?
Even if loved ones use denial as their coping mechanism of choice, know one thing: You can never express too much compassion and concern. Attitudes are also contagious. Is your worth catching, sweet friends?
As always, please feel free to reach out. I am right here.