Hope has brought renewed opportunities to reflect on and process the past season; to leave the lonely routines of COVID uncertainty and create new rhythms of joy and hope.
As a stay-at-home parent, some of the biggest stresses for me throughout this pandemic have been adjusting to a wide-open schedule, concurrently fulfilling multiple roles, and dealing with a perpetual avalanche of thoughts and emotions.
The underlying stress of COVID-19, safety restrictions, isolation, transitions for my kids, and navigating school social work, my daily baseline is higher, causing increased stress levels due to the constant level of tension. The more I talk to other people, the more I realize this seems to be the new normal for a lot of people. And, I think that says something about this pandemic and the impact that it's having on us, even when the effects aren’t always clearly visible. As I processed my experiences, I pushed myself to be honest and authentic in writing this post, acknowledging the fact that looking back over this year has been difficult and draining.
So, in the spirit of vulnerability, I have been tired for months. And, although, of course, at times I have been swept into moments of joy and gratitude, I have also spent an inexplicable amount of time barely hanging on through the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities. As I have continued in this less than ideal reality, I found myself confronted with the idea of moving through rather than pushing away the negative emotions and experiences.
I originally wrote this piece only a few weeks into our spring school COVID-19 closure. And, it is safe to say that our stress levels continue to remain high. However, the suggestions in this post continue to be applicable. First, breathe, take the time to slow down, focus on your breath, and actively calm down your brain. Second, find the truth. As I wrote in this post, “I have found that focusing on truth and being aware of the impact of my thoughts on my feelings and actions makes a difference. Fear should not get to control this (or any) situation.” And last, “look for the helpers.”
Why is it that the things I know bring me back to a better place are the first things to go when I need them the most. The day that I should lace up my running shoes and let the anxiety roll out on the pavement is the day that I curl up under a blanket and start a different kind of marathon (thanks, Netflix).
We want to express deep appreciation and gratitude to those who have sacrificed and put themselves at risk in order to ensure the continuation of support and care for all of us throughout this season of COVID.
While this season has been unexpected in so many ways and filled with so much loss, I’ve started to realize I can still find enjoyment in all that still is.
He looked straight at me and kindly but firmly said, “You are never ‘just a.’”
How are you doing with all of this social distancing? I imagine if I were to ask a random selection of people, the most frequent answer would be, “I’m fine.” Honest answer from me? I saw a meme (created from a comic by KC Green) of a dog sipping a cup of coffee while everything …