I have been struggling, as have most of us. A silent killer that you can’t see, stop or know where it’s going to hit next that puts the world on lockdown is frightening. Adding in that it has changed almost everything about our day to day life with no end in sight and that even though we are all in it together, we are in it in isolation from each other, it’s not surprising that our emotions and views on how to handle it are all over the place. I’m scared. It’s been 4 weeks and 1 day since the public order came out to shut down our valley.
I haven’t been handling it well. The first week or so I couldn’t eat, I had headaches and I was short of breath, I thought I had the virus but it was stress and anxiety. Week 2 with the kids home and I lost my cool more times than I care to count. I see people on social media lamenting they have run out of puzzles to do and I feel like screaming, ‘I wish I could actually do a puzzle!’ I’ve had some pretty dark, low moments.
I have also had some inspiring and hopeful moments. Communities banding together to support those in need, institutions, and businesses quickly coming up with ingenious ways for us to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
Day to day or moment to moment, this is how we can get through. We don’t know how long this will last. No one can truly predict the impact so ruminating and incessant worry won’t help. These are the things that have helped me build resilience to get out of despair. I know you’ve probably heard them all before but I wanted to share from someone that you know and that has actually had them help.
- Sleep – the darkest days have had a lack of sleep in common. Sometimes there isn’t much I could do about interrupted sleep because the kiddos don’t really get it but I did decide to turn off my alarms and let the kids be my alarm. It helps me get as much sleep as possible.
- Exercise – most of you know I like to run but unlike a lot of people, I feel like I have less time available to me, mainly because the kids are with us 24×7, I’m trying to maintain my productivity with work and keep things under control at home. So I have forgone a lot of running and like a lot of people, have started getting my workouts online. I do it when the kids wake me up, they know I need to finish before they get breakfast (it’s only 25min). Bonus, they now know what a burpee is and one day I hope they will join me.
- Lay off the news and social media – going down the rabbit hole of all the deaths and illness spread, the conspiracy theories and the potential impacts have made me worry and increased my anxiety. If I stick to knowing what my local situation is, what is required of me and focus on what is actually in my control then I feel a lot calmer.
- Keep talking – I miss people, I miss being able to visit my friends, but I have found that I am talking with them a lot more. Checking in, trying to have a laugh and staying connected however possible. It helps us to remember that we are not alone in this.
We have a little while before we know how long and what the full impact of this will be. Take one day at a time, control what you can and know that the world has been through global crises before and come out on the other side. It may look quite different, but have hope.