What in the Actual Hell Is Going On?
Some advice to get through this pandemic, or at least try, with a few swears thrown in.
I wake up sometimes and I just think, “what in the actual fuck is going on”, I think most of us do. I mean sometimes you can be tricked in to thinking things are normal and then you remember you just sanitized ALL your groceries before you brought them in the house and normalcy is straight out the window again. And then, after I have sanitized, washed, and over analyzed the daily news I settle in to this new part of my life called anxiety. That has really creeped in to my life like someone with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove. DAMN YOU ANXIETY!
It is hard to explain day to day what stirs the hornets’ nest of emotion. Even when we are home all day and follow all the rules it still finds its way in. Maybe it is right before you go to bed or when you wake up or maybe it just hits you at different points. Mine seems to most often appear just as I am about to go to sleep.
We shouldn’t be surprised or ashamed of this growing anxiety. Some people are out of jobs they never thought they would have to worry about. Some people are trying to figure out how to make ends meet, which is even more difficult than it already was. Some people are afraid to go to the grocery store or worried they won’t be able to find what they need. A lot of people are worried about getting sick and lack of supplies or space at their local hospitals if they do. Some people are on the front lines and know what we are facing every day and then face the fear of bringing it home. Add to all of this that there are no good answers to any of the worry and that we don’t even know when any of this will end and this basically all becomes a recipe to be a total emotional cluster from time to time.
I have to imagine it is almost impossible to experience what we all are now and not have some kind of anxiety attached to it. Listen the unknown is scary as shit. So what the fuck do we do now?
Here are a few things I hope will help (and what I tell myself even as my anxiety sets in):
You are allowed to feel any way you need to right now
This is a literal shit storm of unprecedented proportions right now, so yeah you are going to have some damn feelings about that. The whole world is facing something, you can have all your feelings and none of them are going to be wrong. There is not a right way to do this. So feel away and don’t run away. We live in a society that tries to shut down emotions, well Covid-19 sent a big middle finger to that, long live the emotions because they are coming in the masses now, so respond however helps you get through it (that doesn’t harm yourself or others).
Anxiety is normal but don’t be afraid to reach out
As I have already said I think it would be difficult during this time to not have anxiety about all that is going on. The first people you should reach out to no matter what is family and friends, even if you don’t go in to great detail about your anxiety just having conversations will allow for you to feel more connected and ease some of that worry.
But in times like this where the anxiety can be overwhelming don’t be afraid to take it one step further by either 1) having a real conversation with a friend or family member about your anxiety or 2) talking to a therapist. There are a lot of great resources currently doing telehealth or facetime therapy sessions and even some companies and states are providing extra resources. Do your research and find those. This is not the time to bury those feelings, get them out, and work on them with someone who can help you!
Do right by yourself but also do right by others
Maybe you find that one day you are excited to get all your house projects done and then maybe another day you are so tired you just want to lay around and watch movies. Neither is a wrong answer, listen to your body, and give yourself the permission to do right by what you need day to day. The truth is what you desire to do will change every day. We are experiencing trauma and grief throughout this process so each day will look different and that is OK!
Don’t forget about others. Be extra kind to any worker you come in contact with as you run essential errands. Be gracious and patient with those answering the phones or helping with your IT problems as you work from home. Tip. ALWAYS tip, no matter if it is delivery or curbside pickup, these people need our support. Help pick up groceries or do lawn care for a neighbor who is struggling. Call, text, facetime, etc. a friend or family member you think may be having a difficult time. Make signs to put in front of hospitals or clinics where our front line folks are risking their lives. Side walk chalk your neighborhood with encouraging messages. Show the world and the humans in it the compassion it needs right now!
Pray, meditate, find quiet, AND get the hell off social media and news sites
You can call it whatever you want. Just do it. I love reading a daily devotional that is about love and compassion (Live in Grace, Walk in Love: by Bob Goff) in the morning to try and set me on the right path. When I am feeling highly
anxious I just pause and pray. I take the moment. I lay down, I calm my heartbeat, and I just stay still. If you need to cry, do it. If you need to scream, do it (maybe warn those you live with if that is about to happen). Just take some time and quiet yourself. Call it prayer, call it meditation, call it quiet time, JUST GO GET IT!
TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE NEWS! If you consume too much news and information you will start to feel the walls closing in around you. You will feel hopeless. My guess is you can already name a few times that this has happened. Give yourself a break. Find the good news (can I suggest John Krasinkski and his Some Good News show), find the helpers, and find the people who are doing right in a world that feeling is so wrong. If all your brain intakes all day long is things that are seemingly hopeless it will begin to think that is the way of the world and we CANNOT let our brains go there. (If all else fails my husband and I watch Disney or Pixar movies before bed, it is amazing how helpful that has been for me and my nighttime anxiety.)
Keep your hope
It isn’t easy and some days nothing will seem quite as hopeful as you would like but keep looking for the good. Know that while this may last longer than any of us would like it is still temporary and you will get through this.
Finally a reminder:
You have made it through every other obstacle that has been thrown at you, this will be no different.
So what in the actual fuck is going on? Well I didn’t answer that question because I can’t but I do hope that you are able to find a little peace in all this chaos.
If any of you ever need to talk my email is always open email@example.com
‘See’ you again on Friday for another blog, with a lot less swearing!