As I write this we are in the midst of the corona virus lockdown.
My guess is that we will still be in it when the article gets
published. I hope all who are reading are doing well. Do you
know how you are doing? It’s not a silly question although for
all intents it sounds like it is. Let me explain. I’m not asking if you
know whether or not you have Covid 19. I am asking if you’ve
taken the time to check in with yourself to see how you actually
are doing with everything. In times of stress we can react in many
ways. We can go into fight or flight mode, we can shut down, we
can get busy doing things, we can cope using food, alcohol or
drugs. The list goes on and on in the ways we can react in times
of stress. What makes this time so difficult for many is that we
are being told to stay home and not do anything. We are used
to handling times of stress by jumping in and taking care of
business. This time the taking care is to stay home and not do.
Many of us are facing enormous financial concerns, some are
facing safety issues, some are having to go to the front lines
either in a hospital or grocery store and many are having to
become the sole source of entertainment and education for their
children. The point is I can’t think of anyone who is not affected
in some way by the corona virus. So back to my question, how
are you doing?
It is easy to forget that this will end.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own
swirling minds full of fears and
concerns. This is all the more reason
to really check in and see how you
are doing. Are you sleeping? Are
you eating the best you can? Are
you getting exercise?
All these things are so very important in
times of stress to keep us as healthy as can be. But I also want
you to notice how you’re feeling. Are you constantly stressed?
Depressed? Are you feeling hopeless? Maybe you’re noticing a
constant state of vigilance? This is just a sampling of all normal
responses to what is going on but the important piece is for you
to take the time to notice it. Asking yourself the questions, “how
am I being impacted and what do I need”, can go a long way to
help soothe your jangled nervous system. Just noticing the state
of your inner world can be helpful. Validate for yourself how you
feel. Please, please do not compare your own situation to anyone
else. That is a waste of time and energy and triggers feelings of
shame to pile on top of everything else. Your own experience in
this time is what is important.
Think of this time as similar to the instructions you’re given on an
airplane if the oxygen masks are put in use. Put your own mask
on first and then tend to the others who need help. If you do not
tend to your own health and well being during this chaotic and
unprecedented time you won’t have the resources to be there
for the ones around you. Until next time, stay distant, eat
healthy, be healthy and wash your hands!