Hi there! It’s been a while. And it feels strange to be saying hello. I’m not quite sure where to start on what’s going on. I recently saw a friend for the first time in 3 years. Neither of us realized it had been that long since we had dinner together. But when we realized it was the fall of 2019 before the pandemic began, it didn’t compute.
We’ve all had our lives disrupted. Pre-pandemic, when years went by it was because a busy, full life was in the way. But now, many of us have been apart due to quarantines, restrictions, and fear. It’s caused a ton of psychological damage to all of us—and it’s no laughing matter.
So what are we to do?
The healing process begins with you
As parents, we’re not just responsible for our health and wellbeing but that of our families as well. It’s easy to become consumed by concern for your children who have experienced a life-changing course of events. But as you look after your loved ones, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.
Here are a few ways to prioritize your wellness:
- Show yourself compassion—Approach yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you would show a friend. If you think the pandemic should have given you an opportunity to become the best version of yourself, you’re being incredibly hard on yourself. You survived. You’re alive. You managed your way through a mess of a situation. In these past few years, that’s a lot. It’s an accomplishment. And you’re waking up and trudging through the trenches every day. Give yourself the credit you deserve.
- Connect with people in real life—It can be stressful and anxiety-producing to plan a meet up with a friend or family member who you haven’t seen in months or years. But don’t chicken out. If you’re worried about how much you’ve changed, what you should wear, how to behave, or even feeling up to social interaction, push through it. We’re all feeling this way. Many of us have gained weight due to the tremendous trauma we endured. And yes, it was traumatic. Daily life as we knew it stopped. There was a death counter on every news report. We feared for our lives and basic needs. The stress of that life or death reality cannot be underestimated. It takes a toll.
- Take a deep look in the mirror—While there are self-care strategies, chances are you’ve been there, done that. If you’re getting enough sleep, eating well and getting exercise but still feel off, it’s time to seek professional care. There’s no shame in taking care of your brain.
There’s no finish line to race toward
Feeling “normal” and comfortable with life again is going to take a lot of time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Each day try to take an opportunity to find something to appreciate. It could be your family’s safety. It could be your home. It could be a warm meal. It could be those few moments of quiet after school drop off is complete. Find a moment to experience your zen and savor it. Celebrating small, joyful moments can change your perspective and make your life feel fuller and more balanced. Everything doesn’t have to go “right” for you to have a good day and a great life.
Go through the motions
It’s hard. It can feel like you don’t want to do anything. Everything is pointless. Why should you get together with your friends, you’ve been fine without it for years. Why should you plan a vacation, that’s something you didn’t need last year. Why should you go to the office, you’ve been working from home successfully. The reason why is to disrupt yourself—again. Shake yourself out of a rut even if it feels like you’re just going through the motions. Because when you force yourself outside your comfort zone, you have an opportunity to grow. You open yourself to the serendipity of life. That door isn’t open from the confines of your home. The world is waiting for you to get back out there.
I know this isn’t my usual spicy post condemning predatory direct sales companies and the like. But thank you for allowing me a moment to peek my head back out into the world of blogging. I hope to start posting more regularly soon.