Who would ever think I would quote Chumbawamba in the year 2020 when dealing with a global pandemic?
I was only 2 years old when the song came out & yet, it has left a mark on my soul- I suppose for a time like this. My humor has become darker these days, but such is life. With everything going on, I find this verse being on repeat. Whether I’m telling it to my patients , my friends or to myself. It’s the truth & it’s become my COVID-19 anthem, I guess you could say.
In all seriousness, nothing about what is happening right now is normal. It’s terrifying, anxiety provoking, and beyond challenging. The uncertainty can feel depressing & the news isn’t helping, although some degree of it is needed. Days have turned into weeks, weeks have turned into months & it may feel like how much longer is this going to last? For many people, this may be their first time experiencing depression and anxiety. For some people these feelings aren’t new, but felt manageable to keep at bay. And for several others, this is a living nightmare for their mental health. Some may be struggling with facing unemployment, wondering how to pay rent, not being able to graduate, the well being of family members. Some may be still working, studying & being asked to perform everyday like nothing is wrong. It can be difficult to ascertain what to feel. It can be difficult to feel like you have a right to feel anything at all.
But what I want to say today is that your feelings are valid, in all of their complexities.
The anger. The sadness. The disappointment. The despair. The hopelessness. The anxiety. The happiness. The exhaustion.
There is no right way to feel, the only right thing to do is to allow yourself to feel. This is a confusing and unprecedented time. One day can feel great, and the next can feel bad & that is okay. You are not alone in what you’re holding & if you need a day to be down, to do nothing, to just be... know that that is enough. If you need a day to just cry, know that that is enough. Provide yourself with the space right now to give your body and your mind what it needs to heal and to cope. Resilience is not a matter of never falling, it's about submitting to your feelings waxing and waning, and sometimes falling, but also knowing that you will have the strength to keep going.
Our bodies and minds are getting knocked down from every direction, but if there is one thing history has taught us it is that we are resilient.
We get knocked down & we’ll get up again & again & again.
*for further advice on self care options and ideas, please reference the previous blog titled "From One Teleworker to Another"