Are We There Yet?
If we could boil down the root of all the anxiety and frustration we have felt this year to one cause, it would be uncertainty.
It is one thing to hit a bump in the road, but so many, and all of which have lasted longer than anyone believed they would made not just the outcome to each calamity but also the timeline uncertain. It is hard to know what to do with your feelings about something when the finish line keeps moving around the next corner. And to manage these events together as a nation would be somewhat soothing, but it is hard to feel bound to our fellow Americans when we are all supposed to stay six feet apart.
Considering this, I have been snooping around the internet lately for guidance on what to do when you don’t know what to do, because people in the pre-2020 days have been through adversities that did not have an expiration date. People who have received cancer diagnoses, anyone who has had a family member in the ICU after a traumatic injury, or experienced a sudden job loss know a thing or two about how to cope with uncertainty and have something to teach us. Here are three big takeaways:-Find a way to sustainably process your feelings. I see a lot of pacifiers like binge drinking and emotional eating that are not healthy long term coping mechanisms being talked about on social media. I too have stress eaten a pizza so I’m not here to judge, but anything that is self-soothing can be turned into a weapon.
I’ve found that rigorously working out like doing dozens of sun salutations (yoga burpees for the uninitiated) calms me down when I start to get anxious. Some people find journaling to be soothing, or coloring in coloring books. Whatever helps you busy your body while you let your mind sort through what is troubling you is a good thing to engage with when you need to get your ya-yas out.-Cut yourself some slack. These are strange times, and if nothing else, it is not your fault if you aren’t operating at 100% efficiency.
Our patience and focus are limited resources whether you want to admit it or not, so when you feel yourself approaching that limit, give yourself permission to call it a day. Treat yourself to an early bedtime, a long bath, or a phone call with an old friend to vent or commiserate if your wick is burnt.
Be honest with yourself about what you are going through. Recognizing our struggle is to honor it, and engaging directly and fearlessly with our collective and individual discomfort allows us to begin to heal from this time before it is even over.
The adaptability and perseverance of parents, teachers, and business owners alike is proof in real-time that we can do this and we are already better for it. Each one of you has the capacity to meet this year with dignity and grace, to take control of what you can, and to let go of the rest.
– Colleen, Sacred Hour Massage Therapist, Certified Yoga Teacher + Head Staff Writer