We’re almost two weeks in on our community quarantine and it took me this long to compartmentalize my feelings and dissect my emotions on what’s going on. This pandemic caused by Coronavirus is something we shouldn’t take lightly. What started as an outbreak in one country rapidly spread around the world in just three months. It’s surreal to think it’s happening to us in this modern day given the advancement in Science and technology that we have. But it is happening and there’s no denying the fact that in the coming weeks or maybe months it’s bound to get worse before it gets better.
Life disrupted but life goes on
Adjusting to the quarantine life was easy for me because I’m a homemaker and a hands-on mom, I’m home most days. Though I miss going to the gym & doing Pilates. Everything else feels the same for me at home. I asked my kids how they’re feeling and the thing the miss most is hanging out with their aunt & grandparents and of course playing outside. My husband on the other hand had adjusted well working from home. There were no days that I was bored nor chill because I was busy than ever– cleaning, cooking, washing the dishes, doing the laundry. Everyday was a full day for me. But knowing we’re healthy, we have roof above our head, food to eat and we’re together, everything is okay so life goes on.
How are you doing?
How are you doing? This is the question I ask almost everyday on my Instagram stories and a one-liner message I send my family & friends. As I go on with my day, I can’t help but worry. Of course it’s normal to feel this way especially during times of uncertainty and for someone who is an empath, watching the news and learning about this tragedy the world is facing, I cannot help but feel incapacitated. So I revert to checking on other people because I don’t want them to feel the same. But then yesterday I felt a sudden surge of anxiety. The new reality we’re in finally sunk and I wasn’t prepared for it.
How are you doing? I finally asked myself. I sat down as thoughts started racing in my head. How am I doing really? Am I okay? Sure, I guess. But I’m feeling much more. I feel confused as I anticipate the uncertainty while trying to have a sense of normalcy in what I do everyday. In short, my anxiety decided to accompany me while on quarantine. I try to compartmentalize my feelings so as to not get overwhelmed. And so this is what I did. I start my day meditating then I try to sift through my thoughts so I can function properly to take care of my family. This confusion I’m going through, I learned is part of grief. It was very timely as I read this article on Harvard Business Review that talks about the discomfort feeling of grief. While I do know the stages of grief and how we experience each stage, I didn’t know it’s applicable in time of Coronavirus. So please, if you haven’t processed yet what’ happening in to you in this trying times, I urge you to read the article so as to check yourself and what you’re feeling. If you’re handling this whole pandemic well, then a big virtual high five to you. But if you know someone struggling, it might help if you share the article to them. View and read the full article HERE.
The only way is through.
This Coronavirus pandemic might take a while to blow over so I’ve used this time to process what I’m feeling. You see we tend to push aside understanding what we’re feeling back when everything was normal and everyone was busy. Now that life is slowing down, there’s time to focus on our mental health. It can be as struggle especially if you’re not one to talk about feelings nor try to understand them. All the more you have to do it. If you feel overwhelmed with the sudden surge of thoughts or feelings and you can’t figure out how to process them, here are some of the things I do which I hope can help you too.
Breathe. I started meditating last year with the help of Sara Black when I attended her workshop (more about this on a separate post). Our breath is the simplest way to calm ourselves and to help us think clearly. When you know how to breathe, you can better understanding what’s going on in your head. Follow Sara Black on Instagram to join her online classes.
Move. I started incorporating an active lifestyle five years ago and it has helped me not only physically but also mentally & emotionally. Exercise produces endorphins– mainly the reason why I like working out. Now that we’re on quarantine, we’ve got time to squeeze in a quick workout if we want to. Not yet there? Why not do chores instead? You’d be surprised how many calories you burn sweeping the floor or organizing your closet.
Feel. It’s easy to be busy and productive while we’re on community quarantine. So many things we can do– work, chores, go on the Internet, watch your favorite series, do a hobby or learn a new skill– I myself am busy doing chores and most of the time you can find me in the kitchen preparing food or washing dishes. As you go about your day there’ll be moments when you’ll feel different emotions. I guess this is one of the normal things we experience even when we’re stuck at home. Don’t fight it, don’t dismiss it instead acknowledge it and feel it. There’s a great sense of comfort in validating what you’re feeling and it’s a good step in knowing yourself more.
Let Go. I learned that sometimes it’s necessary to not cling on a thought nor a feeling in order to grow. So whenever I recognize an emotion that is not serving me at the moment (such as sadness, fear or anger) I feel it for a moment and then I let it go. As what one of my favorite Bible verses say “cling to what is good”
Find meaning in the new normal.
Honestly at this point of quarantine I am still uncertain of how I should feel. Though I understand how I feel, however I don’t know how I should feel. So I cling to what is good by finding meaning in our new normal. No sense in wishing we can go back to how it was a month ago though it’s nice to be hopeful of the future. All I can control now is my present. So I started a gratitude journal. Everyday I write one thing I am grateful for. Yes just one thing that I truly really appreciate given the current situation we’re all facing. I don’t just throw in how I’m grateful of the obvious but more on the little things that I haven’t noticed in a long time. This not only instills gratefulness in my heart but also mindfulness as I come into the present.
Grateful I took time to stop doing my chores today so I can sit down and write my thoughts in time of Coronavirus.