Yep, today marks 40 days of quarantine!
“Even the sources of support that I would normally go to are shaky right now because everyone is finding the depths of their anger and disappointment at this time.”
I said this in a conversation with my friend the other day and she said, “can you please talk about this in your next newsletter?” So here we go.
Of course, we are all feeling a range of emotions right now that also include joy, gratitude, hope, amusement, and even serenity at times, but I’m willing to bet that you aren’t trying to reconcile those feelings. Anger, disappointment, loneliness, boredom, stagnation, grief, and even procrastination are the ones we wrestle with. Typically life keeps us preoccupied and when these feelings come up we engage briefly before distracting ourselves away from the pain, but this shut down has forced us to be present, unable to turn our faces away from the depths of these emotions and dare I say it, our shadows.
BIG EXHALE! I have so many things to say but where to start. I’ll throw out some thoughts and expand accordingly so this could get messy, buckle up.
My therapist has so kindly reminded me numerous times that anger is fear’s bodyguard, meaning it’s really an emotional REACTION. Well if you are angry right now, of course you are! There is so much unknown that even if you aren’t afraid for your wellbeing or survival, just the fear of not knowing when you can hug your loved ones again is enough fear to tip you into anger. And if you’re like me, you’ve even acted out your anger (sorry Rob.)
Stagnation, procrastination, boredom…I think I can consolidate here but my question is, could it be that because we aren’t having the normal interactions with friends and strangers that we feel less inspired? Could be, it could also be this tricky thing our mind does that is really interesting. I read this article that explained how our minds will associate the low energy feelings we are having like anxiety, depression, sadness, with the things that we have/want to do. It will then swoop in and try to comfort us by rationalizing away those action items with thoughts like “you’ll have more motivation tomorrow,” or “you just need another cup of coffee,” or “you had too much coffee and now you’re too edgy,” or “you’re just feeling uninspired, consult Google or better yet, social media.” So now that you are good and distracted you engage in something that feels more comforting. #selfcare
Please make no mistake, I am not telling you to get your butt in gear and do something, I want you to do whatever you need to do. This info is for awareness purposes only. Here is where you can make a decision, recognize the distracting thought for what it is and take action anyway or lean into the procrastination with mindfulness, making the conscious choice of inaction. Just keep in mind that procrastination is a numbing agent and eventually the only way through the discomfort is to lean into it.
Let me try to touch on grief, sadness, and loneliness. The Grief Recovery Method defines grief as “the normal and natural reaction to ANY change in our lives.” It also goes on to say that grievers “have a reduced sense of concentration and often have trouble focusing, suffer sleep-related issues, find completing tasks difficult, and are easily upset.” WHOA! Sound familiar?
You guys, this shit is real!! Some of us may be entering into the acceptance stage of grief already but let’s not deny what is really going on here. Additionally, experts say that simple human touch can start to dissolve feelings of loneliness…omg, the very thing some of us need is what the CDC tells us we cannot do. I read another article that described loneliness as the “biological signal to seek out other humans.” Let’s not judge our single friends for their survival choices, let’s reach out to one another, let’s keep in mind that we are all doing our best. If you are someone that is struggling for connection, I’m here, I’m a certified life coach, let’s talk about feelings, plants, the weather, whatever. If you need a therapist, there are social distance options like TalkSpace & BetterHelp, please don’t ignore your needs.
The thing I want you to take from this is a reminder that you are not your thoughts so when the thoughts that do not serve you creep in, take an objective step back and question, how true is this thought? Am I really angry or I am deeply afraid of something? Do I really need another cup of coffee or am I ready to lean into this discomfort? Do I really need to feed my partner to tigers or am I just cooped up?
OH!! Before I forget, someone shared this in a coaching group and I want to pass it on!