Ohhh, friend. We are into the sixth full week of social distancing and home quarantines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every single friend I’ve spoken to has been riding a rollercoaster of up and down days during this emotional trauma.
As a collective, we are going through a similar experience.
And yes, this situation is trauma. We don’t have an end-date for this madness. We don’t know what each day will bring — health or illness. And, we feel a loss of control over our routines, future and wellness. It’s a lot to process subconsciously, thus the waves of varying feelings you and I are experiencing.
“Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Psychologists can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions.”
~ American Psychological Association
This weekend was hard. Emotions paired with physical symptoms that scared the crap out of me finally gave way to healthier moments. Thank goodness. But, one thought did bubble up that I want to share this week.
Get back on track with your daily self-care practice.
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I haven’t been doing yoga, meditating, eating as healthy as usual or doing my morning routine because I’m still working and my tasks have increased over the past few weeks. I’m overwhelmed. If you think about it, there’s more content than ever being published online, and someone has to write it. (Hi. That’s me! And my writer friends!) I’m trying to fulfill pitch requests from my marketing clients to create content related to COVID-19 at a quick pace to stay relevant to the news cycle. I’m thankful to still be earning a paycheck when I see so many others struggling.
But, it’s exhausting.
So, back to that notion of a daily practice. Whether you have a great morning routine that sets you up for the day, or do specific things on specific days (Tuesday is yoga, Wednesday is vegan eating, Thursday is walk-in-nature day) PLEASE KEEP DOING THE THINGS.
I paused on many of my self-care practices to stay afloat at work, and let me tell you…I slowly slipped into poor physical and mental health, to a devastating low on Saturday. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t even realize things were that bad until my body began to rev up its autoimmune signals and say, “Oh girl, you need to get back on track or I’m gonna take you down and make you bedridden for days!”
Oh, I hear you body, loud and clear!!
So my message today dear reader is to pause. What do you need to get through the day?
- Do you need a nap to ward off the exhaustion of enduring a global crisis?
- Do you need a healthy meal and movie night to nourish the body and relax the mind?
- Do you need to mute your phone so the abundance of socially-distanced communications doesn’t make you feel pulled in 10 directions at once?
- Do you need to skip the news and your social media feeds for 24-hours to reconnect to your daily life?
- Do you need to sit outside and listen to your favorite music for an hour?
- Do you need to talk with a loved one or close friend for support?
- Do you need to get back into those fiction books you’ve been putting off?
- Do you need to talk with a mental health therapist to understand the reccuring thoughts in your head and dreams?
- Do you need to pick up that journal, canvas or sheet music again and dive into a forgotten hobby?
- Do you need to bake something, slowly and mindfully, to ease stress?
- Do you need to stand outside or by a window and feel the sunshine on your face?
- Do you need to just accept that it’s OK to do absolutely nothing but care for yourself, others in your household, eat, shower and express gratitude for the day?
Figure out what you need each day to feel your best, then make it a priority. It’s easy to let the promises we make to ourselves slip through the cracks when others need us too. But, here we are. This is truly a “put your mask on first” moment. Surviving trauma is hard.
Until next time,
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