What do you mean it’s Monday? It was just Friday a few hours ago. Feel like you’re sleepwalking, having no idea what day or perhaps even what month it is? How does it make you feel knowing that half of us are now experiencing symptoms of depression? Having no say about your choices or future can surely lead to feelings of powerlessness, and even hopelessness. Sure, the pivot point for all of our suffering may very well be this CV. Twilight Zone, we find ourselves in. But, what to do about it?
Some are trying to just “bake” their feelings away. Heck, don’t mock it. There are life lessons to be learned. Sometimes you gotta just roll with it like cookie dough. And you know, if there’s a whisk, there’s a way. Of course every house has that one certified cookie inspector. Is it you? Technically, if you don’t cut a cake, and you eat the whole thing with a fork, you only had one piece. But I digress…
Are you throwing yourself into 1,000-piece puzzles all day long, too? What if that gym class online or the Zoom “graduation” party with friends only serves to remind you of how twisted and bizarre your life has become? And just how many times can you reorganize your kitchen drawers?
Of course, you may not be clinically depressed, but how many of us can truly say we do not feel fed up, drained, fatigued, and lacking pleasure in our daily lives? Do not allow this pandemic to unleash the anxiety monster. You’ve scrolled through every Instagram post on the planet. You’ve baked sourdough, whole wheat, and banana bread three times already. You lose your appetite only to consume everything in sight. Then you’re thankful for social distancing because you just ate the entire bag of garlic chips. Shouldn’t nutrition labels include a “What if I ate the whole thing” section? The truth is that “a cookie a day may keep the sadness away” but an entire jar of cookies a day brings it back.
If your work life has temporarily disappeared, how do you define your own self? Are your moods swinging or all over the place? Please do not allow yourself to wake up only to worry and lose the day in a routine of nothingness. The best thing for your well-being is to establish a daily groove. Give yourself chores and tasks every single day, and stick with them. Structure and time management are your new best friends. Focus on today and today only. If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan – but never your goal.
Talk to yourself like I do. Say: “I can and I will.” Then make a list, no matter how small, of all the things you will do just for today. Start thinking about what could go right. You can’t think crooked and walk straight, my friends. And, hey: Talking to yourself always gives you the answer you want to hear.
Yes, you may have to readjust your expectations for fun and joy at the moment. The key to happiness is lower expectations. Lower. Nope. Even lower. There you go. Discover activities to regulate your mood. Here’s a tip: Find hobbies that don’t include your debit card. Indeed, our choices are severely limited, but please hold onto any rope someone throws you.
Feeling trapped and stuck is nothing short of dismal; and all the catch phrases will not alter that. “The new normal”? “We’re all in this together.” Really? If your sadness shows up in the morning, greet it like a familiar face. Just one act of self-care every day will make a world of difference. Please choose one. Do spend time outdoors. I know: Your brain cells, skin cells, and hair cells continue to die, but your fat cells seem to have an eternal life. Think of your workouts as important meetings you’ve scheduled with yourself. Bosses don’t cancel. And I’ll bet you run better than the government.
If you do manage to forget about this madness for a nanosecond, those plastic shields at the store counter separating you from your fellow human reminds you right quick. Who threw this anxiety blanket over the entire world? I encourage you to do things that make your brain temporarily forget. Do not allow hopelessness to attach itself to you.
Don’t throw on the same clothes you had on yesterday. And remember, your smile goes with any outfit. Resist the temptation to do nothing. Listen to, or make music. Do something kind for someone every day. Above all, keep things in perspective. Take deep breaths to reset your fear center. Try to have more “ups” than “downs.” Forgive yourself for feeling down. You may not be able to control “it,” but by all means, do not let “it” control you.
Looking forward to shared cups of coffee and hugs, sweet friends. Summon up the courage to talk to someone if you feel the need. Please feel free to reach out. I am right here.