We promised that we’d slow down. Remember?
We vowed that we would no longer over-schedule ourselves. We swore that we no longer glamorize being busy.
We posted and shared memes about how when “this” was all over, when the world returned to some semblance of normal, we would appreciate the little things. We pledged that we would rest when we needed it.
We pinky swore that we’d changed. We’d learned. We’d grown.
Check-in time. How are we doing?
To be fair, we never actually returned to ‘normal. We haven’t even had the chance to embrace a new normal. It’s more of a “Jump through that window of normalcy before it closes, and make it count!”
It felt as though the minute we got the “all clear” (Sort of) we went right back at it. There was a sense of having to make up for lost time, not just for ourselves, but for our kids! They’d been through the wringer.
After over a year of quarantine, our return to ‘busyness’ was seamless. Almost involuntary. Gone were the afternoons baking bread or making whipped coffee, backyard movie nights, and neighborhood scavenger hunts.
We’re back to checking multiple calendars, juggling activities, and trying to squeeze as much as we can into our days.
As if on cue, “Covid Part II: The Delta Variant – This Time it’s Personal” (The working title of an action movie I’m writing.) arrived to make sure we really have learned our lesson or if we were doomed to repeat our very recent history.
For most of us, it feels like the worst kind of deja vu.
A pandemic, global unrest, natural disasters…we’re just a “Tiger King” and a Zoom happy hour away from a complete repeat of The Year that Shall Not Be Mentioned.
Here’s the thing that we hope did stick through all of this, feeling comfortable with telling someone that this is TOUGH and that you are having a moment, or a day, or a week.
Being able to step away from the hustle and bustle for a bit. Taking that time, establishing those boundaries, making good on those promises from a year and a half ago.
You can’t heal the entire world yourself, but you can heal yourself in a way that contributes to the healing of the world. If you have even a smidgen of compassion in your body, the issues of the world are taking their toll on your soul. Taking time away from the noise to rest allows us to be more empathetic and attentive.
Removing yourself from the 24-hour news cycle or social media helps you to focus on productive ways that you can be of service to others after you have recharged yourself.
Unplugging for a bit gives us time to truly focus on the things that matter to us.
Most importantly, prioritizing rest helps our immune system and goes a long way in keeping us healthy throughout the pandemic.
This time, we should figure it all out while we still have a choice.
So if you’re starting to feel last year’s anxiety return, or if you didn’t shake off that funk to begin with, assess where you are with your anxiety.
Scan your body for telltale signs that your symptoms are getting the better of you. Things like a change in sleeping habits, change or loss of appetite, irritability, forgetfulness, stomach issues are just a few of the ways that your anxiety can manifest itself.
Break out some of your tried and true strategies to help with the “icky” feelings. Or, try some new ones that you find. You can find some in our other blogs, you can check the internet, or even get on Tik Tok.
Reach out for help. We sound like a broken record at this point, but we will say it as many times as needed because it is that important. If you feel like things are piling up, or your symptoms are hijacking your life, first and foremost, you are not alone. I work with two experts in anxiety and we take stock in how nervous the state of the world is making each of us at least twice a week.
If you feel like you need more than some grounding techniques or a meditation app, find a mental health care provider. Hit that “contact us” tab on the corner of our site. Ask your job about EAP programs, check with your insurance, search the web, ask your PCP or friends for referrals.
We’ve never been through anything like this before. It’s okay to say that it’s getting to be too much, again.
Start small, the first step is the most important, whether you leap or you tiptoe.