I don’t know about you, but I’m as confused as ever. I wake up in the morning and from the moment I bring the coffee cup to my lips my head is already spinning.
We have good reason to be as exhausted as we are, to feel as sad as we are. Whether you believe it or not we are grieving—some in a more literal sense than others—and the ways in which we might normally deal with this grief have been taken away from us.
Human companionship. Social connections. A lunch date with girlfriends. A hug. A drink with friends. Love.
We are sad and we are lonely and we feel as though we have lost control. People all around the world are losing their jobs, their healthcare, their friends and family. Our sense of self has been shaken. We are in a time of ambiguous loss. We are grieving what we have lost, whether or not we can put a name to that loss.
We are told to develop (or stick to) rituals, to seek social support in any (safe) way we can, to reach out to our friends, to show kindness and empathy. We are told it’s normal to feel sad, and to that I say—yes!
If you wake up tomorrow morning and feel like watching Netflix all day—do it. If you want to drink sparkling water out of your finest champagne glass—do it. If you just can’t get out of your pajamas, fine. If it gives you even the smallest ounce of happiness then go for it!
If you can’t bring yourself to cook three gourmet meals a day for your family—don’t do it. Mac and cheese is delicious. If you’re struggling with being present with your children (aren’t we all?), give yourself a break. We all struggled to be everything for everyone before this global pandemic, we sure as heck can’t expect to be now.
If you’re sad, just be sad. No one is going to fault you for it. In fact, I’ll probably applaud you for your vulnerability. And if you wake up tomorrow and find you just can’t find your way back to your usual peppy self, that’s okay too.
Kindness and empathy should extend to ourselves, too.