Things have escalated quickly. And now, here we are. Our whole world has turned upside down.
In the beginning, it felt like we were jumping too fast. The emotional part of me felt that panic and worry. But the rational part of me tried to slow it all down. There was talk of remote learning and school potentially shutting down. I thought this sounded extreme. This wouldn’t happen. This couldn’t happen. How could this happen over a virus? But then things seemed to change over night. And here we are in the midst of a pandemic. And it feels surreal. It feels out of a movie. And at times, it feels really heavy and scary.
And one of the hardest parts about it is we have no idea when it will shift. Life seems to have stopped in it’s tracks, yet the days still pass. Everything is closed “until further notice.” Taking inventory of household items is now something we think about daily. Stores are out of toilet paper, baby wipes, tissues, cleaning products, and soap. Beaches, parks, and public places all shut down. College campuses abandoned. Birthday parties, showers, and celebrations canceled. We are unable to appropriately grieve and honor those who have passed with family and friends by our side.
Simple things we once took for granted, now mean so much more. Women are giving birth to babies without their support person by their side. Hospitals are trying to keep up. Everyone is trying to do their part to stay safe. Lives are at risk. People are dying. Our sense of normalcy and safety has been stripped away. This is unchartered territory. This is bigger than all of us. And as a therapist, as a mother, as a woman who is currently pregnant, I’m feeling a whole lot right now.
I am trying to juggle being a mom and part-time homeschool teacher. I’m rearranging my work schedule with that of my husband. I am doing client calls as my preschooler bangs on the locked bedroom door. I am digging thru arts and crafts bins and looking up second grade math concepts. I am trying to keep them on track while wrangling a toddler off the table or prying him off their papers, puzzles, and assignments.
I am doing my best to keep my sanity, prevent the fighting, and keep the day going. I am tired. There is no real break. But like the rest of us, I have to keep going. Because that is what we have to do right now.
I am turning off the news when it gets to be too much. I am taking breaks from local mom Facebook groups because, at times, it can feel negative and overwhelming. Right now, we are all scared and anxious and stressed.
I am trying to focus on the positive. I am searching for silver linings. I am looking for those moments of connection, even on those tough days. It isn’t easy. But I am trying.
And I still need to find joy and do things that replenish my soul. But with most outlets of self-care gone, I am searching for ways to take care of me. Because this isn’t going away overnight. Because right now this is our new normal. Because this whole thing is exhausting and draining and heavy. I am trying to create some sense of normalcy by cooking and baking and creating daily schedules. When life feels so out of control, I am trying to focus on what I can. And that will have to be enough.
This is hard for everyone. It’s heavy, and scary, and exhausting. But as a therapist, I know that growth comes from difficult, trying times. There is beauty in the breakdown. We will adapt. We will grow. And we will change. This will pass. And we will learn so much about ourselves, about each other, about the power of human connection, about hope and about love. We will be okay. We will get through this. But for now, I know we are all feeling a whole lot.