So many of the people I have talked to during the last week have had this similar thing to say: The emotions experienced as a result of the current pandemic have come in waves. One moment there is a peacefulness, acceptance, which is then quickly and suddenly followed by anxiety, exhaustion, fear, uncertainty, frustration, discouragement, sadness, gratitude, hopefulness – and then, of course, the cycle continues and we are back at anxiety, exhaustion, fear, uncertainty, frustration…
Here are some things we know about emotions: They change. They’re important. They come and they go. They have messages for us. They don’t last forever. They link us to one another as human beings.
Here are some things we know about emotions during a pandemic: They change. They’re important. They come and they go. They have message for us. They don’t last forever. They link us to one another as human beings.
We are not broken. We are feeling humans during an unprecedented and scary time. Your emotions will change. There’s space and grace for that. Your emotions are important. Caring for your mental health is vital. Make it a goal to spend some time every day, caring for your emotional well-being. There is so much to process – make the space to do so via journaling, meditating, praying, listening to music, sitting still, however you process your emotions. Ask for help to make this happen if needed. The emotions will come and they will go. They may feel like waves on the beach – coming in swiftly, rolling back out gently. They will not last forever. They have important things to tell us. Perhaps the anger you are feeling over small businesses facing financially trying times is a good indicator of how you can help – purchasing a gift card for a local coffeeshop, restaurant, or hairdresser that has closed its doors for now. Perhaps your sadness over the fear and loneliness many elderly are feeling is an indicator that you would like to mail homemade cards and letters to an assisted living center or have groceries delivered to an elderly neighbor. Emotions link us to one another. Gentle reminder: No one is going through these emotions alone – in varying situations, of course, and to varying degrees perhaps – everyone is feeling the weight. Everyone is feeling the anxiety, exhaustion, fear, uncertainty, frustration… etc. We are linked in a way that we were not 6 months ago. Please reach out to safe people to talk about your feelings. Talk to loved ones (virtually). Reach out to a therapist (virtually). Share what you are feeling with the people in your own home.
What has always been true about our emotions, is true now. Now is a good time to remind yourself that the emotional cycle is to be expected. Care for yourself well today.