Everybody is struggling right now
Finding a new normal
It has to be said everybody is struggling one way or another right now. Usually when we are struggling we go to our friends or our families or our therapist but right now it leaves up with a bunch of mixed emotions.
Many cases we are wrapped up in our own struggles we do not have the ability to help other people with their struggles, especially if they are mental. We may not even see the warning signs because we do not even get to see them. That weekly coffee check in is now online, those lunch breaks at work with coworkers no longer occur for many people and dinners at each others houses do not happen. Now we have to make an effort to check on our friends, coworkers and our families but in our struggles we forget.
In some case we had a therapist and now those therapist offices are closed or on college campuses out of our reach. Those weekly conversations that helped us keep it together are no longer happening or are happening in place that do not feel safe to us. For many people, there homes for whatever reason is not a safe place. They have abusive people in their house, people who do not accept their lifestyle or their identity. For these people, being in quarantine is especially hard and even harder when the end date keeps getting pushed further and further away.
When you are struggling when everyone else is it can make you feel like you are a burden and that reaching out for help is worthless. There are people out there who are willing to help you and be there for you. Yes they are also struggling and do not minimize there struggles, because it is not a competition, but someone in your circle has the band width to be there for you. If you can find someone reach out to the Suicide hotline, RAINN or the Veterans Hotline.
So what can you do to help you find a new normal?
Create a schedule and stick to it the best you can. I know it is easy to sleep in to noon and stay up to 3am but having a schedule that mimics your life not in quarantine will help you feel better. It will be creating a sense of normal in your life where there is none.
Set goals for yourself. The night before create a list of things that you want to accomplish the next day. I write one goal on each sticky note, so I can tear them up when I have completed them. I also found that long term goals like working out everyday work better if I put a sticker next to them in my planner. Then if you complete all your goals at the end of the week reward yourself with something, like sleeping in late or take out food.
Go outside if you can. This can be just to read or sit in the grass. Respect social distancing, so don't travel long distance to go do a hike not in your state or if you see a crowed hiking trail find another one. Getting out of the house is good for your mental health and will remind you that being quarantined is only temporary.
Call your friends and family. Talk to them, have a Netflix party, play video games together, there are a lot of ways to use the internet to stay connected with people. We are social creatures and even though we cannot be around people right now does not mean we can't talk to people on the phone and check up on people. You can also spend the time writing letters to your friends. It is a lot harder and more time consuming then sending a text message.
Clean and declutter. It will free up your mind and make you feel more relaxed. The longer your are in your house the more it can feel confining, dirty and trapping. By organizing and clearing out the old you can make way for the new and the good.
Practice your coping skills. Make art, read, mediate, do anything that helps you relaxes and brings down your anxiety will help bring you through this time of uncertainty and discomfort. Take time to breathe and recenter yourself throughout the day.
We are all struggling with this anxiety and getting thrown out of our everyday normal situation, but together we can work through it. Social distancing does not mean that we lose our friendships or that the people in our lives disappear. We can still be there for each other and for ourselves just in our own places. Check up on your friends and try to find your new normal, everyday routine and in a not normal everyday situation.