Not at all unlike the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), during quarantine and other COVID limits and separations, a lot of people are getting pissed! Angry about having to wear a mask, angry that other people aren’t wearing their masks. Irritated at delays and shortages on needed items. Pulling your hair out about ever changing work policies. Feeling threatened when people potentially expose you or your family. Actually having to deal with a positive diagnosis for yourself or a loved one. ALL of that on top of life’s normal challenges and stresses not to mention tension around politics and social issues. It is understandable that a lot of people are finding it difficult to be kind and patient.
Are you sleeping?
It may sound overly simplistic but when you are not sleeping well, your stress goes up and your patience goes down. If you’re having trouble sleeping as many people are, work on your sleep hygiene. Set a wake time and bed time and be as consistent as you can. No screens for an hour before bed time, allow yourself to wind down with a book (an actual book not an e-reader), journal, draw, do some yoga poses, etc. Do something that will help your body and brain slow down. It helps to signal to your brain that it’s time to call it quits.
If you struggle with waking up at night, do your best to resist the urge to get online. Read, journal or play a soothing bedtime meditation you have already downloaded to your phone so that you don’t have to search it out and further wake your brain up.
Are you moving your body?
Again, it sounds simple but being cooped up all day and night can leave your body with extra energy it needs to burn one way or another. Since you don’t want it to be when you yelling at hour boss telling him/her exactly what you think of them, maybe think about some yoga in the living room in the morning or a long walk at lunch time. It doesn’t have to be high impact and you do not need to buy equipment, just move. On the rare days it is warm enough here, I will rearrange things so that I can go outside and walk just to get a little air. Let the anger come up as you walk and see if you can metabolize some of it.
Are you lonely?
While it is possible to connect from a distance, it does feel different. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard, “I should be used to it by now.” WHY?! We weren’t built to live this way! We are pack animals and it causes us a great deal of stress to be cut out of the pack.
I think there is a real fatigue with video chatting. There are games you can play virtually (like jackbox.tv) which can take the pressure off of talking and help it feel more like you are just spending time with people.
If you haven’t already, consider expanding you pod a little and having a small group who are following similar patterns to you around in real life.
Honestly, even acknowledging that you feel lonely and disconnected from others is a big step. Please know that if you feel this way you are in the majority!!
It’s not fair.
Nope, it’s not fair. Nothing about it is fair. People getting sick isn’t fair, isolation isn’t fair, people losing loved one, their jobs and homes isn’t fair. None of it is fair. You’re right. There I said it. You’re right, it’s not fair and it sucks.
What do you need?
This answer is different for each of us and frankly it could change day to day or week to week. Maybe it's a day or two off, maybe it's changing your hobbies a little, maybe is a different challenge at work, maybe it's a change of scenery. My challenge to you is to get curious about what you need and instead of telling yourself why you just can't have, try to get it! I know it isn't easily done but if the alternative is walking around angry and unhappy and making other people unhappy with you, what might you lose/risk if you don't take care of yourself and get what you need?
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!