I’m a can-do kinda girl. A “type A”, organized, make the most out of any situation kind of person. When this Covid-19 thing unfolded, I thought, “OK, let’s make the most of our time in this difficult situation” and I set about the task of making list after list for myself of all the things I could accomplish during isolation. Cleaning, organizing, regular yoga practice… the lists went on and on.
I started out strong. Lots and lots of projects. I joked that now that my business is on hiatus I’m busier than ever. Sure, there were days that I wasn’t as motivated, but I pushed through. I mean, when else was the world going to stop so that I could get all of these “important” tasks completed.
Slowly the drive waned. Then last week hit. I was mad about everything. I was bored, but still had all of these lists of things to do. I was overwhelmed, but couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t just tackling these projects and making progress. I didn’t want to “do” anything but felt like I would climb out of my skin if I didn’t do something. AIR was bothering me.
I texted my feelings to a friend and her response was startling but perfect. And I quote, “Ummmm–it’s A. F**king. Pandemic”. I actually laughed out loud. She went on to say that I should give myself some grace and that we aren’t going to do this perfectly–or even well.
In all of my organizing and list-making, I forgot to give myself permission to feel my feelings. This is a worldwide crisis and there are emotions attached to it. Emotions that, up until then, I had refused to acknowledge. I can’t tell you what a difference that text made. I spent the rest of the day giving myself permission to be irritable, angry for no reason, and just plain irrational. I honored these emotions without judgment (finally).
You know what? Today I woke up with a feeling of peace and calm that I haven’t felt in weeks.
Maybe you have been effectively dealing with this crisis from the start. I admire you. But for those of you who are trying to manage your emotions by boxing them up and putting them on your newly organized shelves, I invite you to give yourself a break. Feel the irrational feelings. Rage into your pillow. Because the truth is that none of us has ever been through this before. Your feelings just might be rational after all.