Writing your next New York Best Seller? Learning a new language? Working towards your six-pak abs and those buns of steel? There are plenty of people who are seemingly thriving right now more than ever. That might just be you. Or perhaps that isn’t you. And you know what? That. Is. Ok.
This is not an easy time. In fact, it’s a pretty strange time. We’ve all had to change our daily routines, limit our social connections and what the future might look like when we finally exit this oddity is still a bit fuzzy.
It is important to acknowledge that things aren’t easy.
To recognize that it is ok to feel what you are feeling, and not be hard on yourself.
If your big lofty goal these days is to just get out of bed, get dressed and not snap at your partner or kids, then by all means, that’s a stellar goal and something to be celebrated! Not everyone “should” be or needs to be writing that New York Best Seller or becoming the next Oprah. More power to those individuals who are able to do that. The reality is that everyone has their own personal range of emotions and particular ways of processing and handling difficult situations. And that is ok.
The most important thing to do in this moment in time is to recognize where you are.
To honor your own truth. To follow your own path. This is true whether you’re the person on the path towards the six-pak abs or you’re the person on the path towards figuring out how to get dinner put on the table for your kids. What is your truth? What is your path right now? Honor it.
As you honor what might be true for you in this moment, it is also critical to make time to take care of YOU. If you deplete your resources, you’ll have less to give. It’s just like when you board an airplane and they say to put your face mask on first, before helping others. When you’re stronger, you are able to be stronger for others.
So what are some ways you can take care of yourself during this time?
1. Acknowledge your feelings in the moment.
Our feelings can change daily or even hourly. It is important to recognize what we are feeling in the moment, normalize those feelings and sit with those emotions for five minutes, then move on to a positive coping skill that works for you.
2. Find and use a positive coping mechanism that works for you.
Each of us cope and respond differently. It’s important to find something that works for you. Some ideas include:
- Going for a walk
- Talking to someone
- Deep breaths
- Repeating a mantra such as “this too shall pass”
- Dance to some upbeat music
3. Do something nice for yourself.
Just because we are in the midst of this strange time, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t savor in moments of joy. In fact, it’s even more important to take time for self-care. Find something that fills you up with joy and pleasure. Some ideas:
- Take a long, warm salt bath
- Unplug for a day
- Enjoy a piece of chocolate
- Read a book just because it’s enjoyable (not because you feel you should to advance in your career)
- Give yourself a manicure
- Go star gazing
- Watch SNL and have a good laugh
- Play with your pet (your pet will love you for it too!)
Remember: It is ok to not be ok right now.
What is not ok, is to beat yourself up for feeling what you feel.
When this passes (and it will pass), what do you want to remember about who you were during this time? I hope you said: A loving, kind person. Especially to yourself.