Navigating Our Feelings During Uncertain Times
Find the beauty in every day. No matter what. Time's are tough, many of us are struggling to understand what we are feeling. There is a sense of sadness, fear, confusion, and loss. For some, it may be a similar feeling to grief. Having your daily routine, your sense of purpose, for many your livelihoods, taken from you, put on hold, with nothing but uncertainty about the future. While we know this is temporary, it doesn't necessarily feel that way. As a human race we understand that after this, things will be different. We will all be different. There is a loss of connection, social distancing is necessary, but it's also extremely difficult to adjust too. Isolation for most is uncomfortable, unsettling, and makes us feel uneasy after a long period of time. We humans we need connection with others. It's in our DNA. This is a global issue, and collectively as a race, we are grieving.
We are grieving with anticipation of what the future holds, what it looks like, and when we will ever be able to go back to normal. It's as though our safety net, our blanket, has been ripped off. Like a child feels a sense of comfort from a blanket or pacifier, and feels discomfort when the item is misplaced. Our sense of safety and wellbeing has been taken just like that.
This is hitting us all differently, however in the end we are all grieving. We may show it in different ways, remember, there are many stages to grieving, and this is a mighty loss. Some are in denial that this is as bad as they are saying, some don't believe it will affect them or their loved ones, that they won't get the virus. That isn't just denial, it's fear of the unknown. Sadness for the loss of jobs, education, get togethers, creating memories with family and friends. Many have spent their birthdays alone, many have postponed or cancelled weddings. For those who have experienced death of a loved one, there is no closure due to the inability to have a true funeral and say good bye. There is the idea that if we stay in for two weeks, socially distancing, then it will all be okay and better, but that is also an unknown. Acceptance is going to be key for helping yourself and others get through this challenging time. We must accept that this is happening, that we can't change it, we can control it, we simply must make the best of the current situation at hand. We must let go of what we can not control here. What your neighbor, friends, co-workers are doing - that is not in your control. How you choose to react, what you choose to stay, and how you choose to accept and cope with this, those things are what you can control.
It's important not to try and predict the future. It's hard, we all want the best possible outcome. Trying your hardest not to catastrophize and awfulize any outcomes to this pandemic will be important. Trying to focus on what we currently have, where we are, why we are here. Balancing out the negative thoughts, sticking to the facts. There have been so many fake news stories, false information being spread. I encourage you, stick to one or two reputable news sources, and try only checking updates twice a day to help with your overall mental, physical, and emotional state.
Try to be understanding and see where others are coming from. We are all feeling different emotions, we are all feeling a sense of loss, we are all in this together. Try and be empathetic to those around you. Show compassion for others. Across the globe people are going through this together, none of us are alone (while technically we physically are, with quarantine and social distancing.) Embrace the uncertainty, create a new routine and a new normal for the time being, and try and remain positive and hopeful in what is most certainly an unsettling and uncomfortable time.