It’s been nearly two years and there seems no end in sight for the pandemic. Variant after variant rears its ugly head. People have had it with vaccines, boosters, promises from officials, masks, isolation, distancing, anxiety of all sorts, and fear itself.
Is this normal? You bet it is! It also can feel quite surreal, as if you can’t quite believe this is happening! This is commonly called disassociating, and can even be a temporary self protective measure. If you feel you have done your part, and then you still catch Covid-19, then what? One of my clients said, “I could deal with all of it, as long as I had an end date.” I’m sure many of us have this same feeling.
What do we do with these feelings? Stuffing them away does not help for long. Some avoid the news and have even gone off social media! Some act as if the pandemic is gone. Does that work? It works until you get sick.
We all have to process our feelings. But if we perseverate on them, we will only feel worse. We have to do something to break our pattern. What does that mean?! It’s different for each person and/or family. But basically you have to interrupt your mode of thinking, daily routine, or both. Think of it as a pause in the action. Take a nap, start a creative project, read, give yourself a manicure, do something out of the norm, to give yourself, and your brain a rest.
Taking a mental rest is also critical for children. They need time to recharge each day as well. And they certainly feed off of our energy. (or lack thereof!) Teaching them early on how to redirect an ingrained pattern, will serve them throughout their life.
So no, it’s not over. But through our toolboxes, we can use coping mechanisms to our benefit each and everyday.
Lastly, ask for help when you need it! Your source could be a spouse, a friend, a relative, or a professional. Asking for help is not a weakness, it’s a sign of strength and health. And when your children or friends hear you ask, it will normalize it for them too. Working together, even from a distance, can make all the difference.