I am coming apart at the seams today. I went into self-isolation on March 12. By March 16 I was joined by my whole family.
When it first started, I felt naive and felt like it was a novel and fun experience. Virtual dinners! Virtual mocktails! I said to myself, “I will use this time to be super productive and get in great shape!” Hell, last recession Uber, Venmo and Pinterest were invented…what will I invent?!
Ummmm, are you kidding me? I am winning if I actually get dressed.
None of us have ever been through something like this before. I do check my privilege that I have my health and can pay my bills. But mentally, I am feeling myself unravel a bit.
Yesterday (which was Sunday according to the calendar) I decided to read a book. It’s not going to be the most productive moment of your life. YOU CAN create. But first, you have to work on the basics.
I’ve never had seasonal depression. But now I am convinced I have it. These grey days get to me. Do you know what happened? I ate my 11th meal and saw it was only 2:13 PM in the afternoon. I felt a level of despair and anguish that I haven’t felt in some time. How the hell am I going to fill the time? And how will I do this for another month? The days are drifting into one another. I look back on last week
Have you hit the groundhog day phenomenon yet? Every single day is the exact same day.
“Anything different is good”
- Do a TIME shift: Adjust your relationship with time. Every day is going to feel the same unless you do this. A lack of predictability makes you feel unsafe. When you blow off the routine, nothing is grounding you, you begin to drift like an unmoored boat into rough seas. We need a routine to ground us. This builds emotional resilience. None of us have done this before. Wake up, get out of bed, get dressed. Exercise for at least 20 minutes.
- Do something fun. Look forward to. You navigate based on a point on the horizon. An anchor is your start time, second anchor is an end time, and then something fun and the end of the day, your horizon, is your end point that’s fun. A Harry Potter marathon, a Tiger King Netflix episode. Anything you want. A family dinner.
- Do a MIND shift: How do you live in situations of solitude and isolation. This is shifting your mindset. Nothing is better than an attitude shift is gratitude. You are blessed to be alive. Go to melrobbins.com/mindsetreset and use this time to retrain your mind to STOP your mind from ruminating and negative thoughts. One of the reasons I’m so transparent about my own struggles, is that this is not a one and done situation. Yesterday I was a mess. I was in despair. And that’s okay- this all comes in waves. We are going to have up days and down days. Feel all your feelings and then working to redirect to gratitude, optimism and positivity is going to be a skill in life you will be able to use for years to come. The best way to jumpstart this? Help someone who isn’t as fortunate as you. Donate money, donate time, donate canned goods.
You don’t have to write a New York Times Best Selling book right now. You don’t need to launch the next Uber.
Just get out of bed and show up if that’s all you’re capable of doing, that is enough.
A lot of us face challenges with executive function and inability to focus. In times of stress most of us feel dysfunction. But right now, you don’t feel your mind signal to wake up because you don’t have to commute. So go ahead and sleep an extra 45 mins. You don’t have to put on pants, you’re only on zoom.
When your executive function begins to coach you in ways that aren’t seeing you, you have to do a time shift and mind shift. We have all completely underestimated how leaving where you live and seeing other humans affects us. Being able to leave your home breaks up your day and marks time. And this is contributing to executive dysfunction.
Better days are coming. Some days will be easier than others. We will get each other through this. It’s important to not add stress to pressure yourself to do more
If you feel like it’s groundhog day, welcome to life. Everyone is on the same page, I promise. Life isn’t normal right now. You can’t be expected to have your normal routine because life isn’t normal right now. Nut what you can do is create a new normal. We didn’t choose this but we can choose how we react to it.
It IS possible to.