Today is September 21st (almost 22nd), 2020. We are around eight months into a global pandemic that has caused our world to shift and uprooted the way we live our lives. After around six months of working remotely, continuing to work as an essential worker, being furloghed, or attempting to gain unemployment, we are reaching a boiling point. Cases continue to rise and people continue to die (yet some people still refuse to wear a mask, get tested when exposed, or practice the multitude of other safety measures put in place — but that’s a different point for another day).
We are frustrated, exhausted, and apprehensive when we turn on the news. As it seems, politicians have lost their minds and no longer serve the people they supposedly represent. Fake news floods our Facebook feeds, leaving us to rumiante over what is or isn’t true.
Money is tight, work is demanding, and — damn it, where can you buy a can of lysol?
It’s go, go, go; adapt, adapt, adapt; don’t forget your mask or to wash your hands; meet that deadline; fork over the extra money for some unforseen expense. Yet, these are all tangble things; we can manifest a mask, produce money, and change our plans.
I haven’t even touched on the racial injustices and discrimination happening in the world.
But wait — where’s the recognition for the untangible? Why aren’t we talking about the effects this sudden change in our lives has had on our mental health?
The anxiety, depression, fatigue, lack of motivation, and plain ole’ stress we are experiencing is chalked up to this pandemic. But is it really a result of the coronavirus, or are the things we’re experiencing coming from a deeper place; from constantly being on-the-go and always trying to be better, do better, go higher.
So, what does this say about how society pushes us to live our life? VOLUMES.
It’s time for a reality check.
A false narrative is being presented to us day-in and day-out. Social media, which is both a blessing and a curse, has turned into a place where we begin to compare our lives to others in a very unhealthy way. Friends are getting married and having children, starting new businesses, changing careers, going to graduate school, travelling (which is questoinable), and living their best life. The worst is looking at people on Facebook or Instagram who paint this picture of a pristine lifestyle and knowing that some of it is, to be frank, a bunch of malarky.
And while this mirage has been paraded to us for a good chunk of time now, it’s even more disasterous considering the circumstances. Looking from the outside-in at other’s lives is a dangerous road to go down, but is one that we’re all guilty of. Falling prey to the idea that this is the time to make a career change or drastic alteration to your life something else that’s easy to do. On top of it all, feeling the pressure to stay at home trying to stay safe, and still keep some sort of normalcy is tiring and frustrating and it’s time that we recognized that.
There is no golden rule saying that hustling all the time is a requirement. Nor is there one that says you must lead a “perfect” and “normal” life right now — or ever.
Here are some important lessons I’ve learned since the world turned upside-down.
Stop trying to compare yourself to others.
Realize that everyone is operating at a different pace right now.
Be kind, extending the same grace you give others to yourself.
Pause when you need to. Don’t be afraid to cancel plans, take a little longer to text back, or to say no.
Gaining some weight from eating at home all the time is not a bad thing. Be nice to your body. It may be difficult, but it’s worth it.
Putting yourself as a priority right now is nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re in a dark place, take the appropriate measures to get to a space where you feel better. Coming from someone who’s had to do a lot of self-care in the past eight months, being happy and trying to find the positive in a situation is a lot better than being down in the dumps all the time.
Instead of trying to rush to become what you think everyone expects of you and what it seems everyone else is doing, just be you! Live your life and create an environment that you florish in, whether that’s on the couch binge-watching Netflix, discovering a new hobby, or whatever else may tickle your fancy.
At the end of the day, all we want is to be happy. No matter what that looks like for you, it’s possible. Forget about what the world says and do what you need to do, making this reality check one that counts.
Stay safe, happy, and healthy y’all. I’ll be back soon with more insights about the world.