It’s Okay NOT To Be Okay During the Pandemic [OPINION]
I don't have COVID-19 but I am most definitely NOT okay, thanks for asking.
We, as a society, have been making waves when it comes to talking about mental health. We've learned that you can't just talk about it; you have to act on it. And this is a perfect time to remind each other that it's okay not to be okay right now.
The pandemic is overwhelming. It spans across all countries and doesn't discriminate based on race, and social/economic standing. Your great-grandma might have it at the same time as Tom Hanks and Idris Elba.
The kids are home from school for who knows how long. You might be working, or working from home, or not working at all.
You might have a loved one in senior living. You might have a loved one in the hospital. Our routines are thrown off, our lives have been flipped upside-down.
You may have had to cancel a trip that you've been looking forward to for years. You may not know if you'll be getting a paycheck. You may have had to cancel your own wedding.
Three words: I FEEL YOU.
I've been stressed for a solid two weeks at this point. I go from eating my feelings to not eating at all. My son is home and we're still working; I have barely any time to even think about homeschooling him. I'm concerned about my parents, who live out-of-state. I've got asthma, so I'm concerned about MY health as well. I'm concerned about the health of my husband and son.
I'm trying to get information out there to our Cars 108 family without overwhelming everybody. Is this a good story? Is it hard news? What's the source?
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?!?!
I taught my first online dance class yesterday and had a good cry afterward - everything had caught up to me and I lost it. My dance studio which is usually full of Irish dancers was empty on St. Patrick's Day. My parents need help and I'm 400 miles away. The dog still needs to be walked, the bills have to get paid and the laundry still has to get done.
It's comforting to me that we are ALL, literally everybody in the world, dealing with the same thing. If you're feeling tired, hungry or not hungry, overwhelmed and stressed out, congrats - you're normal.
We're also removed from each other right now, and rightfully so - you can't stop the spread of a virus by being in close quarters. But it can feel VERY isolating, too.
Talk to somebody. Ask HR at your job if there's an employee assistance program. Call a therapy hotline. Talk to a loved one. If you want to pretend that you've got things under control, that's fine. But, if you're like me and can't hide it anymore, it's okay.