One of the biggest parts of self-love and self-care is being patient with ourselves.
I remember when my therapist told me that what I was going through with my mom’s health was a form of “extended trauma.” And I think about how this situation we are dealing with right now with COVID-19 is much of the same.
There are a lot of parallels, the sense of loss, the fear of the unknown, the lack of motivation, the dread of going certain places.
Some days were harder than others with my mom’s health. Some days, I felt positive about her recovery from cancer and others I would soak up with sadness, anger, and confusion. That’s mostly what’s happening to me and to many of us during this strange time. But what I have learned from my experiences with my mother’s health, is that the best thing I could do for myself was to allow myself to feel and not fight the feelings or push them off as being selfish, or lazy, or overreacting. I allowed myself to take the time I needed to feel the feeling I had. And by doing so, I allowed myself to be patient with myself. I tried not to get frustrated if there was a day that I just felt I couldn’t get anything done, and I tried not to be upset with myself if hours of productivity had passed and I didn’t check in on my mom.
It’s very much the same with this situation we are going through. Whatever you are feeling, feel it. If you are feeling unmotivated, it’s okay. You are going through a traumatic experience and your body’s immediate response might not be to get work done, or to try a new skill. If you are feeling sad, let yourself feel sad. If you are feeling angry, let it out and scream.
People often tell us what we should and shouldn’t do. We may feel discouraged if we see others around us who are doing things right now that we don’t feel like we could possibly do because we are filled with grief. But what we have to remember is that, everyone reacts differently to situations, everyone heals differently, but that doesn’t mean that your feelings and your reaction and your healing journey is not valid.
Always remember that your mental health comes first, and it’s okay if you aren’t on your A-game right now, or even your B, or C or D game. It’s okay. We aren’t always going to be at our best. But what we can do, is surround ourselves with supportive people who always see the good in us, and remind us, even on our worst days, that not only is it okay that we are feeling this way, but that this too shall pass, and they will be there every step of the way.
So if this time is still tough for you, it’s okay. You aren’t weak or lazy or crazy. You are healing. At your own pace. And that is beautiful.
Keep choosing you, keep choosing to be patient with yourself on both good and bad days. One foot in front of the other, minute by minute, you’ve got this, warrior.