During this extremely difficult time of Covid-19, quarantining, financial insecurity, and political division in our country, it is OK to be not OK.
One breath at a time. One day at a time. Wake up, and be shredded. Cry for a while. Then stop crying and go about your day. You’re not okay, but you’re alive, and you will be okay, someday.Jasinda Wilder
It is a human condition to want people to be happy and positive and when that is not the case, we want to “fix” them. The truth is that feeling sad, angry, or scared during this time is a “normal” emotion to feel. When we don’t allow ourselves to feel these “negative” feelings, then we end up exhibiting secondary emotions like shame, guilt, or embarrassment.
In other words, the message we are sending to the other person is, “You should not be afraid or sad.” If the person is, indeed afraid or sad, he/she will end up feeling ashamed, guilty or embarrassed for their feelings. This will end up causing the person to suppress the feelings of fear or even avoid talking about it at all. Unfortunately, this tactic may contribute to mental illness, which is becoming more prevalent the longer we are in this pandemic.
The “normal” or healthy response to the situation we find ourselves in would be to feel scared or sad. When we don’t know what the future will hold, that is scary. When we miss being with our loved ones and sharing fun experiences, that is sad. We cannot and should not force happiness, and if we try, we may end up being overwhelmed by the situation.
Things to help us get through the difficult emotions:
- Remember “This too shall pass.” No emotion is permanent.
- We need to truly feel the emotions to allow them to pass through us.
- Take your time and be patient with yourself.
- Remember that your feelings are valid – you are allowed to feel this way.
We should use positive, affirming phrases when we talk with each other about our emotions and mental state during this time. When you love someone, you want him/her to “get over it” and be back to happy. You might even feel some responsibility in your relationship to create the happiness in your partner’s life.
One of the hardest and truest things a grown-up learns is that sometimes it’s not okay.Christopher Buehlman
The truth is that each of us needs to process this difficult situation in our own personal way. Feel your feelings. Sit with them. Let them pass. And let others ride the wave of whatever emotions they’re feeling too. It is OK if you are not OK right now.