Just think, we’ve been coping with an unrelenting natural disaster for months.
Unlike storms that can be spotted on radar before they arrive, the pandemic surprised us all. People responded with their own unique crisis response and while each response is simply a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, after half a year of “responding” it’s normal to feel that you just can’t feel much of anything anymore.
When tornadoes roll through, we hunker down until the storm passes, then go about the business of clean-up and repair. But a pandemic isn’t a “roll-through” event -- it can move through, ricochet, and circle back. Our brains and bodies remain on alert longer than is healthy for us. Being poised for action this long can leave us feeling irritable, exhausted, without focus, and lacking motivation.
Retreating from the rigors of daily life may be appealing, but isolation won’t restore depleted resources. To refuel, you must accept where you’re at and what you’re feeling, then commit to doing the work it takes to move forward each day. We were making New Year’s Resolutions shortly before the pandemic shifted our focus to short term goals like stockpiling toilet paper and disinfectants.
Maybe it’s time for some Mid-Year’s Resolutions that reflect the “new normal” that will likely be a “work in progress” from here on out. Create new rituals, like family goal-setting Sunday evenings, nurture social bonds, and be mindfully present for yourself and others, and you may just rediscover the meaning and purpose you felt before they were crowded by those cases of canned goods and paper towels.
I’m Suzanne Degges-White and that’s my perspective.