The rate at which every person reacts and embraces change is very personal and will even fluctuate from situation to situation. Do not judge yourself based on your perception of how other people are (or aren’t) coping and adapting. You do you, however that looks.
I’m raising this today because in the last few days I’ve noticed a collective shift in energy. For some people, being in isolation has become too much and they’ve hit their breaking point, or simply just lost the plot and gone a bit loopy. I’m here to remind you that it’s okay to not feel okay. It’s okay to need to stop. It’s okay to take things slower. No one expects you to do everything perfectly when there’s so much more to do.
I’m specifically talking to the working parents who have their children at home with them, attending their classes online. It’s a juggle and the request that I personally received the other week to be online with my child during class time, was just plain ridiculous, when I have my own set of conference calls to attend and/or run. Sometimes you just need to say no. Just because you’re at home and no longer have a commute to go to work, doesn’t mean that you suddenly have a lot of time on your hands. You now have your children at home and you’re trying to keep half an eye on them, whilst you’re carrying on with your job. If you still have to travel to get to work, I feel for you because you’re relying on your partner, family, or friends, to help out with the home schooling situation… and then there’s school holidays that’s starting too and no vacation care activities to send your children to. I get it, I really do. But know that there’s help out there – you just need to stop and ask. You might even be surprised at how much help is available to you if you just reach out for it.
But please – don’t allow yourself to hit the breaking point and think you need to do it alone.
On the weekend, I was unfortunate enough to be witness to a suicide. He jumped and let’s say that he didn’t land on his feet. It wasn’t something that I expected to see on the weekend, but I can’t say that I’m surprised.
We’re human and as humans, we’re meant to interact with others. It’s human nature. We thrive in the company of others. Sure, there are times when we need our time alone, but interacting with others is what makes us human. Take that away and make someone feel like they’re doing it all alone, and sooner or later, the pressure builds and they’ll crack. Why? Because without interaction, we go within our own head and if we allow our thoughts to get out of control, all kinds of weird conclusions are made. If you’re dealing with someone who’s already a little mentally unstable, the time it takes for them to completely loose it, is shortened exponentially. For that very reason, I’m grateful that I left my ex-husband when I did, because being in lockdown with him… well, let’s just say that either myself and/or the children, probably wouldn’t be around to talk about it by now.
So look out for yourself and those around you. Know what your limits are and know that it’s okay if they’re shorter than other people’s limits. No one is going to judge you for it; That stuff is all in your head. We’re all experiencing this and everyone knows how difficult things can get. You don’t need to be happy all the time and there’s no reason to always be stressed, unhappy or depressed either. There are help lines available and if you can’t get through to one of those services, please reach out to friends, family, colleagues or neighbours.
This is no longer just about a virus. This is about how we, as humans, can adapt, change and work together in ways that we’ve never had to before. As an individual, it may be pushing you to take on things that you never thought you would. But know that this won’t last forever. Know that you will come out the other side much better than you were when this all started. Know that we’re all in this together. Know that society will change for the better because of this. Know and trust that everything will work out, just as it should.
So focus on the small positives, every day. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other, if that’s what it takes to get you through the day. Focus on the now and be kind to yourself through this transition. And please, reach out if you need help. It’s okay to.