As I was trying to come up with what to write about this week I realized my brain is not firing on all cylinders. Ok, let’s be honest, I feel like my brain is barely making it through the days right now. I can be pretty hard on myself when I feel like I am not at my best, which tends to exasperate the negative thoughts. I am not sure if this is what burn out feels like, having three toddlers feels like or if quarantining has finally gotten to me. No matter what the cause, I know I don’t like it.
In addition, there are a lot of unknowns rights now, what do I do about school for my kids, will being quarantined for this long have long-term effects on them, will things ever go back to some semblance of normalcy? The unknown is a difficult beast for most of us to deal with and not interacting with one another as we used to is not helping the situation.
I was recently talking with my sister about how I was feeling, exhausted, defeated, and mad at myself for not being able to perk up. Nikki commiserated and then said “don’t take it personally.” That made me laugh. Don’t take it personally? How do I not take the thoughts in my own head personally? Isn’t that the definition of personal? As we continued to chat (while Nikki nursed and my toddler screamed downstairs), we reminded ourselves that our inner voice is not always our friend and we can’t always take what it says personally.
Giving myself the permission to be exhausted, to say this is hard, to say I am not feeling motivated right now (and to wonder if I am ever going to dress up and wear heels again), immediately took some of the weight off my shoulders. No one knows how to act right now, what the best course of action is regarding our children, or when we are going to sip wine with our girlfriends in person again, and it is ok not to feel ok.
I think a big part of my negative thinking was thinking the crazy thought that I am the only one who is not making it through this quarantine with my sanity intact. As I write this I know what a crazy and irrational thought that is, but our minds are not always rational, and less so when we use it to judge ourselves. If you have the suspicion that you are going mad, please know that you are not alone.
I don’t have any magical tips on how to make it through these unusual times feeling peaceful and in control. What I can say is, if you find yourself saying unfair, irrational, unkind things to yourself, don’t take it personally. Know that you are not alone and continue to do your best each day (even if that means laying in bed all day watching Selling Sunset), our best takes on different forms at different times. The HLO community is such an inspiration for me and we always want to support and be honest with you. So, even though today is an especially challenging one for me, I know that I am not alone, and neither are you.