I was able to enjoy a Zoom meeting with three girlfriends yesterday, and one of them – a health and wellness coach – reminded us all to use the words “and that’s ok” after every feeling we’re experiencing right now. It’s far too easy to beat ourselves up for not being “productive” or feeling completely overwhelmed. I’m here to remind you that whatever you’re feeling right now is OK.
Are you cleaning and purging and organizing your home? That’s ok!
Are you eating every last salty, crunchy chip and pretzel in your pantry? That’s ok!
Are you sticking to your scheduled workouts and eating plan? That’s ok!
Are you throwing all semblance of normal out the window? That’s ok!
Look, people, we are experiencing a global health crisis. We are being asked to stay home, help educate our kids, not panic, and carry on. However you decide to carry on is ok. Don’t feel bad if your workouts have hit a snag. Don’t feel bad if your house looks like a bomb went off. Don’t feel bad if your kids are watching 5 hours of TV per day right now.
It. Is. Ok.
We’re in the middle of collective trauma and grief. It’s going to last for a while. What I know about trauma and grief is that, if you’re lucky, you learn to live through it and with it. There are lessons in here that we can absorb and apply to life after this. Many of them are going to be really, really hard lessons. Maybe you’ve lost your job. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one. It’s bullshit, and it’s not fair. Embrace the suck fully. That’s the only way to get through it.
What I know about trauma and grief is that you don’t go back to what was normal “before.” If you’ve embraced the suck and absorbed the lessons, you build a new normal, hopefully a better normal. Maybe a normal with a lot more appreciation for the things we take for granted like going to work, sending the kids off to school, or breathing.
We are in the suck right now. It’s hard and traumatic and scary. We are each dealing with it the best way we know how.
And that, my friends, is ok.