Updated: Apr 23, 2020
This lockdown reminds me of when I first experienced parenthood with a newborn. I remember the feeling of completely losing myself, eating the fastest food available, frequent arguments with the hubby, constantly thinking of all the things I haven't been able to get to yet... simple little things that used to give me a feeling of independence and a sense of achievement - simply gone.
Isn't this lockdown bringing up all those feelings again? We are putting ourselves last again. Date nights have flown out the window. We are doing our best but still feeling like we failed at the end of each day. All the work we may have put into regaining our sense of self-control and sanity pre-lockdown has all of a sudden been taken away from us. The loss of control can be mind numbing.
But we know we figured it out when this first happened to us. We persevered. This isn't that new is it? We figured out how to create a new rhythm as parents. We created new boundaries and found new ways to grow within. We know that we are extraordinary survivors and brilliant innovators. We can do this again.
I needed this reminder because my mind has been racing lately. I feel like I am working more than I have ever before. I can't seem to sit in peace. I know we are meant to rest and take a break, but all I have are endless lists of more things to do... do this! do that! try this! try that! And not enough time to do it.
I have always believed who we are inside our homes must match who we are at work. The same logic can be applied for what we are experiencing right now... Who we are when things are great must be who we are when things are not so great.
And it is this belief that commands me to constantly work on myself. I would love to share some insight with each of you that I recently learned through therapy last week...
I have learned that when I am experiencing stress, my defensive mechanism is action. I distract myself with what is actually happening by DOING. But now that I have learned this about myself, I make it a point to intentionally check in with myself. I make it an intention to listen to and talk to my emotions.
How to adapt to a new norm?
We are witnessing a time of uncertainty like never before. It is a new ball game. A new way of existing. All this "new" takes more out of us. It is important to recognize that new things do indeed take more energy. What is unfamiliar takes more energy.
Action is a wonderful thing but not when it is paired with avoidance or denial. We must be aware in order to act authentically. My being self must direct my doing self.
We must pause and ask:
Why do I feel so overwhelmed and exhausted?
Do I absolutely need to do everything I am doing right now?
Do I need to do it all at once?
What pace is healthy for me?
How do I want myself and my family to remember this time?
What type of memories can I create for them?
Am I checking in with myself?
Is there something I am not paying attention to?
Then pick and choose what you want to focus on rightfully and intentionally. Make sure your focus matches your inner value system (not what you think you "should" do but what you feel is right and meaningful to you). Again, your being self must direct your doing self.
Our thoughts can feel like a 'runaway horse' right now... scattered and untamed. We need to be the ones guiding it and moving it. As much as we are surrendering to all the uncertainties and things we are not in control of at this time, there is one thing we are most certainly and absolutely in control of - our thoughts. These thoughts that consume and create our days need our guidance and our authority. We are their boss. We are in control. Say it out loud: "I am in control."
So what do you think... can who we are in the outside world (before COVID-19) also be who we are in our "inside" world (now)?