Easing up during this time of crisis

I’ve resisted writing about COVID-19 and all surrounding it for a while. I had so many thoughts floating in my head and couldn’t pin point how to be eloquent about any of them. Today I saw something that struck me, and finally felt like I was able to put something down to express my thoughts. I felt like writing it would help me more than it might help you readers at home.

The visual I saw basically denoted that during times of crisis and trauma, some people go into hyper drive while others may ease up a little and that both were acceptable ways to handle the situation. I’ve discussed openly on my blogging platforms that I am extremely driven. When I was a kid I remember a specific time where my mom told me that after a musical I was performing in closed, I was hard to be around. I didn’t realize what that meant at the time, but looking back now I realize it was likely because I had no next new goal in front of me, so I’m sure I was whiney, needy and annoying because I had nothing new to look forward to. Fast forward two decades later, and I have never functioned in my adult life without something ahead of me. Whether it is performing in a musical while knowing when rehearsals started for the next one, or training for a half marathon while researching which one will come immediately following that, you could basically say I have no chill. I cannot just settle without something to work towards. I have tried and I tend to fail.

When I read that little social media post I realized that I have, unsurprisingly, gone into hyperdrive. But when I really thought about that, I realized how much I am wearing myself down rather than replenishing myself in this time where self care is just as important as ever. I have almost gone too far opposite of the Instagram memes of people wearing nothing but sweats and eating raw cookie dough for dinner. I have spent my time obsessively list making, to do list making, meal planning, meal prepping, fun in home activity scheduling, calendaring my days down to the hour, forcing myself to indulge in fun in order to not feel sad about everything that’s going on. I realize I’ve maybe gone so far over the edge of trying to stay distracted from it all that I’ve done a little more harm than good for my own mental well being.

Now with shelter in place, my bedroom gets to double as a yoga studio 😏

I’m not saying that the things I’m doing are bad, but what I am saying is that I can spend some time easing up on things in order to take a few more deep breaths and maybe let myself feel sad every once in a while. I have had five races get canceled, am working from home (where as normally I go into the office and love collaborating and saying hi to everyone in my office that I see or pass), am missing my mom’s birthday because I will be required to shelter in place still, am missing pre race weekend sleepovers with friends, and just mourning my traditional schedule of events like going to the grocery store on a whim, running at my local parks (they’re all closed), and not wondering how often and which restaurants I need to get takeout from because I’m overwhelmed trying to support them all so they can stay open.

I am not being hard on myself at all. I often rely on past experiences to drive me through new ones but I’ve got nothing in my memory bank – or anyone else’s, to use as compare and contrast material. The point of this all was that we are all human, this is a freaking hard time right now. I am forgiving myself for not following my running training plan, easing up on being so high strung on schedules and to do lists, and taking some deep breaths and going day by day because that’s all anyone can do.

So, with a big deep breath, I forge forward and remind myself I can do this. We all can. We are in it together, but at least six feet apart. 😉

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