I usually have no trouble coming up with blog topics, but this one has been tricky. I just couldn’t put in words my thoughts and feelings as we enter the second month of the stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic here in Michigan. So, for lack of another way to organize my thoughts on this matter, I am going to download ALL of my thoughts and feelings with the goal that you, the reader, will find something on this list that echoes some of your thoughts and feelings. It is my hope that we will help each other validate whatever we are experiencing at this time without judgement or criticism.
These are not arranged in any particular order.
1. Fear/panic/anxiety about health – my family’s primarily, especially elderly relatives, and then my own, and then larger community as a whole.
2. Fear/panic/anxiety about the economy – my husband and I are both self-employed and run small businesses; we will both be very much impacted by the economic downturn, this month and for many months to come.
3. Joy and happiness – how nice it is to have a slower schedule, more sleep, more family time, more outside time!
4. Sadness – thousands of people are losing their lives, their loved ones, their family members. I feel the grief and the sadness deeply and profoundly, whether this grief is my own or not – that is the nature of being an empath (and now that I am thinking about it, that topic would make a great blog post).
5. Laziness – yes, the list of to-do’s is ever long, but sometimes I just don’t feel like doing much at all. It kind of feels good to indulge my lazy self sometimes.
6. Motivation- let’s clean these closets! Let’s start a new exercise regime! Let’s take an extra-long hike! Those feelings are nice to indulge sometimes, too.
7. Anger – someone gave me a dirty look while I was walking with a friend (yes, six feet apart!). How dare they judge!
8. Judging – how dare people be too cautious! How dare they be too cavalier! How dare they respond in any way that is not my way!!!
9. MISS TENNIS and all my tennis friends!
10. Pride – we are KILLING this stay-at-home thing!!!
11. Panic – am I doing this right? Should I be more involved in kids’ school work? Should I leave them alone? Cook more? Cook less? Is there a manual somewhere?
12. Tearfulness – both sad tears (like #4) and happy/emotional tears when I hear about all the wonderful things friends, neighbors and strangers do for each other.
13. Dread – here, at Natasha Kendal and Associates, and across the world in all mental health facilities, we are all preparing for a wave, an avalanche, a tsunami of trauma related cases after all of this over. My heart is breaking for all the first responders, doctors, nurses who are getting traumatized by this situation daily.
14. Hope – we have been here before, right? We will be ok, right?
15. Longing and missing my family – no explanations needed.
16. Happiness that I get to connect with friends and family with whom I only have the smallest amount of contact when we are all busy, busy with our daily lives. We had a Zoom call with 15 families! The noise and chaos were awesome!
17. Thoughtfulness – what would I like to learn from all of this? What would I do differently when all of this over? And what would I miss about being at home the most?
18. Curiosity – why do differently people respond to this national emergency differently? What are the variables that predict certain responses – both in my counseling population and with family and friends. What can I do to help people react in more proactive ways?
19. Dread #2 – should I get on the bathroom scale? Is “quarantine 15” really a thing?
20. Satisfaction – gave a huge pint of my plasma at Red Cross; felt great to give in a small way; same feeling after sewing and donating close to 200 face masks.
21. Confusion – is it healthy to have all these “feels” inside one person? At the same time?
22. Gratitude – for health, first of all; for everything, really.
What are the feelings and thoughts that you connected with from the list above? Are there any others I didn’t mention?
Thank you for reading and Stay Healthy!
Natasha Kendal, Ph.D., L.M.F.T. ©2021