Stress is exhausting. It’s perfectly okay to feel stressed and tired right now. You don’t need to judge yourself harshly.
I’ve been thinking about you a lot, and trying to work out how I can help you on your journey to having more energy and more enjoyment and happiness in life.
What I really want to say to anyone that reads this now during lockdown, or any time in the future is that it is okay to be stressed. It’s okay to feel worried, uncertain, and fearful of the future. You are allowed to admit to having those feelings, there is nothing to prove to yourself or anyone else.
My own experience of lockdown has been somewhat of a roller coaster. There have been times when I’ve been really chilled and loving the fact that nature has been growing and repairing, and it started unbelievably fast too didn’t it? I think the first nice thing I remember hearing was the porpoises swimming through Venice. What a sight that must have been, with the irony that no one could visit and see them anyway!
There have been times when I’ve been cross about everything, and when I’ve cried about everything. Sometimes the chilled and peaceful thoughts have even been on the same day as the angry or tearful ones.
I tried to stay away from the news like I usually do but felt I needed to get the information, especially in the early days. I soon noticed that on the days I watched the news my mood was definitely flatter, and for a couple of days afterwards too. Now I record the news every day, mostly I delete it but sometimes I watch the headlines and then switch off. I haven’t set any harsh rules on what I can and cannot do. I’ll talk more about that another time as I’ve got lots of things to share with you that will hopefully be helpful.
8 weeks ago in the middle of April. I was on a Facebook group where the host asked what our stresses were right now in lockdown. I wrote my reply quite hurriedly and somewhat without explanation; it was a bit of a frenzied brain dump.
I was pleased to have been given the opportunity to release the stress as it’s natural just to think that we need to ‘keep calm and carry on’.
After the frenzied brain dump I went off and watched a comedy. The offloading and the comedy helped a lot. I think that was the peak of my lockdown stress, it obviously needed letting out before I could move on.
It’s okay to feel stressed
Let’s get back to why it’s okay to be stressed and tired right now, or even up and down. It’s a difficult time right now and here we are going through a range of emotions every day. If you’re sensitive like I am, then you tend to take on the emotions of other people very easily too, you feel their pain.
There is a house in the village that I pass on the dog walk where a dog walking friend of ours is grieving for her husband who died last week aged 59 (not COVID related). I can feel the emotions when I walk past the house, it’s like the house is crying. That’s why I can’t get too involved with news stories that make me over-emotional, even the nice ones.
Apart from the obvious talk about the health concerns over COVID-19, let’s look at what else is going on, and the reasons why you might be finding life exhausting right now.
You don’t feel in control of your life.
Everything you knew about ‘normal’ life has been turned on its head recently. There is so much uncertainty so it’s difficult to move forward with confidence that everything will be okay, because so much isn’t known about our future.
It is what it is. Sometimes the smallest thing will send you over the edge, like not getting milk delivered in your shopping. Right now, I can’t get hold of bubble bath in the Sainsbury’s delivery and haven’t done for weeks. Let’s face it, that is honestly not a huge issue is it? I’m not stressed, just slightly niggled. First world problems eh?
It’s not about the bubble bath, it’s about life not being normal and wanting things to go back to being boring and predictable, even though you might hate boring and predictable. You see that’s a source of stress and conflict in itself.
After sounding off or crying we feel guilty because people are facing far worse things right now. That’s okay, it’s not a competition. There are no awards for being the worst off and no awards for not getting upset during lockdown whatsoever (that would be quite odd).
Do you know what though? IT’S ALL PERFECTLY NORMAL AND HUMAN.
Allow me a geek moment here if you will. If we didn’t feel hurt, sadness, distress, fear etc we wouldn’t be human, we’d be cybermen (or cyberwomen even). Feeling emotion is part of being human, it’s just that life is quite challenging right now because we’re feeling so much of it all at once.
Lockdown has been tough, and at the time of writing this we don’t know what’s going to happen with lockdown being lifted, a potential second wave etc. It’s easy to feel like you’re losing yourself, because as we’ve already discussed, there’s so much uncertainty and our physical world has become a lot smaller.
You know what else can make it harder? Hormones. No one talks about it but sometimes you feel like you’re totally losing the plot and then magically a few days later everything is calm again. It’s good to track your cycle and to discover how much your hormones are responsible for twisting your thoughts, or making you cry at the tiniest thing.
If you’re 45+ this is particularly important as there is a lot going on in your body right now. Even before that age though it’s still very relevant. If this resonates, you may want to check out Supplements for Women’s Health.
On a lighter note
Overall, I’ve enjoyed lockdown up to now, when I’ve zoned out and forgotten what it’s all about. I’ve appreciated having time with my partner and being in the house together, despite his work stress disturbing the peace at times.
It’s been nice to see people come together and bond. The memes and sketches out there on the internet have made me laugh a lot at times. It’s been fascinating to see new ways of delivering TV programmes and how, when pushed, how we can all think of different ways of doing things.
As an introvert I am happy to spend lots of time alone. In fact, at the beginning of lockdown I found it hugely overwhelming with constant phone calls and video calls as we all found a new way of being. Thank goodness it’s all gone a lot quieter in our house now and we’ve got a routine going that suits us both.
There is nothing to prove
I’ve got so much more that I want to say to you woman to woman, human to human. My overall message is that it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. It’s okay if you haven’t done your meditation, your exercises, stuck to your healthy eating plan. There is nothing to prove.
If you’re having some good days then embrace them, get stuff done and feel pleased with yourself. If you’re having some not-so-good days then allow yourself time out to nurture yourself and heal.
This is the moment you’d expect me to suggest that you should get out in nature or exercise and you’ll feel instantly better. That may be true, but again don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Do what you feel you need to do to be able to find the strength to get going again.
Be gentle and kind
Practise being gentle and kind with yourself. If you’re stressed and tired, acknowledge it, and try to soothe your inner child. What might she want to do right now? Watch Doctor Who? (yep, that’ll be me), Does she want to play? Does she want a warm drink and a guilt-free biscuit? Does she even want to scream or cry?
You need to be gentle and kind to yourself before you can help others from the heart. Take some time out to love yourself today.
Even if you’ve never done it before, leave me a message to share what you’re going to do to be kind to yourself this week. Looking forward to reading some great ideas.
Sending you some love today,
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