“It’s okay to feel like crap today.” It’s a conversation I have with myself on occasion. These days it happens more often than I’d like.
It’s the single reason why this month blog posts have been few and far between. I’m dealing with quaranxiety.
Yup, that’s a thing.
Quaranxiety, the term coined for the global feelings many are experiencing during the seemingly unending Corona-induced quarantine, is real. Scads of people are feeling it.
Writer in Italy Monica Sharp posts her astute updates about it.
If you haven’t experienced it, quaranxiety is a lot like regular anxiety. Symptoms can include tension, restlessness, feelings of dread, lethargy, insomnia…my body’s favorite is insomnia.
I hate it.
Then there are more things like brain fog and not knowing what day it is. Also my body’s favorites.
Basically: feeling like crap.
And some days there’s nothing to be done about it.
That’s okay. Some days you’re just going to feel kind of crappy. It’s not wonderful, but there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just a part of life.
Especially a life that’s currently under “shelter in place” orders.
But even if we weren’t all suffering from quaranxiety, some days are plainly better than others. Every day can’t be filled with sunshine and rainbows. Because even a rainbow isn’t possible without a bit of rain.
So what do you do with these feeings of malaise? Do you fight it, attempt to fix it? Ignore it and hope it goes away?
What if you simply let it be? Or even sit in it? I’m not suggesting to enjoy it, though some artists have been known to revel in unhappiness. Remember the great 90s anthem Only Happy When It Rains?
No, I’m saying it can be acknowledged and accepted. After all, it’s most likely temporary.
Just like quarantine!
Before I realized it’s okay to feel like crap, I tried to fight it. Because I don’t LIKE feeling like crap. Who does?
So I’d try to read, or watch something funny or mindless on tv. But then the brain fog would set in and I couldn’t remember the last 5 minutes of what I read or watched.
Fighting it rarely works.
Today I thought about doing my nails. In fact I’m (as embarrassing as it is to admit) in desperate need of a pedicure. Who knows when I’ll see the inside of a nail salon again? But then the mere thought of hauling out the nail supplies, choosing a color, etc etc simply became too much to bother with.
And that’s okay. Tomorrow will come. Just like the sun and moon, tomorrow is waiting.
If too many tomorrows come to pass, then I’ll consider some other potential solutions. I’ve suffered from depression in the past and I know that’s not what this is. This is fully situational and temporary.
Just like quarantine!
There are days I do manage to beat it. Some days I get a good night’s rest and wake up feeling hopeful. Those are really good days, as much as they can be while you’re stuck inside.
Some days I feel it creeping and I can say NO! I can work on a project, write a blog post, work on my 100 Day Project, feel productive in any which way. On those days the anxiety fades away.
But I don’t pressure myself to do it every time. I’m already exhausted. I don’t need that extra burden.
On those days I let it be. I’m kind to myself. I tell myself it’s okay to be mad at this situation. It’s okay to eat cookies for breakfast and watch terrible romantic comedies (or insert your guilty pleasure here). Because on bad days like that you have to be gentle with yourself.
And that’s why it’s okay to feel like crap sometimes. Because there’s a lot of crap to put up with. Also, it’s ultimately temporary. Just like (say it with me!): quarantine!
Remember that you’re not alone. And we’ll all get through it, in our own ways.
Be kind to yourself.
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