This afternoon, I said to my husband, “I need to write a blog post but I am not feeling very inspired.” He hugged me and suggested that’s what I write about. “Write what you’re living, honey.” So here we go.
We are rapidly approaching month nine of the global pandemic. My daughter hasn’t been to school since March. I picked her up not knowing when we would return and she hasn’t seen her friends since. I miss my friends, in person workshops, support groups, and private coaching clients more than I can explain. I am a hugger and I miss hugging so much that I asked my neurologist for a hug at my migraine check-up appointment this last week. PPE and all, we hugged even just for a moment and then I started to cry. Connection is sorely lacking. Yes, we are with our families 24/7 but that’s not the same as being connected.
This is hard. For you, for me, for our children. I keep saying “we don’t have any elders to ask how they survived their global pandemic” - we are making it up as we go. Some days I feel like it’s okay, I've got this. We can do this. Other days, I think I can’t do this for one more single second. I know my clients are in the same boat. I’ve been busier in the last nine months than I have been since I started Becoming Peaceful. I am giving them all of my best stuff and they are doing all of the things and still, things are hard.
I’m reading an incredible book called, “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking The Stress Cycle” by Drs. Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski because I need to dig deeper to find some support for myself and to pass onto the parents I am supporting. There is good news and bad news - the good news is most of their suggestions are things I already recommend so you don’t have to learn many new skills, the bad news is that the drive and commitment to do these things feels like it’s in short supply for many of us.
Connection with others is one of the best places to start. Since the pandemic began, I’ve been hosting a free virtual book club and a free virtual support group. From these meetings, I’ve seen so many parents create deep, meaningful bonds that have extended outside of the groups. Friendships blossoming and blooming into accountability partners. These days, we need to have someone to check in with even if it’s just to say, “Hey, I took a shower BY MYSELF.” or “I meditated for three minutes like Lisa is always on me about!”
A few more tools to use:
2.Practice self compassion. There is no pandemic parent of the years. You are doing a beautiful job.
3.Move your body - especially in some fresh air. I’ve added “Have you gone outside today?” to the questions I ask at the beginning of coaching sessions and the answer is almost always no.
4.Meditate - Sit and breathe for two minutes.
Can you do these things on your own? Maybe in normal times. Probably not these days without a supportive friend, partner, accountability buddy, or a coach. You’re not alone. Make a connection and make a plan. I promise if you do that and choose just one thing to focus on, your week will be better than last week.