You’re Allowed To Simply Exist Right Now

I don’t even know what day it is. I can’t remember the last time I washed my hair or put on real pants. I’m okay with it, but I’m also not okay with it.

There has been so much going on lately, yet not much at all. My brain and my body are so confused and I don’t know how to react to my own thoughts some days. I’m sad for my community, scared for the vulnerable, motivated to do my part, grateful to still have a paycheck, happy to see kindness and generosity in the world, the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on…I have a lot of feelings and they change by the moment.

Change can be scary. Change of environment, change of workflow, change of schedule, change of mood, change of underwear…(?) I digress. Change is especially scary when it places us back into survival mode. It feels primitive to adapt simply to live.

You may have heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, or have at least seen this little pyramid thingy in a high school psych class. This thing has us at the BOTTOM right now.  While most of us normally strive to be near the middle and top of the pyramid, we were all forced to the bottom just like Patrick shoved Bikini Bottom out of the way of the Alaskan Bull Worm. COVID-19 just SHOVED us out of our normal ways of living. Metaphors? Did that even make sense? No idea. Anyway.

What I’m trying to express is that I’ve been forcing myself to function at the top of the pyramid when my circumstances have placed me near the bottom. Moral of this ridiculous mush-pile of words: we can’t pressure ourselves to perform as normal when we’re all just trying to function and take care of basic needs.

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I try to remind myself of this when I have anxiety about the way I’ve been feeling lately. You’re allowed to be sad, frustrated, angry, confused, etc. You’re allowed to be tired or anxious. You’re allowed to be anxious about feeling anxious. You’re allowed to steer away from your regular diet. You’re allowed to miss consistent workouts. You’re allowed to be annoyed with your kids or significant other while you’re cooped up in the same square footage. You’re allowed. It’s okay to give yourself grace right now.

Me? I’m tired. My eyeballs are tired of seeing the same headlines. They’re also tired of seeing different headlines by the hour. They’re tired of trying to keep up with the updated plans, studies, and initiatives released every. single. moment.

I’m tired of forcing myself to be productive at work.

I’m tired of pretending like I’m doing my best.

I’m tired of trying to be grateful for what I have and still having a hard time.

I’m tired of feeling guilty for feeling like I should be grateful for what I have while having a hard time.

I’m tired of seeing political debates in a time of crisis. Let’s face it. Economies recover, dead bodies don’t. Sorry ’bout it.

I’m tired of seeing the blatant ignorance of protesters. No, your freedoms have not been taken away. You are not oppressed, you are inconvenienced. Y’all know where I stand, I’m too tired to argue.

I’m tired of being tired for seemingly no reason.

BUT it’s okay. While I’m tired, I’m also hopeful. This time has allowed me to appreciate the simple things and recognize some incredibly beautiful parts of my life. I’m thankful for sunshine and windows that open wide to let the fresh air in. I’m thankful for more rest. I’m thankful for modern technology and communication tools. I’m thankful for the good of humanity. I’m thankful for a job and flexible work environment. I’m thankful to have my basic needs met right now.

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At the end of the day, we’re all allowed to have good days and bad days. Lately, it might feel like the good days and bad days coexist. Know that you’re not alone. Despite experiencing different kinds of storms depending on our individual circumstances, we’re all still in the same boat…or dare I say…quarantined cruise ship.

Today, I couldn’t even bring myself to get outside for a walk, but I opened my windows and listened to a new playlist, and that’s good enough for me. As time goes on, I hope you’re taking care of yourself, whatever that looks like for you. If you’re having a hard time right now, I’m proud of you for handling it. I also hope you feel comfortable asking for help. Here are a few resources:

See the CDC’s recommendations on coping during this time: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

If you don’t feel safe at home: https://www.thehotline.org/

If you’re struggling to afford food: https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank

If you’re dealing with substance abuse: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

If you’re having a hard time managing your mental health: https://www.nami.org/Support-Education

If you’d like $200 off to talk to a licensed therapist (that’s almost a month of daily therapy totally free): https://friend-referral.talkspace.com?refid=1587661

If you’re having feelings of suicide or know someone who might be: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Stay well. Love always,

Jessica

One thought on “You’re Allowed To Simply Exist Right Now

  1. From your biggest fan in Arizona, you are amazing, and so thoughtful, Jessica. I pray that you will hang in there and be good to yourself. Big hugs to you!!!

    Like

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