I thought of my Mom and Dad this past week while they were in their final days. Though they may have put up a good face to most, the loss of what their life used to be was filling them with despair. The sense of hopelessness that they couldn’t ‘fix’ what was happening with their bodies took its toll, and I’m not sure that I fully understood it until now.
When the news of the Coronavirus came out, I had a bit of disbelief that it could be so bad. But as I listened to the news morning and night for hours, scanned news stories online, I had a sense that as bad as it appeared to be in truth, it would be much worse. Before I became aware, my emotions turned from disbelief to absolute panic.
Going into the grocery store, I was afraid that the virus was lurking at every corner, and when I saw the fear in others, it became amplified. I couldn’t wash my groceries or hands fast enough when I got home.
Hopelessness is a BIG power emotion
I am usually the person that cheers others up, supports them, inspires them. So especially now, I thought it was essential to keep my chin up, forge on with helping others. But my valiant effort was met with my blank stares, literally. Before I knew it, my fear turned into hopelessness, and I found myself in a daze. The more I tried to force shifting my energy, the worse it got.
I know the tools that will support you in life; Breathing Spaces encourages those. Mindfulness, Nutrition, Movement, and Connections. But when something rocks your world, it is essential for you to acknowledge the presence of the emotion. Let yourself ‘feel’ through this time, don’t stuff it down to deal with another day because I guarantee you it will come out in ways you would not expect.
There is a power within ourselves that helps us get through our days. It’s hope. Without it, the possibility that things will get better will fall into a hole of despair, doubt, and they gain momentum. Right now, do all of the required necessities; wash your hands, limit your excursions, practice social distancing, eat well, and exercise. But also start doing some things a bit differently, and listen to your heart.
Anything that can give your heart a lift, even the smallest of things, now is the time to do them.
Here are a few things I’ve been doing:
I only listen to the news only once a day and have emergency alerts set up on my phone
I colored a black and white outline image of an Easter Bunny and sent it virtually to my niece
I pulled out all of those annoying unorganized containers in my kitchen cupboard and rearranged them
I stayed in my jammies Saturday, took a long bath and read a book
I know that as a caregiver, you may not be able to do all of these easily, but even the smallest of things will restore your hope by practicing them often.
Don’t judge yourself for your emotions right now, write them down and reach out to others. Focus on what fills your heart, not on what you think you should be doing.
Please, take good care of yourself. B-R-E-A-T-H-E.