The emotions. They are all over the place right now. And I do not think it is only me and my emotions. I saw a few verbal altercations at the grocery store today. Things about standing too close in the aisles. Prickly. Angry. Scared. Offended. Impatient. And about wearing or not wearing masks. Aggressive. Heated. Freedom of choice. Importance of everyone doing their part. Sadness. Anxiety. I chose to avoid those aisles and circle back later. I was already feeling a bit raw and two cans of garbanzo beans and mustard were not going to make or break my weekly shopping run.
At work in the clinic yesterday people were highly charged as well. Grumpy. Happy to the point of giddy. Cranky. Anxious. Surly. Sad. Fearful. A rare calm soul. It is all over the map right now. Staff, patients, providers. People driving on the roads. Emotions. Running strong.
This week I read a quote about stepping back and thinking about how we can use this pause in our lives to make changes. Reflecting on what to put back and what to leave out. Reflecting on how to improve on things, on life. Hope. Love. Foresight. Thoughtfulness. I love it. It’s valid. But how in heaven’s name am I supposed to do this reflecting and changing when I spend most of my time working and figuring out how our family is going to survive in the current “new” life we are living? How do you do this when there is a never-ending churn of dishes and food and laundry and day-to-day life, oh, and emotions? Angst. Frustration. Defeat.
If I were my own best friend I would look at all these emotions, then tell myself (in no uncertain terms) it is time to double down on self-care and kindness. When my emotions are all over the map. When the people around me are all over the map. When the world is all over the map. That is when it is most important to take the time to take care of myself. Tend to myself. Be the best version of myself. Acknowledge the emotions. Name them. Recognize them. Move through them. Do not avoid them. Feel it all. Acknowledge and feel and take care of myself. Whatever that looks like right now.
And then, be kind. Above all else, be kind. Be kind to myself. Be kind to others. Give grace. If someone else is feeling like I’m feeling, and they are lashing out in anger or fear or anxiety or despair, well then, give shelter (as long as it is safe for you to do so). Give kindness. Give space. This world is going to continue to look different. Some things will be alright and some things will never return or resume again and some things will change, a lot. Grief. At the end of the day all we can consistently do is tend to ourselves and our loved ones with care and with kindness. Oh, and hope.
Like I said, I’m all over the map right now. But if you take anything away from this little piece may it be the following:
- Take care of yourself.
- Be kind.