This is not a normal time. At this point, you are well aware! There is a good chance you are feeling some COVID stress right now. Or let’s be honest, you’re really stressed… like, kind of freaking out.
I see you, I completely understand and let me assure you that your stress and anxiety are justified. You do not need to feel bad, in any way, shape or form, for feeling what you do. In fact, feeling bad about the stress is probably fueling the flame even more.
I’d love to offer you this idea:
Managing stress is not about resisting it, trying to be “stronger” or taking action in an attempt of overcoming it. It is about being, welcoming, acknowledging and processing. That can be harder work than “trying harder” and avoiding the tough emotions but the most beautiful and authentic growth happens when we embrace the mess, embrace what is truly going on.
Here are a few suggestions on how to cope with this time, from my heart to yours:
- Identify how you really are (and WELCOME it).
The only way out is through. How can we expect growth when we are in resistance to what is going on? How can we heal without acknowledging the hurt? There is a long list of things you are likely feeling. Actually, you’re probably going through a lot of them in just a day! I encourage you to take time to reflect and identify how you really are each day, or whenever you feel like you need a check-in. We know ourselves best and have the privilege of caring for ourselves. Don’t neglect how you are doing. Let it be and let yourself feel it. It has a purpose.
- Move your body in a way that feels good to you.
We know that moving our bodies positively affects our brains. During a time of crisis, there is no place for shame regarding HOW you want to do that. If it doesn’t feel like it would fuel you, don’t do it! Please hear me — if you are feeling like you should do a certain type of workout because you are seeing everyone else do it, but it feels like a drudgery, DO NOT DO IT. There are so many options; it doesn’t need to be intense. A great check-in question is: would this make me feel connected to my body right now?
Also, my friend, I am lovingly reminding you that this time is not about your weight. Gaining or losing. Your heart, soul, mind and spirit matter more than the way your body looks. Use this time to reframe what exercise is for you. Rather than it being punishment for eating certain things or trying to prevent looking a certain way, allow it to be a celebration that you are alive, your body is mobile and you are human. What a gift. Move your body out of love and kindness for yourself.
- Acknowledge and allow the hardship.
This is more than a global pandemic; it is personally traumatic for many of us. And realistically, it is not going away overnight. There are many voices on social media telling us to use this time wisely, to be more productive, that we have no excuse. Please hear me, you do not need to put that pressure on yourself at all. We expect ourselves to act like we have been given a month of fun snow-days instead of the reality that our world has shut down because of a very real, dire issue. You do not have to start your side hustle, organize your house, crush your to-do list, do ten Zoom calls per day, etc. Dr. Caroline Leaf said it perfectly: “This is a pandemic NOT a productivity contest.” Amen, Dr. Leaf! It is a hard time; let yourself acknowledge that and give yourself grace and the permission to experience this however you can best care for yourself.
- Give thanks.
We have so much. Even in the midst of difficult times, there is beauty and goodness. You are alive, experiencing, growing, even hurting… All parts of what it means to be human. What are you grateful for? This time allows us so much space for reflection. It’s easy to reflect on the things we wish were different. We think about those all day, every day. But what do you really, deeply love exactly as it is?
If you would like more guidance during this time, I have a free resource called “Start Your Day With Intention” that you can grab for free here: www.meaganvigil.com/startyourday. It is a journaling + reflection guide that walks you through a morning (or anytime!) routine designed to ground, encourage and equip you in this very weird/crazy time.
You are doing a great job, beautiful human. Keep showing up for yourself. One day, this period of time will be a memory, but for now, it is here. Embrace what is.
Sending you so much love,