Are the rule breakers affecting you? I’m noticing two camps forming. This seems very common on any issue. I see those who embrace the rules and those who don’t. Then within each camp are two camps: those who concern themselves with what others do and those who don’t. Where are you?
If you’re in the ‘concerned with the actions of others’ group, be mindful of boundaries. When it comes to mask wearing, you are responsible for your own actions. If you make it your job to police others, you are likely stepping over your boundary into the boundary area of another. If you are concerned about your own safety, you can kindly request a person within 6 feet of you to wear a mask. If they decline then you peacefully move away from them.
Certain municipalities and counties have different regulations around COVID-19 safety. Leave ticketing and fines up to the authorities in your area. If they aren’t doing as much as you think they should, take that up with them, not the people around you. We are all individuals and have the right to choose how we will act. Laws for our safety exist but that doesn’t mean everyone has to follow them. Those who choose not to also take the risk they will be caught, fined, or jailed.
All of us also have the right to express our opinion. That is within our boundary. Making others adopt our opinion is not within our boundary. As you let go of the job that isn’t yours in the first place, you may even find more internal peace. We get all worked up and angry when jumping over the boundary into someone else’s territory trying to force them to agree with us. Let it go, get back on your own side of the boundary, and be free.
In December of 2017 I wrote a post with the same title. At that time, my daughter Anna discovered she had both acute and chronic rejection of her transplanted lungs. Chronic rejection led to her need for new lungs this past fall…again! So much of my life in the last six and a half years has been affected by Anna’s declining health, transplants, hospitalizations and unknowns. Today, I’m kind of tired of the unknowns as I sit in this added unknown of COVID 19. I don’t know about you, but right in this moment, I’m over it. Can we just be done? Oh! That’s right, NO! We don’t get to decide that.
I kind of want to have a temper tantrum. I feel two years old and part of me wants to kick and scream on the floor until I get my way. Just a part of me wants to do that. I’m not totally down. In fact, my day started out really well. I was productive. I had a meeting with a client and then I participated in a planning group for an organization I volunteer with. Activities that fill me. But then I sat down and thought about what I wanted to write for this blog post and this is what’s coming out.
I’m thinking this is how a lot of you are feeling, too. Some moments are fine, some are great and some suck! Yes? The stay-in-place extension may be taking its toll. We sometimes cling to a number. “I can do this until April 12.” But when April 12 comes and goes and we are still confined to our homes it can feel depressing. Are you feeling that, too?
There’s no magic. There’s no healthy formula to not feel depressed or sad or mad. In fact, I believe ignoring our emotions will take its toll at some point during our lives. It’s best to honor your emotion. Let the tears roll down your cheeks or have a safe temper tantrum on your bed. Tell a friend or family member how you are feeling. Then, find something you can do that feels good to you. I have a cleaning project I’d like to tackle (not the most fun but it will feel good to get it done).
We can do this. We can take it breath by breath, emotion by emotion. I hear Dory from Finding Nemo sweetly reminding us, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” So that’s what we will do.
By now, everyone is being affected one way or another by this pandemic. What is it like for you? Many are feeling all kinds of big emotions from fear to sadness. And many don’t know what to do with all the emotion. Here are a few quick tips:
- Name the emotions you are feeling. If you are at a loss, feelings generally fall into categories of fear, sadness, anger and joy.
- Understand the thoughts that are driving the emotion. Are the thoughts true and real? Do you know this for sure or are you projecting/speculating? Throw away untrue thoughts.
- Give space for the feelings based in truth. There’s real stuff that’s bad right now. Honor that for yourself. Feel it for a bit, then do something to change your focus: look at nature, call a friend, do an art project, go for a walk, turn on fun music and dance…
There’s so much more to say and I’m saying it every day on Facebook. I post short (a few minutes) videos each morning (Colorado, USA morning) with a quick tip of something you can do right then or during that day to help you relax and get through this pandemic. I also have 4 (tomorrow I will add my fifth) Facebook Live to Thrive videos with more detailed ways to be as healthy as you can during this time. I have also posted the Live to Thrive series on YouTube titled Thrive in the Unpredictable.