I have to admit, I struggled to write this post and make it live for anyone to see. I struggled because I know that this is a very sensitive time in the world and I didn’t want to come across as insensitive. Because there are so many people hurting. So many businesses closing down. Everything we knew to be a normal part of life has been disrupted and we are now collectively creating a new normal. So I wanted to tell you the truth of what this looked like for me, understanding that I am extremely privileged to be in this position.
Right before the world went on lock-down, my mental health was at the worst point it has gotten to in years. My depression and anxiety levels were spiking far too high each day and I felt completely out of control – of my mind, my body, and my life. Everything that was once so simple and mindless even, was suddenly taking all my energy from me. Things like getting up in the morning, showering, feeling motivated to go to work, communicating well with my partner, leaving the house, seeing friends. Hard is not a good enough word for what those tasks felt like. Perhaps daunting would be more accurate.
I was burning out and I had been for the past 6, or maybe 7 months. But nonetheless, I kept trudging along because I like to think of myself as a “productive person”. What that actually means is that I have great difficulty knowing how to relax and slow down, even when every part me is screaming to. I was constantly agitated, deeply depressed, uncontrollably anxious, and on top of that, my relationship was also struggling because of it.
And then the world shut down and we were asked to stay in our homes, and stay with ourselves. I am grateful that I am still able to work from home and my financial state didn’t take a great hit. I know for a fact that if that had been the case, where I’m at right now would have remained a dream-like state of being.
Instead, what this apocalyptic-esque state of the world gave me was time and space. Suddenly, I had all of it and I wasn’t running off of someone else’s schedule, but rather I was asked to create my own. I was frankly just handed time to slow down and to create a new routine for myself. To spend time with my partner so that we could connect more deeply and to dive inwards. It was the first time in several months that I not only allowed myself, but felt like I was given time to just connect with me, again.
What my mornings used to look like: Waking up to my alarm clock that has been ringing for the past hour, clicking the snooze button enough times until I had no choice but to get up and quickly get dressed to run out the door.
What they look like now: I get to start my mornings before the sun rises and make a hot cup of tea, meditate for 15-20 minutes and afterwards, I’ll sip on it and journal. I’ll go over to grab my mat and practice some yoga for about half an hour and only afterwards will I find my laptop and begin checking my work emails. I take a break to do some cardio and pilates and then my partner and I will typically make lunch together while watching an episode of Modern Family.
In the evenings, I like to write, do some work on my blog and then just hang out with my partner.
I have to say, this is the most peaceful and happiest version of myself that I’ve been since…the summer of 2016. And yes I know that’s oddly specific.
So what’s happened is that I’ve slowed down and I’ve given myself time to breathe (literally). I feel more in touch with myself, more confident, and I have to admit that I’m so scared for what this will look like moving forward, when I do have to return to an office setting. How will I implement what I have learned in this time to my regular life?
I can’t say I have all the answers, but I do know that living in the state that I was in is not sustainable and even when life returns, I’ll have to continue practicing all of this so that that version of me doesn’t.