Why are we all expected to function normally when our entire world was turned upside down two years ago? The world experienced significant threats and losses, yet we’re expected to go about our lives as “normal.” Most of us went through abrupt changes to our daily life, which some of us haven’t recovered from. Our “normal” routines were completely disrupted, shifted, and replaced with fear of the unknown.
So much has happened in our country over the last two years, which has caused a divide between many people. How has that impacted our mental health? How have changes, losses, and fears impacted us? It’s led to grief, pain, anxiety, depression, and feeling out of control….which ultimately leaves us feeling unsafe. We need routine, predictability, and consistency to feel safe, even on a physiological level. When we don’t get those things, we can feel unsettled, lost, and worried about what’s to come.
When most people think about grief, they immediately think of a loved one’s death. But grief and loss are so much more than death. You can grieve the loss of safety or security, the ending or changing of relationships, and even losing a job. The changes that so many of us endured over the last two years are losses and it’s okay to mourn them.
It’s okay to not be okay. Maybe even more so over the last two years than ever in many of our lives. Many of us are struggling to survive: pay bills, keep relationships, care for our children, and keep everything in balance, while under immense stress. This isn’t normal and it isn’t something that can be swept under the rug. It’s okay if the best you can do some days is get out of bed, or shower and change your clothes. It’s okay if the dirty dishes stay in the sink an extra day or if you turn down a social invitation for the second time.
Give yourself the space to be present, to feel, and to move through grief. Your body will often tell you what it needs, so listen carefully. Honor your boundaries with yourself and others by staying connected with your emotions and body. Treat your psychological, spiritual, and physical self-care with the same level of responsibility that you would taking care of your parent or child, or showing up to your job. This is the best thing you can do for yourself right now….and right now is all we have control over. If you need a place to dump your stressors and make sense of it all, we’re here. We got your back. The more support you have on your side, the easier it can be to more through the stressors of our lives.