What we do for self care is so very important to our own mental health. With everything going on right now, I can only speak for myself but my anxieties are at an all time high.
What I am realizing is that the whole stay at home in isolation thing is beginning to make it more un-comfortable for me to leave my home. The realist in me gets it, I understand completely the reasoning for it, the impact on community, and quite honestly my own level of responsibility to community. However, along with learning and becoming adjusted to the new norms we are all getting use to I am also trying to learn how to best manage myself and my anxieties to once again feel comfortable, simply just leaving the house.
For me what I have tried to do is go for a walk, nothing overly exciting, just a walk. With all honesty I will tell you the first several attempts were challenging, seriously a simple walk a challenge?
The community in which I live is beautiful, it’s welcoming, it is my home, yet now I am un-nerved to walk amongst my neighbors. The first couple of times I went out all masked up hyper sensitive to social distancing and what others where doing. I found myself becoming more and more stressed on a simple walk, and if I saw someone without a mask, whew my nerves just got more intense. The simple walk to try and calm myself was backfiring on me.
We then decided going for a drive, windows down, sun roof open, and no immediate stresses. This worked and actually allowed me to take that so well needed deep breath. However, the reality is, and I realized I need to get back out there. I love going for walks, I always have and the idea of allowing my anxieties to take this from me was unacceptable. So we masked up and hit the pavement again, we walked earlier in the morning, later in the evening to mix things up a bit. Its during this time that our local parks and trails were still closed by order of our governor.
The walks were beginning to help, I could feel my anxiety lessening a bit, it was still there but I was beginning to feel better about it. It’s exhausting quite honestly and trying to explain to others isn’t always easy, especially for those who truly don’t understand it. The last thing I want to hear is “just deal with it” or “just get over it” believe me this only adds to it.
When the parks were opened I was excited about the chance to simply just walk, hear the birds, and most importantly breath.
The first walk in the park was rewarding, we brought one of our three dogs and even our mask’s just to be pro-active. It’s a humbling feeling to be able to fully engage by simply walking in the park. We stopped by the river to take it in, enjoy the moment, appreciate our current state of being.
Are the daily norms changed forever? Yes, for me they are, but I will adjust and allow myself to be at ease, it may take longer for me and that’s ok, there is no rush.
My Sunday reflection.