The Rollercoaster Journey of the Corona Pandemic and How to Move Forward with Your Everyday Life and
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
During my sessions with my clients and my daily contemplations, it dawned on me what a rollercoaster the COVID19 pandemic has been. Initially, it all felt so surreal and removed from our reality, then absorbing the daily losses worldwide and especially here in NYC, we started to feel more concerned, cautious and wary about going out, shopping, wearing masks and touching surfaces.
Personally, initially I welcomed the idea of relaxing, taking it easy and slowing down. Even though I make an effort to be mindful about taking breaks from the busyness of my life in NYC, I realized that a lot of my ingrained daily stressors, began to dissipate. The rush hour anguish, the pressure of going to the gym, the depletion from running all over town and doing things to keep up. I started to relax about all that and since I knew no one else was doing any of those things either, I felt at ease.
Taking a walk felt like a treat and when the weather wasn’t cooperating, sinking into the couch binge watching shows was more than a welcome distraction. Watching the news, I felt sad about the turbulent state of the world and grateful that I and my loved ones were healthy and alive.
But in retrospect I realize what a rollercoaster those days were. One day I found myself calm and peaceful, relishing the sanctuary of my home and the next day, full of worry that I wasn’t socially distancing enough or frantic about what would happen if I got sick or desperate to control my risks.
And then the warm and sunny weather started peeking through my apartment windows. The days became longer and boredom became a regular guest. I started to lose perspective, the gratefulness of being healthy and employed faded into the background and I started questioning the purpose of life, the lack of face-to-face connecting with friends, traveling and discovering places. I found myself giving courage and hope to my clients while feeling lethargic about my own sense of hope and future.
And then during one of my long walks trying to sort out what I want to do next, I became inspired about so many things. One of them was to begin writing and blogging. Another was to resume taking photos, a hobby I have enjoyed for years and have neglected for quite some time.
Long term goals are awesome but short term ones are more gratifying, they feel less overwhelming and give you a sense of accomplishment that multiples daily. So I also decided to stop procrastinating and resumed doing yoga. I started with just 30 minutes daily between work telecommuting meetings, stretching my aching back and hips from sitting all day. And alarmingly, my sense of hope returned, the future felt full of possibilities that I could do from the comfort of my home and embrace the current reality.
Accepting the reality of sudden change can be a daunting experience. It leaves us feeling out of control, naked and exposed to the discomfort of uncertainty. But if you allow it, it can help you grow, by pushing you into circumstances that challenge your comfort zone.
Here are a few tips from me to plan your daily life because while you might feel stuck, the universe is still moving, changing, putting things out there for you to do and accomplish.
Have a morning routine to maintain a sense of normality; brush your teeth, do your hair, put on your earrings and make up, change from your pajamas into clothes that make you feel good and attractive.
Pay attention to how much news you are absorbing from TV and social media and be mindful about getting inundated.
Start a 30 day challenge, whether it’s walking every day, meditating, exercising, reading- so many things to choose from.
Cultivate Tangible and rewarding skills like cooking, gardening, organizing your space, rearranging furniture, and painting a wall.
Most importantly, breathe, stay present, acknowledge all feelings negative and positive but keep your perspective alive and the hope growing.
Reinvigorate your relationships with family and friends and to forge more meaningful ones with acquaintances and colleagues.
Stay safe and strong,
Feruze Zeko Psychotherapy