By Roxanne Donovan - Wellness
I've experienced rage, sadness, overwhelm, gratitude, connection, and love...all in the last hour. This emotional whiplash is not my norm. Annoyingly optimistic and grounded is more my lane.
But we're not in normal times. Not me, not you, not anyone. We're in a calamitous pandemic that's shuttered us indoors away from our routines, our friends, our community. Expecting some level of normalcy in how we feel or how we work and parent, sleep and eat, act and think IS. A. SETUP. On the other side of which lies a mess of shame, guilt, and frustration.
And being mad at our natural reactions to an unimaginable crisis only increases suffering. So let's not do that.
Instead, why don't we all commit to accepting our reactions? Let's turn toward whatever shows up with curiosity and gentleness. Name our experiences. Note any bodily reactions we're having. Anchor ourselves in the present by taking several deep, slow breaths if our feelings are intense. Journal our responses. Most importantly, share what we're going through with empathic friends and family and receive others' sharing with compassion and love. We need each other now more than ever.
In peace and solidarity,
Roxanne A. Donovan, PhD, is co-founder of WellAcademic, a licensed psychologist in GA, and Professor of Psychological Science and Interdisciplinary Studies at Kennesaw State University. She writes and teaches about health and wellness. For more reflections, follow Roxanne on Twitter or sign up for WellAcademic's newsletter.