COVID -19 hit and our lives drastically changed. In my case, I just had my daughter four months prior, and I was shielding her from the flu. This simply involved not going out in public. Then, the pandemic arrived, and the flu seemed to be the least of our worries.
To get through the first four months post-pregnancy, I started making plans for the spring and summer. I kept saying, “I’m going to go to this winery” or “We’ll go to lots of baseball games this year.” For my own sanity, I thought of these plans as the light at the end of the tunnel. It helped me cope with the fact that I felt like my life was on pause. Here I was, a brand new mother, with this new baby and nowhere to go. Fast forward to today, and it’s been five and a half months. It now seems like ACT II in a very long, bizarre play. Act I consisted of voluntary confinement and, ACT II is involuntary (well, to be safe). It’s not a matter of having nowhere to go, but rather, we CAN’T go anywhere.
Showing your best life
Right now, I see that a social norm still remains constant on our social media accounts. We have a habit of showing our “best life.” For example, I get comments a lot that my daughter “looks like the happiest baby.” Well, yes. I took probably 30 pictures of her. The one you saw is the best shot I got.
What I have seen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. lately is something I really didn’t expect. Yes, I’m so happy that everyone is thankful for this time with their family. You’ll remember that I even wrote a post about taking time to smell the roses. I’m not going back on that. What I’m shocked about is how everyone is still showing their best life. There may be some complaining here and there, but everyone appears to be handling the quarantine well. So what if you’re not? I compare it to when I just had my daughter. I was a new mom, and I was struggling with hormones, no sleep, a nonstop crying baby, etc. When I went online and saw how perfect all the other new moms were, I felt like a failure. It was only when I had some heart-to-hearts with my friends that they disclosed to me that they had the same struggles.
It’s not in our nature to stay still
My point is that it’s okay not to be handling this well. Most of us have been in our houses for over a month and a half now. I don’t know about you, but some days I feel like I’m going to dash out the front door and do a Forrest Gump until I can’t run anymore. We’re a nonstop society. We go to the mall, have picnics, attend festivals, enjoy concerts, go to zoos, aquariums, and museums, and most importantly, spend time with our loved ones. It’s not in our nature to stay still. Now that we are, our mental health during this pandemic is more important than ever.
Check in on your loved ones’ mental health
Final note: If you’re like me, you’re probably living for those sunny days with temps in the mid-60’s. The ones where you can go outside and pretend just for a couple of hours that COVID-19 doesn’t exist. But for those other gloomy days, make sure you check in with your friends and family. They might not be showing it, but they could be having issues with their mental health during this pandemic (just like you are). Ask them how they are, share with them how you are (the truth), and show them your real life vs. only your best life.
Stay safe out there. For resources regarding stress and coping during this lock-down, click here.
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