Lately I feel like I could sleep for a month of Sundays. Even if I go to bed early because I’m tired, I often wake up still tired. Part of me is frustrated by this because I think I “should” (a word I rarely use because I think it has a vicious impact on our health and well-being) have plenty of get-up-and-go. 
 
But then there’s a part of me that understands that emotional stress is an enormous drain on physical energy. We started this pandemic with lots of fears and worrying about what may or may not happen. So much unknown triggering states of panic, negative feelings and emotional upheaval.
 
As the days and weeks continue to pass us by, we’ve had time to adapt and hopefully taken the necessary precautions to stop the spread of this insidious virus. We’ve had time to evaluate and make a plan as to how we’re going to live day to day while we’re waiting for things to return to “normal.” 

So why are we so weary?

Because not only is this whole thing is an enormous strain on our mental+emotional+physical well-being, it’s reinforcing a behavior that doesn’t always serve us — we soldier on. We put on the face we want people to see rather than the one that represents how we feel. That alone can drain the life right out of us.
 
You may have a place to live, food on your table and gas in your car but that doesn’t mean this whole thing isn’t hard. That it doesn’t stink. That it makes you feel so weary that you just want to sleep so you don’t have to think about it. 
 
If ever there was a time to feel our feelings (and we’re talking about the negative ones that seem to pop up more and more these days) it’s now. Otherwise they may get stuffed down so far that the only way they see the light of day is through a mental breakdown or volcanic eruption (a.k.a. meltdown).

Let’s face it. We’ve had a lot of bad days lately. 

And you get to decide what a bad day looks like for you. No need to sugar coat it or shrug it off.
 
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating wallowing in self-pity until this whole thing is over. What I’m offering is an opportunity to let yourself acknowledge that the types of changes and adjustments we’ve all had to make warrant a little reflection and release. 

A few ways to consider releasing trapped or stuffed feelings are:

  • Journaling: I like writing on one side of a page and then continue by writing over what I’ve already written (I learned this from fellow Health Coach and entrepreneur Rachel Feldman). If you want to know more about why this works, check out my blog post.

  • Vent: Share your feelings with a close friend, loved one, wellness professional or even your pet. Be sure to let them know you’re not looking for solutions, just a sympathetic ear. The reason this often fails is everyone tries to solve our problems for us. When in fact, we can solve our own problems just by voicing our concerns and reaching our own conclusions (this practice is the hallmark of health coaching!).

  • Meditation/Prayer/Yoga: Three of my go-to’s when the going gets rough. And even when it’s smooth sailing.

  • Spend time outside: Nature is the great equalizer. It reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it benefits your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and lowering the production of stress hormones. In other words, it helps us cope.

  • Feel Your Feelings: When I feel unhappy/crappy/cranky/sad/miserable/sorry for myself, instead of distracting myself with busywork, I dissect it — Where is this coming from? Why do I feel this way? And then I let myself feel it. Not gonna lie, this one is hard. Initially it feels way worse than what set me off. So I try to sit with it and recognize that I’m really uncomfortable right now, but I know this will pass. I can’t tell you how much better I’ve felt by using this technique. And the more I do it, the easier it is to process what I’m feeling and move on … without dragging my emotional baggage behind me.

  • Therapy: Thankfully, the importance of taking care of our mental/emotional health is being brought out into the light of day. If you need professional assistance, please make sure to get it. You deserve to feel well. We all do.

I hope you’ll think about some of these things as we while away the hours waiting to be out in the world again. If you have any thing you’d like to share about how you’re feeling or what you do to keep yourself from getting too weary, please comment below. I’m always grateful for your insights.

Wishing you well,