By Crossroads Therapist Deanna Moor
I was sitting in my living room, struggling to muster up the motivation to move from my couch and begin my day. Finding all of the excuses on how to stay exactly where I was and feeling bad for all of the things that were missing from my normal routine – going to the gym, seeing friends, going out to eat at my favorite restaurant. I am an extrovert – a person who consistently books social gatherings and puts myself in situations to connect with others. That being said, that description does not apply to everyone, but what does is that there has been a drastic switch in daily life and routines for many of us – changes at work, kids are at home, couples are both at home together and the list goes on. It was in that moment, that I realized a crucial breakthrough about social distancing, the coronavirus and the impact of the past few weeks. It makes a lot of sense why I’d be having a hard time adjusting to this drastically different routine – I am an extrovert, I thrive in routine and connection.
This was a paradigm shift for me because with this new perspective and information I gained two things: increased compassion for myself and an overwhelming sense of gratitude and excitement for the things I can look forward to regaining. I realized that OF COURSE I would be struggling not seeing people because my clients and my social circle mean so much to me and connecting with them is a source of joy and fulfillment in my day. I look forward to the day that normalcy returns. OF COURSE I would be struggling to adjust to working from home because I have a gym and a community that makes a difference in my life and level of motivation. I look forward to the day that I can walk through those doors. OF COURSE I am having anxiety and fear surrounding current circumstances because there is a pandemic occurring and that is normal. This encourages my gratitude for each day I am healthy and a reminder to be grateful each day moving forward for continued health.
Our body and mind respond to stress in so many different ways in an effort to protect ourselves. It has good intent, often mis-measured execution due to past patterns and trauma. This is a time to acknowledge those coping strategies and have compassion as they show up. What matters is what we do about them. I am choosing to look at my coping strategies as an opportunity to find areas of gratitude and excitement in my life. However, if you are having a hard time with the coping strategies that are showing up in this time of fear, please reach out and ask for help. You are not alone, we are here with you.