Let’s face it. The coronavirus sucks. It’s literally thrown a wrench in the early part of 2020 and people are hurting. The world is suffering and there just doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Here are the 5 steps we are taking to balance ourselves during the coronavirus pandemic.
But, let’s place the existential dread aside for a moment and look at the coronavirus and how we are handling it. Maybe you’re feeling depressed, anxious, sad, or even angry. Possibly a mixture of all of these emotions. You’re probably being told some sort of false positive encouragement such as “it could be worse” or “at least you’re getting married!” or even “it’s not that bad.”
I believe that everyone has the ability to endure a lot.
The human race is a pretty hardy bunch but every situation for each person is unique. Some people may be handling this far better than others and that’s okay. For those that aren’t doing so well–that’s okay too. First, I wanted to let you know that what you’re feeling is valid. This situation is bad. We can all agree on that. You can process it however you like because each situation is different.
I interviewed two couples that have had to move their wedding from this spring to later on. First is Reyna and Neil, a nurse and local policeman in our town. Reyna and Neil first received the news that their venue at Purdue University wouldn’t be able to host them before the news that the entire world was essentially shutting down. Places that they had turned to in the past such as wedding support groups turned into toxic wastelands of negativity and name calling–even bullying. It was now selfish and irresponsible to get married (this happened before all of the shutdowns and quarantine measures were in effect). My other couple, Brooke and Matt were also facing the potentially inevitable date change but also had to work through personal issues including Brooke’s fathering battling cancer two times last year, a car accident, and Matt losing his long time job of 11 years without any warning due to it being shut down mysteriously–before the quarantine measures.)
Both brides shared that they were sad, angry, and felt failed by 2020. Wasn’t this supposed to be THE YEAR?
The 5 Stages of Grief are as follows: Shock or Denial, Pain and Guilt, Anger and Bargaining, Sadness/ Depression/ Loneliness, Acceptance/ Hope.
On any given day, the brides shared with me that they’re currently feeling any mix of these emotions but have settled near the last steps of acceptance and a little hope. Both Reyna and Brooke have been able to move their wedding dates successfully and have them rescheduled for a later time in the year. Of course that doesn’t make everything better, Reyna said. She is still concerned about the possibility of rescheduling in the future and shared that she has currently given up a lot of the excitement of the future because of the unknowns.
When I spoke with Brooke, she shared that as she worked through these feelings she came to the realization that her viewpoint needed to change in order for her to find some peace with what was happening. Her change came through, not with just the absence of her wedding but the absence of the loved ones that they care so much about. It was the hugs, the time spent together, and the happiness and joy that togetherness and fellowship bring about.
Brooke went on to share that instead of grieving for the loss of her wedding, she’s slowly turning it into an appreciation for what is currently. The daily blessings that we receive. She’s stepped away from the mindset that pivotal moments are ‘the best moments of my life’ viewpoint to the ‘daily moments of happiness and the little things make up the bigger picture.’ Let me caveat by saying that moving a wedding is difficult and it really just sucks to have to postpone things but there is a balance.
I interviewed a close friend of mine who has to balance anxiety and depression on a daily basis. She shared that the coronavirus outbreak wasn’t the end of the world for her because of how precarious it sometimes is to balance daily life without a pandemic. Her ability to navigate the treacherous waters of anxiety and depression have helped her to find balance between teetering off the edge and being consumed with sadness and despair and the daily blessings of everyday life.
She said that by understanding and viewing the pandemic and what it has brought about as an objective occurrence rather than allowing it to completely overwhelm us emotionally, we are able to also objectively look at our lives and perhaps the things we take for granted.
I want to share 5 negative and 6 positive things that have happened since the coronavirus came about this year which will help me tip the balance back toward the positive.
I’ll begin with my negatives so I can end on the positive side.
- I had 26 flights booked this year for pleasure and work. I have my first international wedding this year and 20 other weddings booked. I’ve had to postpone two flights to Utah and Colorado, cancel a flight to Florida, and currently hold my breath on the Italy wedding.
- I’ve lost out on a substantial amount of money and am currently still waiting on any sort of assistance from the government.
- My mower died the other day.
- I’ve watched as social media, fear, and anger have turned my friends against my other friends. I’ve seen people lash out, accuse, and turn into monsters because of the fear in their hearts and the air of superiority that social media gives us.
- I know people personally and directly affected by the virus that have lost loved ones or have actually had the virus and fought it.
These are some shitty things–let’s just be honest. They range from everyday to existential. Right? That’s how it works. An everyday problem could easily send someone into a complete and downward spiral like their mower dying because of the fear of not having money to fix it because of their employment situation and it just continues from there. But let’s not dwell. Let’s move onto the positive and balancing moments of 2020.
Here are my 6 Positives
- I celebrated my 31st birthday, received gifts from friends, and had an amazing dinner on Zoom.
- I was able to postpone and reschedule my trips to Colorado and Utah for warmer months of the year. This could lead to even more beautiful images and better weather.
- My parents gave me a new riding lawn mower to replace my old push mower. I am so grateful and thankful for it.
- I’ve seen many people come together, share resources and helpfulness with one another. I’ve seen communities of strong people help uphold other people when they feel weak. I’ve learned more about my business this year and put more of my voice into it than I ever have. I’m finally coming into my own and with the future work, I will be unstoppable.
- I’ve organized my office into a very functional and clean space. We’ve torn out an entire largely overgrown flower bed in the backyard, replanted a smaller flower bed, and made many improvements around the home that just took a little time.
I appreciate the ability to see my friends and family even more. The freedom to travel when it’s safe and the joy that it brings me. I miss those things, yes, but I appreciate that I have had the opportunity to do them and will have that again as things begin reopening. I also know that the Coronavirus will not last forever and that there will be a light at the end of it all.
So here’s what we are doing to keep ourselves balanced during the coronavirus pandemic.
Acknowledge how you currently feel. Talk through it with your partner. Be honest, candid, and non-judgmental. Tune out the societal expectations and be real and raw.
- Write down what has bothered you most–list the negatives but don’t overwhelm yourself.
- List the positives and add an extra one or two in there to be extra grateful for and to help tip your scale back toward the positive.
- Get outside and go for a walk or a drive. Put the windows down and appreciate the great outdoors. Just because we’re not allowed to congregate doesn’t mean we have to seal ourselves indoors. This can be done safely and maintain social distancing.
- Reach out to someone you love and relate with them. We’re not alone and we’re not an island right now–or ever. We may not be in the same boat, but the sea is stormy and everyone’s feeling it. Some of us just have different boat styles and are affected differently.
If you need someone to talk to–never hesitate to reach out. Even though I can’t fix what’s happening, I can listen. Love you all,