With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) pandemic, we’re stressed out, uneasy, and feeling uncertain.
If you are feeling any of these feelings, know that you’re not alone.
As moms, we have to support a lot of people right now. But don’t lose track of what you need as well.
We’re all collectively going through a grieving process right now. We’re mourning for our former lives.
Even if that life was hard before the pandemic, we still miss the regularity of what life was like before.
We had more freedom. Some of us maybe had some more money coming in.
We were able to leave her house and had control over our lives before it was taken away pretty quickly for a lot of people.
You may be experiencing this feeling.
If you are expressing a heavy feeling, but can’t correctly pinpoint what it is. It’s probably grief.
It helps to put a name on the feeling that you’re having so that you can validate the emotion and know how to deal with those feelings as well.
Typically we associate grief with the loss of a loved one.
But you can experience grief right now if you have kids at home because they can’t go back to school. Or you’re furloughed or worst lost your job.
Because our world has been turned upside down, and there’s also a loss of control.
Because so much change has happened in such a short period, our brains haven’t caught up or processed everything that’s going on.
And as a result, acceptance hasn’t happened yet.
You may be fighting in your mind that this isn’t happening.
Just like losing a loved one, our brains have a hard time accepting the new reality that the person we love is gone.
With the recent pandemic, the freedom we once had was taken away for our safety.
There’s a mourning process that has to take place in addition to the acceptance of this new reality.
Once that happens, we can be open to how we can exist in this space as it is without fighting that reality.
You still have control.
Even though you may feel like you’ve lost control, you still have some control.
You have control over your routines.
Now that you don’t have a long commute to work, you can wake up a little later.
But still, keep a morning routine similar to what you once had.
Yes, you may have to adjust.
But keeping a routine is comforting and gives you a sense of control that you might have lost, especially during a natural disaster or national crisis.
Take time to feel your feelings.
If you need to, write it out. Get those feelings out by journaling.
Don’t try to suppress your feelings. The more that you suppress your feelings, the more it will build up and overwhelm you later.
So take time to allow your feelings to happen. Then breathe through it. And let it out.
You can let it out by meditating, journaling, crying, sitting in your car screaming. Whatever you need to do safely to get your feelings out.
During a time like this, you want to thoughtfully and mindfully respond. Don’t panic.
Panic is why the toilet paper rush happened.
It’s coming from a reactionary survival place we don’t need to be doing.
We don’t need to hoard all of the supplies that other people probably need.
Take a moment and breath. Then question the worry thoughts in our mind. And figure out slowly without reacting what you need to address.
For the moms that have pre-existing anxiety disorders, I believe everyone has had a glimpse of your world during this time. I see you.
Don’t forget your boundaries.
Be careful during this time to watch your boundaries.
Because everyone is home, there’s a lot of potentials to be taken advantage of or not say no. Especially when you want to say no.
Remember, it’s okay to say no during this time.
You don’t have to accept unfair, unhealthy, unsafe behaviors because we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
Decide where those boundaries are, and don’t lose sight of that.
Remember that we have been through uncertain times before.
Remember, SARS and the Zika virus. Also, the 2008 financial crisis, 9-11, and Hurricane Sandy.
There have been national times of uncertainty in the past, and we’ve come together and come through.
And so this is not the first or last majorly uncertain time that we’re going experience.
So these are great lessons to pull from and to plan for the future.
There will always be uncertainty in life. That’s a part of life and being a human. But you will get through it.
Rachel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a 200-hour yoga teacher.
She specializes in helping women manage and move beyond imposter syndrome and realize their power and self-worth through science-backed strategies to improve mental AND physical strength.
Rachel has been featured on Listen to Your Body with Steph Gaudreau, as well as Psychology Today and Bustle.
When she’s not leading meditations and yoga classes to help you discover your inner badass, you can find her making cookie dough balls or running with my dog.
Links mentioned in this episode
Related blog posts
- How to Live in the Moment to Help You Get Past Grief
- How to Provide Comfort When Going Through Tough Times
Check out the other episodes in the COVID-19 series.
- Managing Stress During Uncertain Times
- Practical Tips for Parenting When You Are Stressed and Overwhelmed
- How to Navigate the Conversation About Coronavirus with Your Kids
- Self-Care to Help Save Your Sanity During a Pandemic
- Tips for Managing Your Money During Hard Times
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