Times are hard right now. Many people have lost their jobs, some are fighting on the frontlines, and others are getting cabin fever while being at home. Regardless of what shoes you’re in, I think we can all say we are experiencing some hardships.
Personally, I haven’t had to stay home for longer than a few days at a time due to working in a hospital, but I feel for all of you that have been home for weeks now. With my husband being deployed, raising my newborn son alone, and working part-time during the middle of a pandemic, everything started to feel heavy.
I felt guilty for being sad because so many others were going through things far worse than I was. I hadn’t lost my job, I got to spend time with my son, and stay cozy in my home, so why was I feeling so low? It took me a few weeks to realize that I was starting to slip into postpartum depression. It felt like I was being consumed by the realization that I was alone during this time. My family lives 14 hours away, my husband is over seas, and your friends legally aren’t allowed to come over to help because of the ‘Stay at Home’ order.
I was going to work a few times a week and every time I left, I dreaded it. I was spending 13 hours away from my brand new baby and my heart broke a little more with every shift. Emotionally, I just wasn’t ready to go back to work. With everyone losing their jobs due to the pandemic, it felt like I should’ve been relieved to still have mine. That burden stayed with me for weeks. I shouldn’t have done that to myself because what I was feeling was valid. It still is.
The point of this is, regardless of the position you are in, your struggles are valid. Let me repeat that… Your struggles ARE valid.
Instead of carrying that guilt, I decided it was time to free myself of unnecessary burdens. So, for now, I will be soaking up the extra time I have with Henry Duke and finding joy in the midst of pain. Here are some tips that have been helpful for me in order to find the good during COVID-19.
- As soon as you wake up, name the things that you are thankful for. This has really helped me keep things in perspective. Mine goes a little like this: “Thank you God for my family, my job, and a safe place to live. I’m grateful for my good health, the food in my fridge, and the extra snuggle sessions with my pups.” Whatever it is that you are thankful for, remind yourself of it.
- Write down a list of things you hope to accomplish today. Keep it short and sweet! I felt like all of my days were running together and that I was getting nothing done which left me feeling useless. I found that doing this everyday has helped me look back on all that I had accomplished. Plus, nothing feels better than crossing off something on my to-do list! Here is an example of what my list was like: “Make the bed, take the dogs for a walk, make breakfast, pump for 20 minutes, shower, do a devotion, fold laundry.” Even though these tasks are simple, I felt much more productive knowing that these things are what I wanted to conquer each day.
- If you feel up for it, get ready for the day. This doesn’t always mean putting on nice clothes, doing your hair and makeup, and going out. For me, I will wash my face, brush my teeth, comb my hair, and put on some fresh clothes, even if it’s just a clean t-shirt and shorts. This is a simple way for me to feel like I’m slightly more put together.
- Get outside! This was one of the biggest factors that helped me get away from PP depression. It’s so nice to feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin while staying safe during these times. Staying inside for too long makes me go stir crazy, so getting some fresh air is crucial to my sanity.
- Moving my body, whether it’s going on a walk or working out, has been essential for me in order to feel grounded and strong. Being active is known to improve your mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. This is huge at any time in your life, but especially now with social distancing in place.
- Lastly, allow yourself to deeply process the emotions you are having. Give yourself some grace, sis! Things are hard and it’s okay to not be okay. Cry it out, eat some comfort food, and do what makes you feel better. Remind yourself that this is just a season of your life and that these hardships will pass. Even if you don’t believe it right now, they WILL! I don’t say this to dismiss your feelings of fear or stress, but just to offer comfort if you’re feeling like this will last forever.
Everyone is different and has their own methods of coping with hardships. I hope that you have found this to be helpful and encouraging. If you would like me to pray for you, please leave a comment down below so I know to do so! I would love nothing more than to speak God’s love over you. Know that my heart is with you, my friend. We will get through this!
Thanks for being here! Let me know what you thought. Talk soon!