We’re four months into this whole pandemic life and the long term reality of what’s to come and what’s transpired is sinking in. Deep. Hard. Tumultuous.
Here in the States, we’re seeing the stark reality of a “post-policy” style of governance. Power structures that refuse to create, implement or even pretend to govern by policy. And the result is a pandemic gone wild. Over 2 million covid19 cases, 116K+ deaths and counting, zero national policy to protect lives, a collapsing economy and a large segment of the population who is simply pretending there is no virus.
But I don’t want to dive into the politics, I’ll save that for my Patreon rage writing
. My goal with this newsletter is to explore situations and solutions.
And the situation I want to explore today is the IMPACT of everything mentioned in the above paragraph on our mental well-being.
Not gonna lie, this shit is deep. Some mornings it feels like I’m waking up with a lead blanket on my body and a mind stuck in a pea soup fog that won’t lift until I pour coffee all over it. Other days, I wake up and just roll into the day and it doesn’t hit me until I go to make my coffee and have to open up my “covid coffeeshop” on the front stoop, instead of heading to my favorite coffeeshop and seeing my community.
I miss friends. I miss smiles. I miss hugs. I miss the noise of vibrant coffeeshops. I miss humans– and I don’t normally like humans all that much. Introvert and all.
Simple tasks, like grocery shopping, are now an anxiety-ridden field trip filled with fear, exhaustion and judgment. Why aren’t you wearing a mask? Why are you standing so close to me? Why are you not following the rules that keep us all safe? Carrying that energy home and into the garage, where I spend 30 minutes wiping down all the food and wondering if I snagged the ‘Rona on this trip or not. The rest of my day is basically a wash. I head off into the interwebs and try to self-soothe by planning and plotting some sort of freedom-driven exodus where I throw all my money into bitcoin, erase my online footprint and go dark, all Mr. Robot like.
Yea, that’s my security blanket. Planning to go rogue, all expert hacker like. Only, I’m not bringing down the corporate overlords (though, I do applaud the Mr. Robots of the world who take that on) I’m simply trying to slip off the radar and find a tiny slice of reality in a place run and occupied by sane people who care about one another and believe that basic human rights should be covered, we should all have free health care and poverty shouldn’t exist. I get that those countries exist and I don’t have to go all Jason Bourne to move to one. In a few years, when my older pup has passed onto the big dog park in the sky and society can travel freely again, I will probably make a new home on a distant shore.
But we’re looking at the present. And the here and now, well, it’s dicey. I don’t really have actionable advice for this episode, except to say that it’s OK to not be normal right now. It’s OK to give yourself permission to feel the depression, to feel the anxiety, to feel the anger. It’s OK to buy a bag of Kettle Chips and a pizza to help process those emotions. And it’s OK to simply check out after going to the grocery store and get lost in your vices.
It’s OK to do all of those things and just try to make tomorrow a little better. Eventually, we’ll find a way through this whole chaotic shitshow and we’ll come out the other end, whole and resilient. Like that uber expensive coffee bean that comes from the shit of a civet. The beans extracted from the shit are some high dollar gourmet goodness that came from shit. Literally. That’s us. In 2022.
Until then, do any and all the things you need to do to get through each and every day. Yoga, meditate, Netflix and chill, panic scroll the twitters, read a book at noon, eat all the chips and then tackle that pizza. It’s OK.
Put the safety measures in place to give yourself the space to embrace those emotional crutches. When this pandemic started, my cravings for all the salty fried things kicked in, so I bought an air fryer. It helps. About a month into lockdown, when a little aid money flowed in, I invested in my go to herbal healing kit so I could eat my carbs and not have my immune system flee the building.
I stocked up on my medicinal mushrooms (all of them), restocked my juiceplus and added some new CBD strains into the mix. I also started buying more veggies to roast (god bless that air fryer) and splurged on herbal goodness from Mountain Rose Herbs. I knew that denying the emotional crutches would impact my already flailing mental health during this time, so I back stopped the bad effects through nutritional support. So far, so good.
Point being, be kind with your mental health right now. Be compassionate with yourself and simply allow yourself to have shitty days. When the shitty days outweigh the good ones, take a step back and see if you can “hack” something to help the good days outweigh the bad.
But know this, we’re all having shitty days with you. And, those of us engaged in reality and not ignoring this virus or the social distancing measures necessary to keep our communities safe, will get through this collectively. We will still be here at the end of this chaos and, fingers crossed, we’ll help build a society that counter balances all the shit I mentioned in that second paragraph.