I honestly thought I’d be blogging a ton since COVID-19 began. Writing is therapeutic to me, so it makes sense that I’d be penning my emotions as quickly as they’ve been changing—every day, sometimes every hour.
But I haven’t been in the mood to write. I know it’s not a big deal, it really doesn’t matter. But then why does it bother me? Why do I feel guilty for not being able to gush my thoughts out during this global pandemic?
Expressing my feelings in writing is an overwhelming task that I just haven’t wanted to tackle.
In mid-March, when this got all-too real and we were on lockdown, I was paralyzed by fear and uncertainty, barely able to process what was going on. Maybe my history of anxiety and panic disorder made it worse. Or maybe this is what everyone was feeling.
I kept thinking how strange it was that the entire world was totally united by this ravaging disease.
When a community goes through a disaster (such as my city of Thousand Oaks, CA did during a mass shooting and devastating wildfires), the rest of society feels terrible about it. People you don’t even know are praying for you and your town.
But this is so different. Every single person in the world has been affected by the pandemic. Not in my wildest dreams would I ever believe that our lives would abruptly halt.
Life as we know it, ceased to exist.
Drastic measures—like quarantine, social distancing, and wearing masks—have helped us save each other from this deadly virus. Which truly is, a beautiful thing. Staying home, not just for our own health and safety, but for the health and lives of people we don’t even know.
I’ve finally figured out why I haven’t wanted to write about the virus. Writing is too personal. I’ve looked for ways to escape reality, not delve into it.
So instead, I’ve chosen things that feed my soul, that are good for my mental health. Like…
- Revising a manuscript. I know, this is writing. BUT, it’s middle grade fiction and is a wonderful escape from reality
- Yoga in my family room or back yard
- Video chatting with friends
- Cooking with my daughters
- Playing board games with my family
- Taking lots of hikes in the mountains (until the state and national parks were closed), walking in the neighborhood
- Riding our exercise bike
- Deep breathing and meditating
- Painting my nails
- Reading books and magazines
- Painting my daughter’s bedroom, which motivated me to now paint our master bathroom
- Decluttering. I’ve done a bit, much more ahead
I’m doing my best to cope. It’s amazing how many emotions have been swirling around, different from day to day. Scared, frustrated, angry, sad, and stressed.
But I’ve also found joy and happiness in this “new normal.” For the most part, life is simpler, quieter, less frazzled. Time to slow down and appreciate life.
I know I’m not alone. We’re in this together and we WILL get through it. And you know what? I do feel better that I’ve written this down.
Take care, and stay safe and healthy,