Navigating Through Our Emotions (Re: COVID-19) – Part 2

Part 2 of 2

Most of us are waiting in long lines to buy groceries, seeing streets with less cars, and people all around with face masks on. We’re staying a minimum of 6 feet away (if the order is being obeyed). It’s like we’re seeing ourselves in a movie, but no, it’s reality! And WOW, we must wonder – what happens now?

It seems that nobody knows what will happen next because this is something new and every day something else new is discovered about it. The uncertainty of the future runs through your mind and body and you think; “what have we come to! And how?” You may also think; “how badly have we behaved as a society to get to this point?”

You could choose to feel guilty about it. Not only because the COVID-19 pandemic was spread by our own species (humans), but also because of an idea. The idea that you didn’t value your freedom or the simple landscapes of nature that surround you, may pass through your mind. And the next day, for the same reason, you may feel happy to finally give the Earth the break it really needed it. Now the earth has opportunity to regenerate from all the damage humans have done to it.

At the same time, the quarantine days and the time of taking care of yourself and others seems longer. Many businesses and large companies begin to be affected and you start to watch or read the news more. You listen to all kinds of things on social networks and feel confused about what to believe or not believe about the situation.

You start to hear that people you know have had their wages reduced, given unscheduled vacations or even lost their jobs. You also realize that economically you’re receiving less. And the news tells you that this economic crisis is irreversible, and the quarantine continues to lengthen it. All this produces a little more anxiety, and in a more noticeable way.

That said, your attention is now scattered across many duties. Cleaning, cooking, eating, working, physical and mental care (for yourself and others) must all be attended to. You don’t want to neglect your relationships with others. You feel the need to stay in touch through social media (although its content is often distracting and not beneficial). Additionally, the overall economic and health situation prompts a mixture of emotions related to uncertainty.

Moreover, you find yourself navigating through waves of emotions, with highs and lows, eager to be the best you can be. You feel the need to discover yourself in this “new normal while at the same time, you feel the necessity to slow down and rest more, to do less. But nothing slows down, in fact, every day something new comes up. You realize that you are losing energy and that you feel exhausted from simply thinking and doing things that you have always enjoyed.

Keep in mind while navigating through this that you are not alone with those emotions. There is nothing wrong or strange with you and how you feel, nor is there any reason for you to think that there is. These emotions do not define or govern you. You are not your thoughts nor your emotions, you just choose to entertain them. So, observe them instead of avoiding, ignoring, or rejecting them, and stay with those that are useful for this new way of living. And yes – you need to do something! Begin by creating the way you want to live, starting now. Resist looking through pictures from your past or projecting ideas onto a future that doesn’t yet exist.

You may have to relax your sense of control of situations or people that are external to you. Instead, take control of what does belong to you, and what is that, you might ask? It’s assuming the responsibility for your decisions, your acts, and the ability to handle your motion (emotions). Put your spirit back in charge and let it be the boss. We can always decide whether to stay with some emotion or thought and then create our future by taking charge of the present.

Please be aware that if you feel alone, it helps to talk with someone. Talk about your feelings and stay in communication with others, technology is helping with that. Many people are experienced and can help in these difficult times.

If you feel like losing your patience, open your door and take some deep breaths, practice Pranayama for a few minutes. Set aside a time to do more than just work or household chores, do something that really makes you happy.

Remember also, as you navigate through different thoughts and emotions that no state or situation is permanent or really persists in the physical world. Let your spirit regain control.

Written by Melisa Serna Medina (Peru)