Today’s big idea is that you might be feeling something that could be surprising, or even confusing. And that is some sadness that quarantine will end.
Listen to the Podcast Here
I honestly didn’t fully recognize that I was feeling this very thing until I was searching for a gif to include in my weekly podcast newsletter. (Which you can sign up for at beabetterpersonpodcast.com, just sayin’).
The one that jumped out at me shows a woman hugging her house with the words Quarantine Forever animated above and below her. And I had that zing of recognition that I was feeling that exact way. Sometimes you don’t know how you’re feeling until you see or hear something that rings as truth. Which is why I’m dedicated an episode to it today–in case you are feeling it too but not fully aware.
I mean, listen, I’m as excited as the next person to be able to go wherever, whenever
But at the same time, I’ve really enjoyed not being all that social. In fact, even though the weather is starting to get warmer and we can start gathering outside again, I really don’t want to. I’m sure I’ll get there some day but…
It’s been nice to be less on the go.
I’ve done a ton of de-cluttering.
And a ton of jigsaw puzzles.
And spent hours of quality family time that wouldn’t have happened if life had been ‘normal’.
It’s also been nice to have covid as an excuse to not do anything you don’t want to do
Whether that’s carpool or visit family or something else.
In addition to me, and whoever made that Quarantine Forever gif, I know there are other people who are feeling tender right about now. I’ve been reading posts on Medium about folks who found themselves during quarantine. One trans man who made the transition at home, without having to be out in the world and being called by a pronoun that tripped his wires. Also, chronically ill folks who have found comfort in not being the only ones to be housebound.
I just want to say that I know there are plenty of people who have not been feeling safe at home
And I know that humans are communal creatures and having relationships with friends, neighbors, acquaintances, family, requires shared activities and spaces. I’m not saying I want to stay home forever or that it’s the best way to be. And if you’re not feeling safe at home, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. That’s 800-799-7233. There is someone to listen and help.
I’m also not saying you SHOULD be feeling some form of end of quarantine blues. (And to be clear, as I record this Covid cases are rising and the importance of staying home more still matters as much as it ever did). Just that, if you are, you’re not weird, or wrong, or a social misfit. We may not have asked for quarantine, but there have been things to love about it. And it’s appropriate to feel the end of any phase as a loss. Just like when a baby starts walking. Yes, it’s exciting, but it also means the end of the time when they would stay where you put them. And it’s perfectly ok to grieve the phases that have passed. Not just OK, but important, as unexpressed emotions, including grief, don’t go away–the go to the basement and start lifting weights.
Maybe you’re not feeling the nearing end of quarantine as a loss
But it could be making you feel unsteady as our reality starts to shift. We’ve been telling ourselves for a year that we can’t see our isolated parents, or ride in a car with friends, and as we get vaccinated and these things become possible again it can be quite a mindbender to adjust to. It can make you feel unsteady, because it’s as if the ground is moving beneath your feet. A friend of mine described it as feeling shaky. You might find yourself wolfing down food you don’t even taste in an effort to give yourself some ballast.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your only tiny assignment for the day is just to notice how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling wistful or sad about the inevitable end of quarantine–whenever that happens–, or anything else, I suggest watching your favorite, most reliable tear-jearker movie, because crying is incredibly cathartic. You may not even fully understand why you’re crying and it’s ok, it will still help move some of that grief out of your body, the same way a good sweat releases toxins.
And if you’re feeling shaky or unsteady…
My two favorite ways to ground myself are to eat something warm and wet, like a bowl of oatmeal, or soup, or even drink a mug of ginger or peppermint or herbal tea. Lately I’m loving a red chai tea I bought at Trader Joe’s with a splash of half and half. The other thing that I swear helps so much is to lie on the floor–nothing like getting in touch with the actual ground to help you feel more grounded. Try it as a reset between activities, or at the end of the day before you get in bed.
If the unsteadiness you’re feeling is more like fear, again the National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 800-799-7233.
Thanks so much for listening, and have a great weekend. I’ll talk to you next week.