With only a few months left of the year, many of us are still in a space of uncertainty. Staying grounded is a challenge in itself amid difficult circumstances. Personally, I am experiencing an enormous amount of unpredictability in major areas of my life. I am a high school teacher and a mother of a three-year-old who started Pre-K this week. Every day looks different as new information surfaces about our futures.
It has been overwhelming to completely relinquish control over plans, as I find comfort in routine. Finding ways to stay grounded myself in the midst of everchanging news has been challenging. Moving back into normalcy and routine during a pandemic, racial war, and political controversy can be draining for many of us. Even former first lady, Michelle Obama says she is suffering low-grade depression.
Mental Fatigue & Various Levels of Depression
Symptoms of depression can vary from anxiety, having a hopeless outlook, increased fatigue or issues getting good sleep, and losing interest in things you once enjoyed. Low to high depression is completely normal right now with the state of the world. This amount of change and doubt surrounding the future can be downright suffocating for the average person. It’s normal to be burnt out and unable to socialize due to overstimulation or fearful that you have no control over your life. If you’re terrified of contracting or spreading Covid-19, that’s also valid. Many of us are obligated to this new normal and have to return to work so we can sustain our livelihood. A loss of options can be incredibly stressful, but you are not alone Pretty Birds. There are so many resources available for the rollercoaster of emotion you may be feeling, so you can stay on top of your mental health.
School and Job Openings
I definitely have anxiety about returning to work and being exposed to coronavirus. I worry for myself as well as my family about this fatal infection. I am trying to find the silver lining daily, as I adjust to leaving my home and venturing into the world more frequently than I have in months. The pros of going back to work are being able to get dressed and have a purpose again. Staying inside has become just as depressing as being forced out. I am excited that my son will be able to socialize with children his age, and that he will experience school for the first time. What keeps me sane is my preventative care. I know that I am doing my part in staying as safe as possible. It brings me some relief to know that my chances of getting sick are scarce because of my precautions. That is my suggestion to you – if you have to get back out there, find a safety routine you can commit to and make you feel secure.
On top of worrying about our health, we are also undergoing an election we don’t go a day without hearing about. So much information is being presented to us about candidates, voting, and the state of our government system. As a Black American, there is a cloud of hopelessness surrounding the country. Having to continue on as a professional is difficult because there is so much negativity to process. Even when trying to stay busy and focused, there’s a heaviness that weighs me down most days. To combat my constitutional worries, I try to stay active and prioritize time with my loved ones. They are a reminder that life does still have beauty and love.
Ways to Stay Grounded
Staying grounded as we approach Fall is key to a worthwhile last chapter of 2020. I have been practicing gratitude and optimism to keep myself and others in a hopeful frame of mind. Some things I’ve been doing is exercising the options I do have! This makes me feel in control of my life. Being intentional about what I eat, what I wear, and how I spend my time has really helped me with staying centered.
I’ve been looking forward to the holidays and thinking of unique ways to celebrate with my family as we approach the unknown. It is important to build acceptance around the idea that things will never go back to how they were. Finding peace in change is a healthy way to cope with this reality. I can only be hopeful that someday we’ll look back at this year and be grateful we overcame.
It is important to note the resilience we are all displaying right now. The bright side of all this is seeing the way we have all come together and supported one another. If you are feeling hopeless, just remember we have each other. Right now, the best thing you can do is polish your perspective and stay open to receiving blessings.