Well, this is a post I didn’t see coming. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic (even if the old man at the bakery thought this was all being blown out of proportion last week, and the local chocolatier had her store open on the weekend, and the contractors are still working on my neighbour’s house) and most of us, if not all, are feeling anxious.

I’m feeling anxious and I’m not trying to fight it.

My US family and UK family are in lockdown. By the time I hit publish, Toronto could be in lockdown, too. One can only hope that’s the case because we need to get this virus under control now — not next week — and there are far too many people out there who think the recommended guidelines don’t apply to them.

But enough ranting. How are you doing?

It feels like a foolish question these days. I mean, we’re all doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances, right? But it’s not a rhetorical question. Drop me a line if you care to share.

Everyone’s talking about self-care right now.

And they’re right to. We need to look after ourselves as well as one another. We need to sleep well, eat well, wash our hands a lot, distance ourselves from others, and breathe as we reinvent ourselves according to the world of Corona.

This means finding new ways to connect with friends, coping with income loss, learning how to homeschool, caring for loved ones from afar, living in isolation like never before … giving and receiving fewer hugs.

If you think I’m trying to drag you into the depths of despair with this post, let me assure you, my goal is the complete opposite.

While I trust that something good will ultimately come out of this (I believe the Universe has a plan that I’m not privy to), I’m deliberately choosing to focus on the negative emotions we’re currently feeling because I believe they need to be felt.

With that in mind, I humbly offer you this for consideration…

It’s ok to feel anxious.

I know you don’t need my permission to feel anxious. Still, I wanted to clear this up, just in case you were under the impression you needed to fight it.

You don’t.

Manage it, yes. But fight it, no. If anything, fighting it will only serve to exacerbate your stress. As Noam Shpancer writes in Emotional Acceptance: Why Feeling Bad is Good (Psychology Today):

Telling yourself that a certain emotion is intolerable or dangerous traps you in constant vigilance regarding the very thing you’re trying to avoid…

Ignoring it isn’t the answer. Awareness is.

Imagine you’re driving down a one-way street and you suddenly see a car coming right at you. If you pretend it isn’t there, you’re in trouble. If you notice it and process it, however, you can take steps to manage it.

Your awareness puts you in the driver’s seat. The same applies to your feelings.

Only once you’ve acknowledged your feelings can you take steps to manage them. Those steps (whatever they may be for you) are essential to the self-care you owe it to yourself to practice in order to navigate the coming months with as much ease as possible.

So, no matter what you are feeling, embrace it, process it, and practice whatever measures you can to manage it. There is nothing wrong with you. You are simply experiencing emotional wholeness.

It’s all just part of the human experience, and we’re in it together.

Stay well and stay safe.

With love,

Viv for today xo

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