The weather these past few days lightened our moods. With colder temperatures and snow today we may slip back to a shared discontentment. A week ago the general agitation was palpable. Wide-ranging reactivity was pronounced. Small misunderstandings caused friction. And this was among strangers. Relationships have been strained. Most are not able to keep up with inflation. Families are under-resourced, overly tired, and living with ongoing exasperation. Those who live on their own have bouts of loneliness, especially because the difficulty in getting together with others while Omicron was at its height kept socializing at bay.
Distress seems to be the mood of the moment. It’s been tiresome to put plans on hold again and again. Reactivity is at an all-time high. Patience is worn thin. Frustration and annoyance are way too common. So many are at their wit’s end trying to figure out a way ahead.
For a good number there is a relief that the mask mandates have loosened. For others it adds a new layer of fear. There’s the fantasy that we’ll get back to normal. But we are not going back in many ways. Whatever is ahead of us remains to be seen. And that can be scary.
Though it may take a good amount of time to recover physically and emotionally from all we lost these last couple of years, we can find pockets of hope and joy in the present. Yesterday I was helped by a thoughtful salesperson at a hardware store. In a time when customer tolerance is more prevalent than customer service, his assistance brightened my day. Smiles from strangers have taken on a new worth. And the unexpected generosity of friends has been priceless. I will be taking in any and all acts of kindness Now more than ever those moments provide the light that moves us forward.
Rub your hands together until you create heat, then gently place them on your eyes. This can provide a soothing moment.
Sing yourself a lullaby at night to lovingly put yourself to sleep.
Try a new toothpaste. It will help awaken you in the morning since it’s an unfamiliar flavor.
I am in awe at the speed and dominance my emotions morph during the time of Coronavirus. I am moved to tears by the humanity I witness or hear about. Moments later I am immersed in fury for a perceived injustice. I am in love with my child and husband for their simple kindnesses, and then I am agitated when I turn the corner to see that some arbitrary chore or other wasn’t accomplished. My pettiness is astounding. My gratitude short-lived.
As an observer I find this fascinating. As the subject I find it disconcerting. More and more I’m hearing similar stories of unwielded emotional lability. By the week’s end I am exhausted. Too tired to be social or active. So I am resting more and more. I have found resting to be restorative. Prior to Covid-19, I thought resting was an obligatory lessening of activities when I hit a wall or got sick. No longer.
I am not a closet napper these days. Now I proudly nap, understanding the need for the down time. I hadn’t realized the array of my rigid beliefs until I had to set up new rules during the time of Coronavirus. All of a sudden I am making room for my widening range of emotional connection. I have eschewed the notion that getting the most things done is a winning strategy. And, I am throwing out plans right and left in favor of what works for me in the moment.
This has been a tragic time in our world’s history. And, though I recognize the losses we all have had to endure, I am also grateful for the gifts of this time. The difficulties that have come our way make it impossible to go on as before. I am unable to hide my less attractive features like my pettiness or judgments. I can see them upfront and personal. All I have to do is go for a walk to hear my thoughts; appreciating someone who raises their mask when passing, while silently cursing those who are not choosing to protect me and everyone else from the spread of Covid-19.
These are kneejerk responses. Later I may be able to find compassion, understanding everyone is doing the best they can. But I don’t always dwell there. So, I am using my ire to teach me. I’m not defending against the notion that I get angry or disparaging of myself and others. Instead I am learning about how and when those feelings present themselves and seeing if I can have patience for myself and others as we travel this unchartered territory on our own and all together.
Change the lighting to shift a mood. We get set in the way we light things. Yet, sometimes turning off a light or changing the bulb color helps to relax us. Conversely, bringing in more or altered light can provide an emotional lift
Expand your vocabulary. There is something singularly satisfying in learning new words. Word Genius brings new words to your email. There are also other platforms that are terrific.
Star Gaze. If you can, go out on a clear night a gaze up at the stars. You will see infinite possibilities which will be a lovely contrast from the limited options we presently have. If you can’t go out, then check NASA’s website for images or go to NOVA for images.
Light a candle. It’s so simple and can remind us that a small source of light brightens large spaces.
Add fresh herbs to the inside of your mask. One mint leaf or rosemary sprig on the inner side of the mask can make all the difference. If you don’t have fresh herbs, perhaps trying an essential oil or a light fragrance