Right now, you’re likely experiencing emotions you didn’t know you had or emotions on a new level. While it’s admirable to try and push past them or ignore them when they surface, it’s not realistic. Emotions are there for a reason. In order for you to truly feel okay during this season, it’s important to not only acknowledge them but to also allow yourself to experience them. I like to call this giving yourself “emotional permission.”
Identifying Your Emotions
While we are all in this together, we are still trying to understand how to navigate life in this “new normal.” There may be a lot of thoughts, feelings or emotions that are coming to the surface that feel overwhelming, scary or unlike you. Instead of running away from them, give yourself emotional permission. Try to see them as an opportunity to grow. Growth can be painful but on the other side of growth is another level of freedom.
Have you left your house just to get outside and try to do something that makes you feel normal only to come back feeling worse off than before? Why does that happen? What is that? Everyone around you is feeling the same exact way you are. We’re all longing to connect with each other in ways that the virtual world can’t provide.
Think about this:
When you go somewhere and people literally back away from you or you feel anxious when you have to pass someone, how does that make you feel? Rejected? Isolated? Fearful?
Doesn’t it make you want to run home and hide? Of course it does!
Think about a time whenever you’ve had to interact with someone who is negative or makes you feel like you’re walking on egg shells. It’s exhausting! It can literally drain you of your energy so much so that when you’re finished meeting with them, you feel like you can’t get anything else done.
In that situation, you can at least mentally prepare yourself ahead of time. But with COVID-19, you don’t know what to expect so you can’t exactly prepare yourself in the same way.
You feel like you should be more productive with your days, but you just can’t seem to produce what you set out to create each day.
So, how can you handle feeling unproductive and stagnant right now?
Let yourself come up with a completely new definition of productivity. Did your past version of productivity allow you to hide behind the busyness of life and ignore what truly mattered to you?
It’s not an excuse to do nothing and hide. It’s an invitation to approach your day differently from a place of emotional permission.
Instead of looking back at how you used to do things and feeling guilty about it, focus on what brings you joy in your current circumstances.
Before, productivity may have looked like getting up at 5 am, hitting a super intense workout class, taking lunch you prepped the night before, listening to a motivational podcast on your drive to work, and getting there half an hour early to get ahead on next week’s project.
Now, it may look like getting up at 5 am to do a shorter bodyweight workout so that you can have quiet time with a hot cup of coffee, all before making a big breakfast for your entire family that you get to enjoy together.
No, you may not burn 1,000 calories. Yes, you may linger at breakfast. No, you may not get ahead on a project due next week, but in the long run, what matters most?
What would happen if you give yourself emotional permission to be okay with where you’re at right now – in this moment?
Let yourself off the hook
Take today as an invitation to acknowledge where you’re at, to give yourself permission. Truly face the new and different levels of emotions that are coming up. Establish a completely new normal.
Let go of the expectations and see this moment in time as a chance. Get excited about establishing a routine, a lifestyle, or a set of beliefs that you’ve never been able to have before.
Remember, being willing to speak up about your fears means they lose their power over you. Let those feelings of uncertainty drive you forward and towards others who need hope. Being vulnerable empowers others. Who needs your vulnerability today?