Recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused all of us to reset our lives to a “new normal.” This new lifestyle, of course, brings up all kinds of emotions and feelings. You might even feel unsure whether it’s okay to have these feelings.
Rest assured that these are normal things that you might experience during this time. This caliber of an event is something that hasn’t happened for over a hundred years. That means we are all struggling with adjusting, in one way or another, to this new reality.
Take a look at how emotions like anger, regret, grief, and others are both typical and to be expected during this tough time.
It makes sense if you are feeling angry right now. This pandemic is a situation that nobody expected in modern history. You might have had big plans to take a trip with the kids. Or perhaps, your entire daily routine has been turned on its head. We often feel anger when we experience sudden changes that we weren’t expecting.
Along with anger is grief. You mourn that you can’t do the things you typically do or were hoping to accomplish. Make no mistake about it; you are experiencing a loss. Thus, it’s reasonable to be grieving for the past.
It’s hard to believe that only a few months ago, you were going to work every day and hanging out with friends on the weekends. But now, there is a new reality that we all must face.
Maybe you thought that you had lots of demands on your life before coronavirus. Now it seems like you can’t catch a break. Your boss is messaging you all the time about projects, and the kids are driving you nuts because they are bored. Plus, the house is a mess, and you haven’t even touched your running shoes in weeks.
We want to feel competent and in control, but this virus is causing a lot of us to feel the opposite — inadequate. Keep in mind; you are not alone. A lot of people are feeling this way too (even your boss).
Besides feeling inadequate, all of those pressures could be causing you to feel overwhelmed, as well. Who wouldn’t be? All of your daily stressors have now been pulled together into one box (your home).
On top of that, there is the weight of the coronavirus bearing down from above. Even in your free time, when you unwind, you start drifting to news stories on your phone about the pandemic. It feels never-ending.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you might not be feeling anything at all. You are numb, emotionally withdrawn, and disconnected. This response often occurs with those who have experienced trauma. And make no mistake about it, this event is traumatic. Even if you are physically safe in your home, the pandemic is reaching every corner of the globe.
There’s no clear answer as to when all this is going to end. It could be months before a vaccine is found, and much longer before it is available to the public. You wonder how long you will have to stay isolated from those you love.
Will there be enough food at the grocery store. And what about toilet paper? You might be catastrophizing by thinking that this will never be over. However, all pandemics end, but it may take more time before we have seen this through.
In moments like these, you might find yourself looking back at your life. Were there choices that you made that you now regret? Have you been taking stock of things, and finding that your life maybe isn’t as fulfilling as you once thought it was?
This thought pattern is understandable if you have regrets, but that doesn’t mean you are powerless. You can start now to reset your life by shifting values and beliefs about what’s important and what isn’t.
You are experiencing a lot of emotions due to this crisis. Counseling will allow you to feel those emotions freely, without being judged. Also, it’s a chance to gain some perspective, and to even be kind to yourself. It helps to have someone validate that what you are experiencing is normal and expected, given the current circumstances.
These emotions and feelings are normal things you might experience due to COVID-19. Giver yourself a break, and permission to experience these things. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a therapist who understands complex and confusing emotions, as well.
With years of experience supporting people in challenging situations, I want to help you. Please reach out to me today or visit my page on depression counseling to learn more.