Here Are Your Permissions
Life has certainly changed over the past few weeks. I don’t know about any of you, but I wake up each day wondering what my mood will be. One day I’m productive and making my 349809834th batch of muffins, and the next I’m unshowered, napping twice a day, and the most energy I can muster is to lie on my bed in yesterday’s clothes and keep my eyes open to make sure my son doesn’t kill himself somehow. I never know which one it’s going to be.
Yesterday, I found out that there was a Starbucks open near me, so I took a walk and ordered my vanilla sweet cream cold brew with extra sweet cream that before this quarantine, I was able to get every day for many, many months. It won’t be an every day thing going forward (my wallet has liked the break), but it was important for me to do to refill my normalcy tank for at least another few days. Are there things like that for you?
Over the years, I’ve often simply needed to hear from others that it was OK for me to feel or act a certain way. This was because I constantly bombarded myself with messages of things I “should” be doing. “I should be able to get over this.” “I should be in ____ life position.” ” I should do this because it’s what everyone expects from me.” I’m thankfully past those days, but when situations that cause uncertainty and anxiety pop up, I can always use a reminder.
I put together some permissions for you in case you need to hear them as well during this time. They may seem silly, but you’d be surprised at how quickly we can get wrapped up into our own warped thinking and forget how to cut ourselves some slack.
The one thing I am NOT giving you permission to do is to be hard on yourself. Don’t “should” yourself. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s coping mechanisms. Learn what helps YOU feel more like yourself and do that. Self-flagellation has no place in an already tumultuous time. We are all doing the best we can.
You are allowed to eat
You are allowed to nap
You are allowed to throw yourself into work
You are allowed to slow down work
You are allowed to have mood swings
You are allowed to let things slide
You are allowed to have a (preferably non-destructive) distraction
You are allowed to bake all the things
You are allowed to cry
You are allowed to feel confused
You are allowed to ask for help
You are allowed to feel helpless
You’re allowed to not know how to process things yet
You are allowed to be upset/scared that you have to go into work even though others have lost their jobs
You are allowed to feel at-odds with your partner and need a break
You are allowed to feel overwhelmed with your children and need a break
You are allowed to gain weight
You are allowed to not exercise as much
You are allowed to simply get by
What other things would you add to this list?