Here Are Your Permissions - Erin's Inside Job

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?

7 comments on “Here Are Your Permissions

  1. Great post at a great time. It has taken me years and years to allow nice things for myself. Nice things that I enjoy that are not self punishing or really just work. I love that you touched on needing to get the “ok” from others for your feelings. I can absolutely relate to that too. I have struggled a lot with insecurity and needing permission from others to rest, watch a movie, or just be. I guess my worthiness was dependent upon hustling, working, exercising, and just taking things to the extreme. Deep down I wanted that permission to allow myself a break. I’ve been working hard for a while now at just letting myself find joy in rest or whatever it is that my intuitive voice is telling me. I find I still get a lot done anyway! It’s just a great balance. But my tendency is to go back to self punishing behavior so I really appreciate this post.

  2. I needed this. I packed up my husband and dogs to head to our remote camp North Maine woods for some much needed R&R. Being a nurse during this time has been confusing, challenging and overwhelming at times. I know we are all in the same boat. I remind myself of this daily. That’s what getting me through. Oh, and stretchy pants. (gosh I miss the gym) There will be life after the storm, we will be together again, we will prevail. Thoughts go out to you and yours.

    1. Same to you. That’s tough and I’m sorry that you’re going through this. Also – THANK YOU for your work 🙏🙏

  3. Your description of being super productive one day and exhausted and depressed the next is spot on. This is such a difficult and unknown time and lack of routine and normalcy is harder than I ever thought it could be. Thank you for this post and affirming that its okay to feel however you feel ❤

    1. Totally agree. It’s so confusing. It’s always good to here those affirmations – your feelings are valid!

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