Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.
Author: Center for Change
If you told me 6 months ago that a pandemic would basically bring the US and much of the world to a grinding halt, I would never have believed it. Of course I believed in infectious disease and I knew that certain viruses can spread very quickly and I knew how bad the flu could be. But something that would close Disneyworld? Las Vegas? NYC? Couldn’t even fathom that. I’m not sure anyone could.
Even as little as 3 months ago, I hardly gave Covid-19 a second thought.
Of course that has all changed. We are all adjusting to a new normal and if I am honest, some days I am better than others. Some days I fall apart. Some days I just get by.
First of all, I wholeheartedly acknowledge my privilege. I am healthy, no known risk factors for Covid-19. I have the ability to isolate in my home and still work. I have a job so I have money coming in. I can buy food and supplies. I’m not alone. My husband and I are going through this together. My parents are nearby and are healthy. My home is a safe space. I am not part of a marginalized group. I’m not struggling with serious health problems or an addiction or an eating disorder. I have a doctor who knows me and will meet with me via telehealth.. If I needed a test, I could probably get one. I am lucky in many ways and I acknowledge that.
Secondly, AAANNND I am scared. I am anxious. I am sad. I am angry. I am devastated at seeing/hearing about all the suffering in the world right now. I am stir crazy. I want to help and I don’t know what to do. I feel guilty for wanting to get out of my house…for wanting life to be normal when for so many people it’s never going to be normal. Often I can’t even articulate a specific reason for my anxiety. Then I feel shame about the feelings because of all the privilege I mentioned. So many people have it so much worse.
I have to daily remind myself. However you are doing or not doing…it’s ok. All the feelings are ok. Give yourself some grace. No one knows how to do this. At the very beginning of my quarantine, I made a list of the things that stressed me out and the things that brought me peace/joy. I tried to create a daily action list that minimizes the stress and accentuates the peace. Here is my daily list:
- Limit my news and social media consumption.
- Journal/READ/ listen to music
- Reach out to a friend or family member every day
- Do something outside: sit on my patio, go for a walk, work in my yard, go through and organize old pictures
These are the things that keep me going right now and remembering we are all going through this together. I encourage you to make your own list. Keep it simple and doable. It shouldn’t feel like a to-do. Look forward to it. We all need things to look forward to right now. This is going to pass. Hold on. I hope this helps until then.