We are living through a collective trauma together. And yet you feel… ok. You feel weird about it, even guilty. Shouldn’t you be freaking out or something? Is there something wrong with you that you aren’t sad, anxious, or on edge? Are you lacking a heart like some kind of a sociopath? Are you in denial?
I guess that’s possible – I don’t really know you after all. But honestly, most likely? No. Instead, I’m guessing it’s one or more of these reasons:
- You’ve been anxious your whole life and this feels like a relief, the crisis you’ve been afraid of is here and you are surviving. Your nervous system feels better than it has in years.
- You are introverted and feel relieved at the lowered social expectations and obligations. The amount of socializing you are doing feels right, you’re able to visit for shorter periods of time on zoom calls, instead of being stuck at a party for hours when you only wanted to be there for 45 minutes. You have more one-on-one or small group convos and fewer big meetings and no crowds.
- You feel less alone. Everyone around you is now anxious and worried, they way you have felt your whole life. You finally feel validated, normal,
If you are feeling more or less fine right now, it really is OK to use this time to do something for you. Of course you want to and should help others — talk to your anxious friends, check on lonely family, volunteer to shop for elderly neighbors, whatever you are comfortable doing. And then, take care of you. Read, do art, cook, bake. Talk about your deep stuff in therapy. You don’t have to use your therapy sessions to talk about the pandemic, and you don’t have to feel guilt about processing your childhood wounds during this crisis time. If you are not in crisis, then use this time and space to dive into your long-term work. Trust me, your therapist will be thrilled to talk about something aside from COVID anxiety!