Whatever you’re feeling, it’s totally okay.


 

Is this really happening? I keep having to double check. I find myself constantly second guessing myself – and second guessing what’s going on out there.

It’s spring. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and while I was having my morning coffee on the back deck by the fire pit… everything felt so normal. For a long moment I totally forgot we’re in the middle of pandemic and a global crisis.

Then it struck me, that hit of anxiety out of nowhere that must happen something like 17 times a day, that everything is NOT OKAY out there.

I check myself: I’m okay.

Everything is okay, I’m fine, I’m safe, I’m okay in this moment right here and now ~ and I relax again, then get back to my usual (new) routine.

It’s like living in a nightmare you can’t wake up from. Meanwhile, everything appears and even feels perfectly normal. But it’s most definitely not…

Coronavirus Quarantine 2020

I’m somewhere between still being in total shock, and a place of peaceful acceptance.

With a million little feelings in between.

It’s all so unsettling, and even more so… because there’s no end in sight, just a lot of unknowns, and a deep sense of unease that I cannot shake.

Whatever you’re feeling, it’s totally okay.

Are you anxious, angry, disappointed, worried, fine, annoyed, sad, concerned, lonesome, crowded, frustrated, scared, calm, out of sorts, safe, stir crazy?

Do you feel cheated, punished, tricked, guilty, confused? Do you have trouble sleeping, feel like sleeping all the time, have endless energy and zero focus to put that energy to good use?

Are your faith and trust dwindling and your reality crumbling so fast you don’t know what to hold onto or believe in anymore?

Some of these feelings might seem grossly misplaced, yet you feel them anyway, which just evokes even more feelings you can’t shake…

It’s enough to make your head spin and keep you in a constant state of unrest, with brief breaks of feeling just fine and forgetting that the sky is falling…

Followed by another bout of disturbing emotions you can’t sort through logically because they’re all thick and entangled.

.SO.MANY.LAYERS.OF.EMOTIONS.

Maybe you just feel a little uneasy. Maybe you haven’t yet defined all the nuances and layers of that nagging little feeling that’s slightly unsettling, and you brush it off and keep going about your day.

If that’s the case, I sorta envy you. 😉

I have regrets. I have guilt too. I’ve felt a lot of anger. I have bouts of extreme anxiety, and a lot of calm easy days.

I regret procrastinating on that dentist appointment. That was kinda important.

I feel guilty when I feel good or happy or when I’m having a good day. 🙁

I feel relieved that my schedule is totally cleared, and guilty for feeling that relief, and even more guilty when I think of the people working triple time in high-stress situations while I’m safely working from home.

I depend on them. They depend on me (us) too – to stay home, to make their job easier. Somehow it doesn’t seem like that’s doing enough, but I know I’m doing what I should (staying home).

Then I find my mind wandering to all of the “non essential people” and how that must feel: to be labeled as and told you are non essential, and another wave of deep sadness for all of humanity sets in.

Spring 2020 Pandemic

Almost 8 Weeks of Self Isolation

How much longer will it be before I feel safe going out? What will happen next? What can I expect for the rest of spring – and what about summer and fall?

Questions I don’t have answers to.

I put off so many things “until Spring” that I think I literally spent the entire last half of fall and all of winter saying, “come Spring, I will.”

I was busy…

Busy with what? Looking back, I can’t even recall. Obviously nothing nearly as important as it seemed at the time…

I miss my usual Spring life: my waterfall hikes, feeling my bare toes in the cold river, exploring the trails and admiring the fresh new blooms that promise amazing summer adventures are right around the corner.

No, I haven’t been hiking. The trails & waterfalls and State Parks were all flooded with people once they were sent home. I don’t blame them – they needed to get out!

But that was the last place to “avoid crowds” – and then Tennessee shut down all the state parks & natural areas for safety.

Safety… hmm, outside – anything outside the perimeter of my own walls – feels anything but safe to me right now.

On a positive note, staying home for so long has me falling in love with my home all over again!

I’m happily working on some home improvements in my downtime ~ painting, organizing, rearranging, updating, tending plants, home decor… and loving it!

Mostly I can order anything I need online, but I did need to go out and do a curbside pickup at a hardware store week before last. The man who brought my order out (some painting supplies) got WAY too close for my comfort…

That would have been the case without a killer virus spreading through the community. I’ve always been a fan of social distancing. 😛

I almost felt like he did it just to rattle me. It worked. 🙁

For now I’m sticking to what I can delivered only, including groceries dropped at my front door – which is worth the extra cost and generous tip to me.

Because no, I do not yet feel safe going out.

I miss sitting by waterfalls on beautiful spring days, yes – but they’ll wait for me. They’ll be there when I’m ready to venture back out.

In the meantime, Slim (my great dane) and I are exploring our own yard… in great detail together. ☘️🐾🐾

That’s kind of nice too. 🙂

How has this changed you, affected you, your lifestyle, your family?

I have been working online and from home for just over 23 years, so besides my usual frequent travel and weekly hiking adventures… my daily life has not changed that much.

Except now I have to cook and/or eat at home for every meal. 😉

That’s been kind of fun though! I’m getting creative in the kitchen. 👩‍🍳🍳

I know for many other people (most, I imagine) there have been dramatic changes, and a lot to shuffle and accommodate and get used to.

I would love to hear YOUR story, and your situation…

Have you discovered or realized anything interesting about yourself during this time?

What things have you changed, what new things have you started, or what are you doing differently than you were before this coronavirus took over?

I’m learning to effectively deal with stress and emotions.

I’m experimenting with a combination of Grace + Tough Love on myself, because I definitely need to focus on self care through all of this… but I also need to continue living my life and moving forward in all the ways I can.

Oddly, I’ve become MORE social through this exercise in social distancing. I feel like I see people in a whole new way.

Conversations matter more, and touch me more deeply.

I’ve always kept to myself in this small town, but now… when my groceries are delivered, I find myself having a friendly chat with lots of smiles through my glass door with the lady on the other side so kindly dropping off my order.

A feeling of disconnect has been lifted. I’ve always kinda lived in my own bubble, tuning out the noise of the world and of life outside whatever’s in front of me.

Now… I feel this deep loving connection to all of humanity coursing through me, in a pensive sort of way, some weird sense of sorrow and love and hope that connects us all. 💞

What ripple effect will this have on you as a person?

Have you thought about that yet?

I think about it a lot…

It’s going to be awhile before things go back to normal… or we create some new sense of normal.

What will that look like?

Will you want to go to concerts and sporting events again? Will you feel comfortable boarding flights and traveling? Do you think you’ll go back to shaking hands and hugging? Will you attend big events – or feel comfortable eating in bustling restaurants full of strangers again at some point?

I’ve become “people phobic.” Like everyone and everything is poison. It makes simple things like a fun easy walk to the river… anxiety inducing.

I don’t mind staying home, I’m rather enjoying that part (for now) but my mind & body don’t like to think beyond these perimeters (yet).

I’m curious too, how this might change me… and feel a tinge of sadness when I think about it, and mostly when I think about the things I’ll miss – things that were such a big part of my life before.

What do you think you’ll do differently going forward?

Coronavirus Shutdown 2020

With the struggle between a global pandemic and highly contagious virus, and economies crashing around the world, tough decisions are being made – and they’re being made fast.

I realize this is a very polarizing topic, and one everyone feels strongly about, depending on their specific circumstances and viewpoints.

I also realize the need to find SOME solution – one that hopefully lessons the burden and loss, instead of amplifies it.

I feel hopeful that there are ways to make that happen.

Even still, what’s done is done, and the last 4-6 weeks will have a deep ripple effect on our economy, on our supply chain, and on us as people – for a good year or two to come, at best.

I’m curious…

If the stay home order / lockdown is lifted in YOUR area, how comfortable are you with going back to the way things were before this pandemic began?

Are you anxious to go back to work?

Are you feeling anxious or uncertain about the risks of returning to work?

Will you be first in line to get a haircut, hit the gym, go enjoy brunch with friends? Or will you hang back a bit and see how things unfold first?

There is no right or wrong answer.

There are positives and negatives both ways, and they’re tough to weigh out. Especially when we have such limited (!!) information and data to go on.

I just wanted to open the discussion, hear your story, and give us a space to talk things out together.

Your comments here can be totally anonymous if you just want to leave a comment with your first name only, or your initials. Your email address won’t show – it’s only used to notify you of replies as this discussion unfolds.

As for me, I’m planning to stay in for awhile longer and feel things about for a bit.

I feel very fortunate to have that as an option, given I was already working from home. That’s not the case for everyone (insert another hit of displaced guilt here)… *sigh*

Here in Tennessee they are starting to re-open the state parks and natural areas, which means I can get out hiking again if I choose.

I’m not sure yet if I will choose to do that anytime soon, or wait awhile.

But I do know that when I *do* go… it will be during the quietest days and quietest hours, where I’m least likely to run into throngs of other hikers & outdoor enthusiasts (you know: PEOPLE).

Another tinge of sadness just hit me.

I used to love running into fellow hikers and exchanging smiles as we passed on narrow trails.

It’s some beautiful mix of ME TIME and social time.

I often come across couples or families trying their best to take a selfie and also capture the landscape or waterfall in the background. I always stop and offer to take the photo FOR them, which is friendly and fun and appreciated. 🙂

I can’t see myself getting close enough to do that again anytime soon, walking forward and reaching for the phone they’re handing me with a smile of thanks – considering that phone may just be carrying a killer virus that transfers from their hand to mine. 🦠😳

For now, if I *must* go out for some very important reason, I’ll make it quick and touch nothing and cover my face. 😷

That’s just my current situation and state of mind… and I have a peaceful acceptance about it, laced with a trace of sadness and longing.

When I think about the PURE JOY that I felt at concerts, shoulder to sweaty shoulder with my fellow fans all singing along to our favorite band, and that overwhelming sense of belonging even in a dark room full of strangers… my heart sinks, wondering if I will ever (EVER) experience beautiful feelings like that again. Or if I will ever want to.

Surely so, someday…

What about you?

For now… whatever you’re feeling, it’s totally OKAY. This is new and scary and unsettling and everyone is figuring out how to deal with it.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 💝

We’re all in this together.

Best,
Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler



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About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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8 Responses to Whatever you’re feeling, it’s totally okay.

  1. Kerry says:

    Hi Lynn,
    I enjoyed reading your ponderings today. I don’t think people always remember to take the time to reflect. We are experiencing history in the making, and I think it is important that we all record what is going on. I, as I have mentioned before, am a healthcare worker. I am not on the front lines, by any means, but I work on a psych unit. We are considered a “low risk area”. So, we have to wear a mask inside the hospital, but I really think that is so that people believe we are “doing something”. One of the nurses I work with has had to tell several patients to not cough in our face, cover up, turn around, etc. Some of them are so mentally sick that they cannot begin to pay attention to that sort of thing. We have tried to make moves to separate people in the day room and during groups, but is that really effective? I think about where they have been before I have to get close to them to wrap a blood pressure cuff around their arm. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, so like many people I put it out of my mind. I have to work, my patients need me.
    What really surprises me is how many people I see, when I stop at the grocery store after work, that really just don’t care. This morning there were two young girls, no masks, with a young baby in the grocery cart, also no mask. One of those girls could have stayed home with the baby while the other one went to the store. I read articles about how African Americans are dying of this illness in droves, yet I see African Americans out and about, no masks, no social distancing. I drove up to the grocery store one morning and watched as 3 people stood inches from one another smoking. I posted on my Facebook that morning that smoking does not prevent corona virus. (ha ha)
    I do what I think most of us must do. I do the best I can. I kept my distance from the baby, though other people did not, but I figured if that baby gets sick at least I will know that it wasn’t me that made him that way. I wipe down all the surfaces at work I can. I am likely the only one that cleans the blood pressure cuff and machine between each patient Otherwise I just try to carry on like normal. I knew when this all began that when spring began and the economy was getting worse that Americans were NOT going to stay inside. I knew that Americans want what they want, when they want it and they are not going to stand for less. I feel like people don’t care that so many people have died, especially if it wasn’t someone close to them. I also feel like people figure it is mostly the poor in urban areas dying so they don’t care. There is a division in this country that was already felt with the political parties arguing so viciously, but now we are divided by who values life and other humans and who does not. Half our country believe we should be kind to each other and supportive and the other half thinks only of themselves and their lives. I get angry at times and frustrated that so many people are either apathetic or even aggressively hateful.
    I just try to keep in mind that I choose how I react to each situation and I have always vowed to not let the negativity change me. I will continue to be kind. I will continue to care. I will do my part the best that I am able. I really think that is all we can do. I will also remember to find joy in my children and husband. I will enjoy my garden. I will look at the moon when I drive to work at night. I will dance in the car to the music on the radio and sing at the top of my lungs. I will care for my patients with love and understanding. I refuse to let the fear and negativity into my heart and soul. I will also above all else STAY KETO!! (ha ha)

  2. Edith says:

    I have been thinking a lot about your post and decided to put in my experiences since they mirror a lot of what you describe but for different reasons.

    I am 68 and no longer working but almost 2 years ago my husband had a stroke that totally changed my life. I went from being very active with hikes, yoga and traveling and meeting friends to being isolated at home caring for a disabled spouse. In a way, it has prepared me for the crisis we have today. I went through the grief, anger, anxiety, etc. and uncertainty that we are facing today. The adjustment to staying at home is not much different in how I was living anyway. That doesn’t mean I don’t have concerns because I do and I also have waves of worry about exposing my husband who has medical issues and is over 70. I am taking precautions. My daughter has been picking up groceries and my husbands prescriptions so that helps a great deal. Most of the time I am still very happy and peaceful because I had to change my life when I became a caretaker. I have hobbies and I meditate daily. I can’t stress enough the importance of meditation. My husband has not improved as much and as fast as I hoped but he was making some progress at gaining a little independence before this pandemic. I was able to leave for a few hours so now I can’t do that.

    I too am confused at the conflicting information. I try and research from a lot of sources and approaches. My main focus is keeping my immune system as strong as possible in order to help it heal should I become infected.
    I use supplements, get out in the sun daily when possible and work in the yard. Of course sticking to a low carb lifestyle is very important now more than ever!

    Thanks for all your posts. You help keep me on this lifestyle. I also like your honesty about everything. It truly helps all of us to realize we are on this journey together!! Be safe!

  3. Helga Culbert says:

    Hi Lynn, my experience has been different. Living in Florida, the weather is mostly nice in the Spring and I have been out on our walking and biking trails getting lots of exercise almost every day. I bike about 6 m or walk 2 – 3 m every day, just to keep my sanity. I go to the store a couple times a week because I don’t like other people picking out my stuff and sending me unacceptable substitutions (I heard that this happens a lot from other people). We go for long car rides (gas is cheap) to break the monotony and walk the beaches to get fresh air and sunshine. Keeping the immune system is actually very important. I am always careful and take all the recommended hygiene precautions. While I am retired and don’t have to go to work anymore, my husband and I travel a lot. Two of our trip have been canceled during these last few weeks. It makes me sad but I understand. I can’t wait for things going back to normal slowly starting early May. I look forward to my daughter and grandchildren coming to visit us the end of May. I am a free spirit and can’t be cooped up for long. I am not scared or afraid of the virus but our country and the economy in general.

  4. Ranee says:

    Beautifully written! There is comfort in knowing most of us share all of the crazy mixed up feelings. And it is always good to hear that it is alright to feel this way. . Thank you!

  5. Bonnie Whitworth says:

    I have been a follower of Lynn since 2014, and I am 76 years old and retired in Oregon. This truthfully has not changed my life by much as I too am content with myself, and husband of 43 years. We did have to come home a month earlier as we winter in Palm Springs area. We travel in our beautiful (second home) our motor home so we can hook up in a minute and hook up to leave. We stay at the same golf resort every year and have many friends like us that come for the season. My Canadian friends had to leave earlier than us as Canada was going to close the boarders on them and their health insurance. So sad as their country has way more control over them than us in “the freedom” we have in the United States. Well so much for the “freedom” in the United States.

    With this Virus (New) this year the United States has gone crazy with shutting our country down. at First with wrong graphs depending on other countries wrong information so now we find ourselves completely shut down with “Really” no hope of ever re-opening, as I believe they are stuck in SHUTDOWN mode and are scared to open us back up. I certainly realize that New York and New Jersey are in a terrible situation with this virus, but if you remember they virtually were the last to shut themselves down and they live on top of each other, in buildings they share elevators with etc. So why…..please answer me…why when the rest of the States do not have that outbreak do we have to follow suit????? Does not anyone remember SARS, The Swine Flu and many other virus that this country has gone through? Would like to remind you, we lost and lose more people than we are losing now with those virus’s AND we did not impose closing all small business…non essential business down.

    As you see I am not afraid of catching this virus as every year we take preventative measures in keeping ourselves healthily and we both walk every day OUTSIDE with no masks. You need fresh air, you need sun and if you don’t have those elements in your life, trust me you will not live long locked up in your homes. Yes I use my treadmill in my exercise room that I do not share with other people..my sweat is my sweat!!

    So fellow followers do not stop living, do not be afraid of other people, and fight the nation in letting people who have their own business’s to allow them to re-open their lively hood, I see this the most important thing the nation should be looking at………and the last thing that should be opened is Health studio’s as that is where germs are transferred quickly from one person to another thru equipment that other people sweat on….FACT not FICTION. And by the way who is making the list for what re-opens first????? FIRE THEM…they want the HEALTH studios to open first……..REALLY-Nut cakes!!! I guess being 76 in excellent condition and of a trim body and I do and always have believed in exercise with a good diet.

    So bloggers and Lynn do not let our fellow neighbors, store owners, etc be a threat to us…allow them the FREEDOM of the United States, which somehow has been forgotten. And whoever shut down Hawaii, we don’t let anyone travel there since the shut down! We should all be asking ourselves…………WHY….NOT WHEN TO RE-OPEN, BUT WHY we ever allowed this to happen in our country. And that is how I feel.

    • Helga says:

      And I feel the same way! It is sad that we allow the government to put these kind of restrictions on our lives. I rather die standing up than living my life on my knees.

  6. Brenda says:

    Hi Lynn, I could have written this article myself verbatim. All the things you are feeling, I am feeling. I will turn 60 next month, and this is not how I would ever have envisioned going into a new decade. Turning 60 is a huge milestone for me as it is, but wowzers…..no party, no going to dinner, no having friends over for a barbecue. I live in the North Atlanta area, and as you probably know, our state was one of the first to open back up next week including gyms, restaurants, movie theaters…..everything. On the one hand, I understand our economy can’t take an extensive shutdown. On the other hand, there is a scary, deadly virus out there that I want no part of. As for me, I will not be going to the movies or a restaurant or a concert or anywhere there is a congregation of people. Thankfully, our church has been doing online services and will continue to do so, because I am not ready to worship with hundreds of people……will I ever be ready for any of this? I too feel safety in the 4 walls of my home and tiny back yard. I miss my children and grandchildren immensely. No one came for Easter after plans were made and canceled. FaceTiming is just not the same as human touch.
    I have days where I seriously wonder if I have borderline personality disorder……up, down,up,down, up, down, and all over the place, even though I know I do not. But the depression I feel some days is real. Will we ever be normal again? Will this virus ever go away once it could possibly gets worse from opening up too soon? Sooo much conflicting information making my head swim. Just going for a walk in my subdivision can give me anxiety. Is the person I just passed a silent carrier? Was I far enough away from them? Am I crazy for making my hubby take his clothes off in the garage where I put a “contamination” hamper and hand sanitizer on the days he does go in to work? He is mostly working from home but chomping at the bit to get back to normal life. Why, I ask myself. Why are you not fearful? He is more concerned about the political aspect of the situation and our freedoms as Americans. I on the other hand see the outside world as a war zone right now. You can see how this can easily put division between a couple which also takes a toll trying to live a somewhat “normal” life in abnormal times.
    So there you have it Lynn….when I’m not all consumed in my grief, sadness, and despair I try to keep things somewhat normal, whatever that new normal is.
    Cheers, Brenda

  7. Birdie Rinella says:

    Apparently you and I are the same person! I have been struggling with ALL the same feelings. It is overwhelming. I am at high risk due to a suppressed immune system. Not only is this virus lurking around every corner, but my own body is set to betray me. I have ventured out only a handful of times and only during extremely low traffic times. I always worry myself sick afterwards. I have had to cut off Facebook because all of the doom and gloom I see there. Some days I can barely function. Other days, especially if I can be in my backyard and garden puttering, I do OK. My daughter is pregnant and we are missing out on all the things we would be doing together. I won’t be able to be there when her baby is born or provide the daycare she was counting on. I may not even get to hold my grandbaby. It is all a nightmare for me, I have my groceries delivered because, even in the vulnerable population shopping times, people are not respecting the 6ft. distance.

    Until there is a vaccine for this virus, I can’t see myself ever feeling comfortable out in the world again. I was a hugger, everyone’s cheerleader! It makes me incredibly sad that I will never be able to be that person again. I will never want to go to an event with a huge crowd. I think about my love of going to the zoo, or various garden events, camping and being in the outdoors. I’m not sure if I can do that. Luckily most of what I love to do is outside so maybe I’ll be able to get to a place where I feel safer. Right now my biggest hope is to get to play with my granddaughter.

    I have been encouraged by the strides the medical world is taking to fight this. Here in Oregon a team of doctors have developed a ventilator made from $10 worth of parts from the hardware store that is working every bit as good as the big, expensive machines. They are awaiting emergency approval right now. The human spirit is a wonderful thing.

    Our state, Oregon, has done a great job of keeping numbers down. And, even though I know at some point we have to, the thoughts of opening things up again are terrifying to me. But my heart breaks for all those people who are not as fortunate as I am. Those who have to get back to work and some kind of normalcy. It does make me sad to see the attitude of the protesters that losing the ones who are vulnerable is a risk they are willing to take. But at the same time I understand it. I guess I more see it as “some of us are in this together”!

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