How to Cope During a Pandemic

Jul 18, 2020

I listened to Leonie Dawson, one of my favorite podcasters: Mental Health in the Time of the Coronavirus and found, as usual, a piece of myself in what she has to say: I'm excited about the opportunities this virus is bringing and yes, I'm sometimes struggling with my mental health during this time. (And also, yes, I recognize my extreme privilege and being able to look at this whole pandemic as an opportunity.) I mostly feel able to handle life and then something happens and I realize that I'm actually full to the brim with things I'm juggling and that one little thing has me at my wits end. I know a lot of people like this right now, maybe you're one of them too? What are you doing to lessen the load a little? For me, spending time with my animals always helps. They are all happy to take a little of that load and then go out and roll in the grass afterwards, getting rid of it for both of us. Maybe I need that roll in the grass too?

I mean, we all juggle and struggle with our day to day during normal times but now on top of our day to day is a pile of the presidential election, systemic racism and our place in that, and of course, the global pandemic and how to survive it—not just physically but emotionally too. Being a highly sensitive person and an empath—and I know most of you guys are too—this means we feel so much. But am I allowing myself to fully feel or am I numbing in one way or another?

If you listen to the podcast, I'm curious, which are you: an overfunctioner or an underfunctioner? Both being perfectly normal ways to not feel your feelings and react to say, a global pandemic! Are you coping with the ick of 2020 by flying around and doing, doing, doing? Or are you coping by shutting down, watching Netflix and napping? Or maybe there is a third coping option: BOTH! And then the fourth healthy option of occasionally getting quiet and allowing all the feelings to ebb and flow. I fluctuate between days of overfunctioning, followed by days of underfunctioning, with a day here and there where I allow myself to feel. Honestly, I think whatever you're doing and feeling during this time, as long as you aren't hurting yourself or others, is just fine. It's not like we have a roadmap to follow during a pandemic.

My underfunctioning/hide from my feelings homemade roadmap says, "Survive now. Thrive later."

My over functioning/hide from my feelings homemade road map says, "Paint! Write! Create all the things!

And then of course, that healthy part of me says, "It's okay, let the feelings flow through you and you'll feel better."

So, what are you guys doing?

Love to all from the Mother Ranch,


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