processing our new reality during covid-19 and how to care for your mental health
Health & Fitness,  Lifestyle,  Mental Health

Our New Reality

Hi, Friend. How are you? Seriously, take a minute and check-in with yourself. How are you doing right now? At this point, the beginning of May, most of us have been in quarantine for a month or more. And a drastic change to our normal day-to-day is often difficult to handle, especially long term. But this is our new reality.

Today, I’m good. But not every day is a good day even though not much has changed for me; I’m home, we go to the store once a week, and I’m somewhat used to having the kids home. (It’s almost like an extended spring break or summer break.) Truth is, our new reality, no matter how familiar some aspects may be, is hard to handle mentally and emotionally. It’s important to find ways to handle this new mental and emotional stress.

You’ve heard me profess my love of exercise for mental health, but I rarely talk about my other outlets for coping with mental and emotional stress — creative writing, for example. I typically find myself writing when I am just inundated with thoughts that I am not effectively processing. Plus, with May being mental health month, I felt it was a good time to share some of my writings in the effort someone else is having difficulty with similar feelings.

So through the entire month, I’ll be sharing different pieces of writing, mostly poems, that have helped me gather my feelings and thoughts around different topics or life events. I hope you find value in my sharing. It is always a goal on The Bourbon Cactus to share info and experiences that you will benefit from.

Today, I thought I would share my most recent writing. This piece helped me gather my thoughts after going to the store the first time since our state received stay-at-home orders.

Movie

What day is it?
We haven't left the house in weeks
The only people I've seen are the ones who
live under our roof
It's like we're living in a movie

Groundhog day
Day after day
We walk outside to feel the sun
And to remind us that we are safe
It's like we're living in a movie

The neighborhood driveways are filled with cars
The street looks deserted
Besides the person running down the sidewalk
Do they even live here?
It's like we're living in a movie

A special day is close
But no celebrating a loud
Only "hello" over the phone
It's like we're living in a movie

Running low on necessities
Time to plan our route
Essential trips only
Make sure you dress for protection
It's like we're living in a movie

To venture out feels like a crime
Ghosts drive the cars at the stoplight
Don't look
Stay safe
It's like we're living in a movie

People rushing in, people rushing out
Walk 6 feet apart don't touch your face
Wash your hands
Lookout
Someone just coughed
It's like we're living in a movie

Faces covered by scarves, bandanas, and masks
Do I have enough protection?
Sanitize your hands
It's like we're living in a movie

As you can probably tell, I was feeling very overwhelmed with the idea of going to the grocery and seeing all these people but, yet, our street felt like a deserted western town. After I wrote my feelings down on paper – or typed them on my phone – I began to feel more at ease with our new reality.

Friend, I hope you are finding healthy ways to deal with the new and added stresses of our new world right now. And I hope you have found today’s post to be helpful in some way; maybe it brought you peace to hear what you were feeling put into words or, maybe, you have peace of mind knowing that you aren’t the only one with these feelings.

If you are feeling like you need a little more community during this time, please come join me on Instagram and Facebook so we can connect even more.

*You can read more about my experience with fitness and mental health here and here.

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