Quarantine and Chill: Managing Your Expectations during COVID-19
I am now officially one month into quarantine and I can successfully say I have failed at almost all of these goals at least once, probably twice, and some of them absolutely six or seven times.
At first, I felt like a failure. I couldn't understand why with all this extra time, I wasn't seeing results. Every time I tried to go to bed, I got side tracked talking to my boyfriend until ridiculous hours of the morning (much to his chagrin since he's on East Coast time). When I cooked my meals, I still used honey, added rice to my plate, and ate my favorite Life cereal in the morning for breakfast. I found myself needing to take breaks from my laptop during the work day. After being on my computer all day just the thought of working on my laptop some more to update my blog or research for my business made me anxious and exhausted.
By the end of week three in quarantine, I felt one hundred percent defeated. And let me tell you, feeling defeated in a time when the world is defeated is hard. Harder than usual. In fact, it brought me to a place where I contemplated compartmentalizing my feelings all over again instead of feeling the harsh, raw pain of failure and personal disappointment.
It wasn't until I was sitting on my yoga mat after one really sweaty and gross workout that I realized the true disconnect. Here I was trying to breathe deeply, hands at heart center, tucking my pelvis under, just sitting in discomfort from my lower back and knee pain; I had pushed my body too far. I, Mariama, had pushed my body too far. That was it. I was pushing myself too far, physically, mentally, emotionally, and most noticeably to me spiritually. I pushed myself too far.
All I really wanted was to breathe without thinking about my form or posture. I just wanted to breath. To chill. I needed to quarantine and chill.
The experience of being alone has been hard on me. I've been left with my thoughts far more than usual. My anxiety often sits at the back of my throat just waiting for an opportunity to speak its perspective. I'm an extrovert; my body receives energy from being with other people, quality time is my number one love language - and at the moment, these feel like they are at a still in quarantine.
Yet somehow, I expected more of myself during a time of mourning, tragedy, and anxiety than I did before March 5. COVID-19 came out of nowhere. It knocked us off our feet, and trying to pretend like it isn't kicking our ass (and may be kicking out ass for awhile) does us very little good in the effort to be honest and gracious with ourselves.
I tried to skip the "norming" and "storming" phase of this new life transition. And wow, did it not work! But it taught me something about managing my expectations. While I've had incredible moments of success with my blog, preparing to become a business owner, and eating in a way that makes my body happy, it is completely up to me to remember that my definition of success includes my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing as well. That without being in-tune with those four aspects of my life, the other victories feel fleeting.
I'm unsure how long I'll be living in my two-bedroom apartment alone, but for now I can at least count on another month. The only expectation I have for myself now is one of grace and kindness to myself. I am so excited for the wonderful, adrenaline filled late nights trying to write a new blog post or learning more about what it means to own a business or be a CDO. I also expect there to be more moments of frustration, boredom, loneliness, and anxiety than there are of these peaks of adrenaline. And you know what, that's okay.
In those moments, I'm going to breathe; I'm going to forget about my posture, slouch my shoulders, stick out my tummy and forget to tuck my pelvis. I am just going to be. I hope that in these upcoming weeks, together we can choose to be a little bit more kind and gracious with ourselves each day.
How are you managing your expectations and being kind and gracious with yourself? Let us know in the comments below or send the fam a note of encouragement. We got this, sis!