Have you felt distracted and unable to focus more than usual in the last two weeks/months? Check.
Have you felt down or sadder that usual in the last two weeks/months? Check.
Have you had difficulty focusing or concentrating in the last two weeks/months? Check.
Have you found yourself eating more or less than normal, drinking to excess and/or participating in activities like these more than usual in last two weeks/months? Double check.
Have you found yourself having either difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual in the last two weeks/months? Check.
How about you?
These were some of the new screening questions I completed prior to my annual doctor well-check yesterday. Honestly, I was thankful for the inquiry. While driving to my appointment, I was thinking about how to raise the topic with my doctor – about how I have been feeling “off” and wondering if maybe I needed a little help with the difficulty I have been having concentrating – my more than normal fatigue and exhaustion at times and this overall feeling of anxiety that seems to be a constant companion lately. I am usually a pretty positive person with a lot of energy and stamina, but, not lately.
My doctor came in and I could tell she had read my intake and said, “so, what’s going on?” She listened as I shared my experiences with Covid, raising teenage daughters, anxiety over the state of our country and upcoming elections, cancelled plans & trips, uncertainty for future, isolation from friends and family, going through menopause, homeschooling our children, inability to travel…
After listening, she asked, “do you still find joy in anything?” What a great question! Do I still find joy in anything?
I said, yes! I still enjoy my morning walks, journaling, happy hour sunset booze canoe cruises with my man, fall leaves/light and although I rarely watch T.V. our family has discovered a series called Schitt’s Creek and we are loving it.
She smiled and said, “you’re actually doing good!”
I’m actually doing good? Do go on…
She went on to say nothing about right now is “normal” and that if she had to guess 95% of her patients that have come in over the last few months feel exactly the same way.
To NOT feel distracted, overwhelmed, tired, fatigued, unfocused and maybe down is the exception. It’s ok – you’re actually doing good. This provided me with some context, validation, and peace of mind to know I wasn’t alone. These are extraordinary times. So many people are dealing with all the normal stressors of life – marriage, kids, money, jobs, deaths, births, and change ON TOP of a world gone up-side-down and we are all doing ok.
We know that whatever this looks like on the other side, we will learn, grow, evolve, and change. We will mourn some of the losses and embrace what works better for us as a society. So, for now, ask yourself “what still brings me joy?” And, do that.
If you feel nothing brings you joy. If you feel so down and dark that you see no joy, light, hope or future – seek support. There are professionals, friends, family and support groups to partner and support you through these times.
You’re not alone. We are in this together, friends. We are doing good.
Until next time, RockonLIVING,