“Living in 2020 is kind of like living inside of a dumpster…during a tsunami…while it rains dirty diapers.
We are in a place of great uncertainty in multiple arenas. Many of us are walking around, mostly in our own living rooms thanks to social distancing, in an almost constant state of anxiety and fear and I think we should *try* to stop that.
Don’t get me wrong, fear is an incredibly useful emotion. It helps to alert us to danger and attempts to keep us safe. When you are afraid, stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline are released. Your blood pressure and heart rate increase, and you start breathing faster. Even your blood flow changes. Blood flows away from your heart and into your limbs, making it easier for you to beat up the giant school bully or fight off a rabid lion. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but you get the idea. So, if a bear is chasing you or you need to pull someone from a burning car, fear is amazing. However, it’s only helpful in the short term.
God and science agree we aren’t designed to live in a continual state of fear or extreme anxiety. Prolonged fear and anxiety can lead to severe mental and physical health consequences. It can affect your memory, brain processing, reactivity, and cause fatigue and clinical depression. You’ll notice none of these side effects are positive.
Yes, these are scary times full of conflicting information. And yes, it’s normal to be afraid. But, and there’s always a but, we need to acknowledge fear and be grateful for it. It is a gift to have our body want to keep us safe and then use emotion to make educated decisions about how our family will live in 2020. And then we can move forward with logic, not panic, as our guiding emotion.
Whether you choose to isolate 100%, form a pod or pandemic bubble, or send your children to (or teach in) in-person school…you can live in a state of peace knowing you are doing the very best you can. You can operate using logic and caution where your brain is running at optimal levels anyway, rather than being crippled by fear and anxiety.
If you are doing everything you know to do, fear is no longer keeping you safe, it’s merely robbing you of your joy.
For some of us this may not be a possibility due to lifelong battles, and I fully understand that. However, for many of us we can choose the least crappy of the not great options we’ve been given and know we are doing our best. We can model resilience for our children and teach them that we can live our lives in abysmal circumstances and not be consumed by them. We can persevere and teach our children that our circumstances don’t define us. We can choose joy, despite all of the reasons not to.
COVID might not leave us anytime soon and it’s already taken so much from all of us. Let’s not let it steal anything else.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hillary Adams. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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