Juggling / Struggling

R U OK? Day is a good reminder to check in with your own feelings as well as with others.

I feel exhausted. Almost numb some of the time.

I am trying to be the best wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, niece, aunt, sister, friend, pet-owner, laundress, cleaner, cook, assistant gardener, hairdresser, teacher’s assistant, neighbour, employee, manager, colleague, landlord, student, researcher, writer, athlete, responsible shopper, environmental advocate, and citizen. And my desire to please often overrides my sense of self-preservation.  

I am in a constant state of anxiety. There is so much uncertainty and I’m mourning, not just for the lives lost but for the life that I used to know, the ability to make plans, attend events, and the freedom to travel. I miss swimming and going to the beach. I worry about the effects of climate change and what sort of a world my daughter will inherit. I cry for all that is lost in the natural disasters, most recently the fires, floods, and hurricanes, and from armed conflicts and injustices around the world.  

I regularly exercise, even when I don’t feel like it, because I know if I don’t I will go into a darker place mentally. Good food helps, whether it is nutritionally or emotionally nourishing. I like cooking and eating. My absolute non-negotiable is a cup of tea, almost every other hour.

I need to go outside, to feel the sunshine, note the colours, smell the flowers, listen to the birds, and play with the dogs. I find awe in gazing at the stars on early morning walks and seeing the sun kiss the horizon of a new day. I need quiet time to myself, to read, to listen and to write.

I benefit from having a routine. It helps me to tackle each day and to be present for those that matter. 

How do you cope?  

R U really OK?

Here are some suggestions for activities to reconnect with yourself and others:

  • Send a loved one flowers or chocolates
  • Send family or friends a hand written note or card
  • Share some baked goods with your neighbour
  • Raise money for a charity
  • Do some colouring in with your child or your inner child
  • Play a game or work on a puzzle
  • Get in touch with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.

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