Do you ever get such a high that your low feels incredibly LOW?

That’s where I’ve been sitting the last couple of weeks

When I look back on my last post, I think to myself, “man, I thought I had it all figured out.” As always, though, life likes to show up and say, hold my beer.

It’s hard for me to put into words what I’m going through, so, unfortunately, I’m not going to divulge entirely. What I can say, though, is that I am badly stressing out, and my body is fighting back.
Even though I stopped working out 25 days ago, I lost 5 pounds.  
My TMJ has been acting up so badly that I’ve been unable to open my mouth wide enough to eat specific foods.
My IBS has been bothering me over foods that don’t normally upset it.
Stress has won.

The whole house got a common cold recently, and I went into full panic mode over us having COVID-19. Luckily, I had friends to calm me down, and my husband recently took training on symptoms to realize that we’re fine. We cooped ourselves up in our house yet again anyways to avoid spreading it to others. I can’t even tell you the last time I left this house.

I’ve lost all my energy and motivation to do the things that I usually love. All excess of my energy is funnelling into my daughter. I feel as if being a secondary thought to myself is OK even though I know it’s not. I’m doing the best that I can with what I have.

It’s been hard.
It’s been a struggle.
It’s been depleting.

I’m trying to remain hopeful that things will turn around because I feel that’s all that I have left.

So, this blog post is for all of you who are also feeling stressed out, finding it difficult to get past uncertainty, and trying to adjust to a new normal.
I feel like we’re all struggling with something now, and I hope that we can all find the strength to talk about it out loud with others. You’re not alone

I have a confession to make – I’ve been in isolation way before our government told us to stay home.

I have a problem with winter; It’s my least favourite season. I hate all outdoor activities that come with it, and the cold chills me to my bone. During this time, I tend to retreat in my house and only make it outside if necessary.
It’s only when the weather takes a turn that I find the motivation to get out, and that just so happened to be when COVID-19 became a global pandemic.

I guess you can say that I’ve been in isolation for four months now, and fuck is it lonely.

I don’t generally cuss on this blog, but I feel like it’s warranted here.

Since my last post, I’ve been watching friends and family afar try to make normalcy out of this chaos. I see almost daily posts of different learning activities parents think of for their children, people getting to chores that they planned months (or even years) ago, and a lot of people baking bread. The scramble for productivity makes me feel as if I should be doing more than the roller coaster that I’m currently on.

I have days where I will bake that bread or make hummus, but then the following days, you can find me eating cereal for dinner with the pyjamas that I’ve had on the night before. My introverted self wouldn’t mind this quarantine, but since I’ve been self-isolated for so long, I feel like this is my new normal. Do I like it? I’m not even sure. One thing is for sure in my mind, though; nothing will ever be the same again.

There’s a lot of small things that I miss
I miss being able to walk to my local coffee shop and sit amongst the other writers
I miss going to the park with my daughter, even though I only did it once.
I miss getting in my car and driving to my friends’ house five minutes away just to say ‘hi.’
I miss being able to go to the gym and work out my frustrations.

So much has changed in such a little time, for everyone.
I can only imagine how the extroverts are feeling at a time like this. If this introvert is feeling lost and unsure, then how are THEY feeling? WHO WILL LOOK AFTER THE EXTROVERTS? (Kidding)

Someone asked me last week how my anxiety was during all of this, and I just shrugged to myself. Being in a constant state of fear is my jam – this is my normal state. Now you kind of know what my brain goes through daily. Welcome to the suck.

If you’re feeling like me, it’s only normal. There’s no right or wrong way to live out this quarantine. I’m taking it day by day, knowing that the two-week extension on Ontario’s State of Emergency will most likely be extended once again come April. I would mentally prepare for this.

What I will reiterate, as I always do in this blog, is to communicate with someone on how you’re feeling. Your priority during all of this should be your mental health before you check on someone else’s, and PLEASE do check up on those who need it. One thing that I hated the most before COVID-19 happened was video calls, and now, it seems it’s all I do to keep my daughter connected to her family.  In the end, the people who need you the most will remember what you did or didn’t do during this time.

 

Last weekend was a long weekend in Canada, and instead of stressing over what to write about for my next topic, I decided to ditch the computer and laid in my hammock instead.
Even though the weekend was filled with our usual day-to-day activities, I knew that I was burning out. There are so many things that I’ve been thankful for over the years, but I think the biggest thing to have turned my life around was knowing and accepting when I was overstretching myself. One of the first things in CBT Therapy is to recognize when you have an automatic thought with triggers. It’s still a work in progress but starting to realize when I need to cool off has been so incredibly beneficial for my well being.

I know that identifying this in oneself can be hard, so here are some tell-all signs that you need a break

  1. Motivation
    Uh-oh, where did this go? You’re finding it difficult to do even a simple task, making it impossible to get any work done. When your passion starts to feel like a chore, it’s time to rest up. Don’t push yourself because that definitely will not help get any motivation back. Focus your energy on other things; you’ll be surprised when inspiration hits!
  2. Irritation
    I don’t know about you, but when I overstretch myself, I get easily irritated by those surrounding me. My husband can attest to this! I know that I need my alone time – separating yourself from others is a great way to recharge those batteries
  3. Insomnia
    Thinking if penguins have knees at 3 am? (They do!) If any thoughts are keeping you awake at night, more so than usual, get up and do some stretches. Focusing on something relaxing might make those pesky thoughts go away, and you might get some sleep! Lack of sleep will always make you feel worse so try to get away from the environment that’s making you restless.
  4. Anxiety Attacks
    This is the number one sign that you’re overwhelmed and need a break. Mix in irritability with a dash of Insomnia and BOOM; you’re experiencing an attack. Don’t be ashamed; you’re stressed out! This is the perfect time to do something for yourself: write, draw, dance, you name it!
  5. Off-Perception
    I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed my sensitivity spikes up tenfold. If my Boss comes up to tell me some constructive criticism during these moments, I would ultimately take them the wrong way. If you find yourself tearing up over these types of interactions, it’s time for a break. Please do not have the “no days off” mentality, because that’s toxic. Take the days off that you need to be in the best mental shape.
  6. Crying for no reason
    If you’re struggling and living on the verge of tears each day with your day-to-day activities, you’re in a hypersensitive This is OK; it just means all of your emotions are at the tip of the bottle, and the only way to get them out is to cry. Remove yourself from the stressful situation and just let it all out. Trust me; you’ll feel better once it’s done. You’ll be able to control your emotions afterward J
  7. Head is spinning
    A big red flag of mental exhaustion is dizziness and nauseousness. Just because your mind is tired doesn’t mean your body won’t follow suit! These symptoms should not be ignored – get the relaxation that you need.
  8. Detachment
    I hate this one the most. You’re numb; you’re senseless, you’re apathetic. You don’t care! You should care. You should care IMMENSELY about yourself. You can overcome anything that’s thrown at you. Time for rejuvenation, STAT.

Have you noticed yourself experiencing any of these signs? SHARE this article with someone who seems stressed so they can get the help they need.