Let’s start with this amazing poem called Desiderata which means “things needed or wanted”.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
— Max Ehrmann, 1927
Lockdowns are hard. Some will claim that if you’re determined enough and motivated enough you’ll achieve everything you want. I think this can be incredibly inspiring for some but I don’t think this is helpful for everyone.
One of the phrases that can get bandied about is “we really are very lucky, it could be so much worse”. This may be technically true, but feelings are not a competition. It’s important to not discard how bad things may feel in our current life. Just because we may be lucky doesn’t mean things can’t be difficult.
Identifying what we’re grateful for is great tool (gratitude journals are incredibly popular right now) as it can help balance out some depressive feelings. Regardless of guilt about feeling bad when you have all these positives, remember our feelings are valid no matter what anyone else is going through.
Being kind to ourselves and others is always important but especially so when things are extra tough.
This can be particularly difficult for some people, so something that you can try is to think about what you would say to a friend when they are struggling. You will find that you are usually a lot more supportive of others. Try and work at supporting yourself more; celebrate the wins no matter how big or small and do not compare to others. Your wins might look like going for a walk around the block, not having dessert, doing 25 burpees or even getting dressed. It’s not about being the best at everything all the time, it’s about trying to be better than yesterday.
Please remember, taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish and asking for help isn’t weak. Hang in there, let’s keep looking forward an taking things one day at a time.