The thermometer is dropping as we approach winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, and yet the stress thermometer seems to be heating up right now, in this holiday season.
Of course this holiday stress happens every year, but I’m finding this year is more poignant and palpable than ever. It feels like my heart is aching for everyone.
Every conversation somehow feels like the person is going to cry with the mention of COVID-times holiday. No one has the playbook for this one.
All we can do is turn to what we know, but what we know for the holidays isn’t fitting. So we keep stumbling, feeling stupid, feeling confused, and mostly just tired.
Wait, is this fatigue a COVID symptom? Or is it a symptom of COVID times stress? Even that question is exhausting.
On my end, the added stress is about quarantine (starting tonight), so we can maybe see the kids next week. But that is a very tricky thing to organize our minds around, much less organize all the people involved. How and when to break the bubble is breaking my brain.
Just making the food shopping list for 10 day quarantine was enough to stress us out last night. And it was about more than a shopping list of course.
Ugh, and literally just as I’m writing this, I got a text blast from the state saying “Nearly half of our state is high risk for COVID-19. Celebrate safely with only your household so we can celebrate together in 2021.”
Ouch, way to rub it in. I’m not denying the truth of that. It’s a hard truth. Very sad. I respect getting the clear request so that our essential workers aren’t further overwhelmed. It’s all hard, however you slice it. I long to do right by them and all of us.
So if you’re crying about grocery lists, post office delays, COVID numbers, or another holiday movie… you’re normal. You’re getting it right! You’re passing the test! You’re officially… human.
Telling myself this too.
The only answer to this one: Compassion, compassion, compassion. Take it in big big doses, every day.
In other words, if you’re tired, confused, ready to yell or cry, just remember this: