I laughed when my therapist friend Caley introduced me to the idea of a “work mullet” – business on the top and pajama pants on the bottom. That’s my way of telling you I’ve moved to all telehealth for the time being. I’m reaching out to everyone individually who’s scheduled with me to offer this option so we can all do our part to stop the spread of this virus. How it works: basically, with your consent, I email you a secure link and at the time of our appointment, you simply click on it and we can meet face-to-face from our homes.
With my boys at home from school, I’m also trading off childcare with my partner from week to week. So we take turns watching the boys for half the workday, each day. I’ve unfortunately had to cancel/reschedule a bunch of appointments and I really appreciate your patience.
So how are you holding up? Strange times, we’re in. I’ve been thinking about the concept of both/and (as opposed to either/or), after therapist and author Lori Gottlieb mentioned it on a podcast about parenting during the time of coronavirus (she also wrote the delightful book Maybe You Should Talk To Someone if you’re looking for a fun, insightful read). It’s easy for our minds to fall into black-and-white thinking, and the concept of both/and reminds us that two seemingly contradictory things can be true at the same time.
For example, you might…
· Acknowledge any privilege you have AND validate, rather than dismiss, your own experience.
· Practice physical distancing AND still find ways to stay connected to others.
· Need a lot of support right now AND want to be of service to others who are suffering at this time.
· Feel frustrated and at a loss about schools closing or the lack of childcare AND feel grateful to have more time together, to play board games, bake brownies, cook meals and just hang out.
· Feel lonely or isolated at times AND connected to our common humanity, our shared human experience.
I’ve also been thinking about what author and podcaster Jonathan Fields describes as “certainty anchors” during uncertain times. Fields wrote a book called Uncertainty after experiencing 9/11 in NYC and shares:
A certainty anchor is a practice or process that adds something known and reliable to your life when you may otherwise feel you’re spinning off in a million different directions. Rituals and routines can function as certainty anchors; their power comes from the simple fact that they are always there. They are grounding experiences to which you can always return, no matter what’s going on. Their consistency makes them effective tools to counter the anxiety that comes not only from living in uncertain times, but from embracing endeavors that ramp uncertainty even higher.
For me (and it could look really different for you), it means keeping to relatively regular meal times to anchor our days (maybe I’ll be a better cook by the end of this!), trying to get a little fresh air and maybe movement most days, making a cup of chamomile lavender tea in the evenings and watching something fun (someone in the PEPS group I’m facilitating suggests Golden Girls :). If I’m able to incorporate even a few minutes of meditation + journaling, that combo really helps me feel grounded. And most of all, practicing self-compassion whether or not I do those things, show myself some mercy and know that tomorrow is another day.
There’s a lot that’s uncertain right now but this I am certain of: We will get through this.
Sending you a safe virtual hug,