I’ve been off from my day job for a few weeks, and I’m so excited to get back into a good routine and feeling more productive than I did binging Ted Lasso. Back for a week, hitting my stride, and BAM! Daycare shuts down due to COVID-19 exposures. My 2YO is home with me for a week, we have moderate plans for childcare but nothing near 40 hours a week. It’s just one week, but it’s a blow to my mental health.
And things start to pile on. My husband’s back goes out. The driver’s side window on my car refuses to go up in subzero weather. My toddler–now coworker–refuses to keep her boots on when sitting in her carseat, and she’s kicked them off into God knows where. ALSO: our perfectly, potty-trained dog decides it’s too cold to go to the bathroom outside, and chooses a new poop spot inside. On the white rug.
When my sister texts and asks “How are you doing?” it’s all I can do to just put the phone down and ignore how I’m doing. Because, if I stop to think about how I’m doing, I may *stop* doing entirely.
When Mental Health Incapacitates
“Incapacitation” might be a tad big for what I’m implying. It’s more like the type of pressure Luisa sings about in “Surface Pressure” from Disney’s Encanto.
What’s my purpose if I can’t be of service? she sings and it’s a sentiment that I know I’m not alone in echoing. And while it’s simply a personality type most days, it easily becomes a character flaw that leads to stress and a kind of self-imposed martyrdom.
The general accompanying feeling for me is that of being overwhelmed. Feeling better requires being able to recognize it, and asking for help while stepping back as necessary.
The phrase “you’re not the season you’re in” first came into my orbit via one of Anna Marie Tendler’s works:
I hadn’t heard it before, but Google tells me that it’s been part of the mantra/self-help lexicon for a while, like it’s sister-phrase This too shall pass. Maybe it’s because we’re in the heart of winter here in Minnesota, or because, as a Pitta-Kapha, I’m heavily influenced by the literal changing of the seasons, but this resonated in a big way.
A New Mantra for 2022
The window will go up. Eventually.
You’re not the season you’re in.
This too shall pass.
This won’t last forever.
You are more than your worst day.