It is not uncommon these days for me and my husband to look at each other with confusion and ask:
“What day is it?”
“What’s happening here?”
“Did we already talk about this?”
“Oh! I forgot!…”
Last week, I totally forgot about a Zoom call my 7-year-old had with her school counselor. It was on my calendar. I’m sure I was reminded by my phone, and we accidentally no-showed. Oops.
My laundry room also smelled like pee for a few days because I forgot to wash my 3-year-old’s wet clothes after she had a potty accident.
We’re finding a rhythm in this quarantined life, but we’re also discombobulated.
This discombobulated, I-can’t-remember-what-day-it-is feeling is a normal sign of stress.
The brain is overloaded with processing new experiences, taking in lots of new information, and adjusting to a new Pandemic lifestyle. It’s NO WONDER we’re stressed and discombobulated.
If you’re feeling this way too, here are a couple of quick ideas to create more ease:
Cut yourself some slack. Your experience is normal. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, discombobulated, forgetful, agitated, impatient, or otherwise not like yourself right now, it’s okay and NORMAL.
We’re STILL experiencing something unprecedented that’s highly stressful for our mind, body, and spirit. I highly recommend popping in the earbuds for this Podcast with Dr. Josh Klapow (“Dr. Disaster”) to hear more about this (it's soooo good). He’s a psychologist known for helping people after natural disasters, but it’s an awesome reminder for how normal our experience is right now.
Take some deep breaths throughout the day. Deep breathing helps shift your nervous system from the fight, flight, or freeze response to rest and digest. Every time you go to the bathroom, PAUSE before leaving to take several deep breaths. Aim to do this several times throughout your day. It will help regulate your nervous system which will help you process better.
Get outside. I understand that your access to the outdoors might be vast or extremely limited right now. What can you do to get fresh air, look at the sky, or stare at a tree? Nature can have a profound way of reminding us what’s still here and unaffected by all of the change.
Doing these tiny steps will help your brain recover a little bit and ease some of the discombobulated feelings.
It’s not going to take it all away, but it will provide a little bit more ease. And, right now, even a little bit more ease can go a long way.