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What I’ve observed during quarantine so far

As we start week four or five of quarantine, depending on where you live, we are settling into this new normal. And by settling in, I am not implying that this is easy!

Something that makes us feel better is knowing we are not alone; we are not the only ones feeling a certain way. In that spirit, I wanted to share a few trends I am noticing.The

The Inner Critic (or as I like to call it a Monger) is LOUD

It seems like across the board that damn inner critic has been loud and mean. To the point where many of my clients feel like they have taken steps backward with their Monger work. You have not gone backward; you are in crisis and our Monger’s love to “help out” in a crisis. Remember, our Monger has good intentions but her messaging sucks.

Getting in touch with your Biggest Fan (that voice of wisdom and kindness) might be too hard right now (remember, this is triage, not treatment), so as much as you can, notice the all or nothing messages of your Monger and try to expand them, add in some space, add in the and. For example, try saying, “I am a hard worker and I need a break today.”

Watch out for the Voice of Self Indulgence (a.k.a the BFF)

Your BFF is a counter to your Monger, but she is also loud. She actually steps in to give you a break when your Monger is too loud.

Your BFF might be encouraging you to overeat, over drink, judge other people’s reactions, or be super grouchy. Again this is triage, not treatment, so getting rid of her is way too hard right now. Give yourself grace and kindness. Simply notice your BFF, and if you can, try to figure out how to hear from your Biggest Fan instead so you can make a more supportive choice. Again, only if you have the capacity.

Turtling

Heads down, shell on, taking care of yourself and your people. This is what many of my clients are doing. They are talking about being so tired and no longer able to push through or soldier on in the same ways they used to. That is okay. There is no need to be overly productive, to take on more, or to do something great. Take care of yourself and those you love.

Relay marathon

I have been saying this is a marathon and not a sprint, but earlier this week, I heard the idea that this is a relay marathon, meaning we need to rest, we need to ask for help, we need to rely on other people. I love that idea. I hope it helps you remember that you can rest and you can ask for help.

News: love it or leave it

I am sure you too are hearing the message to ignore the news, but for many of my clients, ignoring the news does not help and actually increases their anxiety. It is okay to watch the news if it helps you feel more prepared and vigilante and be aware when this vigilance becomes too much. Try limiting news to a certain length of time or a certain format (e.g. specific source or modality).

Remember, you are not doing this wrong. There is no right way, and if you are relying on old coping skills, that is okay. Those coping skills served you in the past, so of course, in a time of trauma, you are going to go back to them. Your mind and body are taking care of you. Be kind.


New on The Happier Approach podcast

This week I interviewed Erica Drewry of Aligned Nutrition and this conversation could not have come at a better time. As a registered dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor here in Columbus, Erica knows all about avoidance and how it plays out with food. (Something I am sure many of us are experiencing while we are quarantined.)

This topic is very personal to me and we have a very open and honest (and at times vulnerable!) conversation about food, anxiety, and avoidance. You will definitely get a glimpse into my personal story of how I use food to avoid. Check it out on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or over here.