As things start to reopen in LA and vaccination appointments are just about all anyone can talk about, it feels like some pieces of life are returning to normal. With all of these changes, there’s this unseen pressure around decisions to be more social, to do things that feel good but aren’t “against the rules” or plan trips even with a fear of them being “cancelled” because we just don’t know if another surge will rise. There’s pressure surrounding getting vaccinated, especially if you aren’t comfortable with it, and surrounding this rush to get back to activities when you’re more comfortable. We’ve been hearing the “unprecedented times” line for over a year now, and at this point in the pandemic I just want to take a moment to create space for dealing with all of that pressure. How do you make the best decision for you? How do you make that decision and stick to it when it feels like everyone has a conflicting opinion?
Find the most reputable sources of information and Review the facts from all angles: What are the rules anymore? Know that there is no absolute right answer. Like I said—we’ve been hearing the unprecedented times line for over a year. The times are just that: unprecedented. We haven’t seen this before… There’s no rule book. No one knows how to handle this, and no one knows how to handle it best for you better than you do. Take a couple moments to sit and reflect on your own feelings about these decisions, and tune out the noise. It’s awesome to get advice here and there, but the often unsolicited opinions can just roll off your back.
Analyze your emotions: I’ve found that taking a few moments with my journal to let out any feelings I’m having and write out the pros and cons has been a great way to sort through how I’m feeling on my own without setting myself up to receive others’ opinions, concerns, and judgements. If you need more personalized help, therapy is a great place to sort through these thoughts and build up coping skills to have on hand for the rest of this, and that can help you moving forward, too.
Make a choice & Evaluate your decision: At the end of the day, these decisions are about your health and about how you can help those around you. But before you make those decisions, make sure they are reasonable for your mental health, not just your as well as physical health. They are your decisions, after all! You know you best.
As always, if managing this gets to be too much, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or to a therapist in the Los Angeles area. Therapy is a great way to get help with your mental health, even if you just need a few sessions to “tune up” surrounding managing the stress of the world this year.