Today I’m angry and frustrated about things that have nothing to do with the coronavirus. But being in an extended quarantine with a pandemic gripping the world, of course, can’t help but make everything a little worse.
In hindsight it seems timely that I wrote about acknowledging uncomfortable emotions in yesterday’s post, as I’m definitely struggling with them today; I had an argument with someone close to me, and it put me into a tailspin of irritation. A deeply upsetting conversation, or any forceful negative stimulus, can cause acute stress, and under normal circumstances I’m more able to accept and dissipate that stress so that I’m able to move on with both the relationship and my life. Given that we’re under chronic stress, however, has exacerbated the effect of those chronic stressors, and I feel unable to help myself.
I’ve always imagined acute stress as a sudden cortisol spike, a jagged peak in the geography of the mind. Chronic stress is somehow more insidious – a slight but endless slope covered in scree, a trudge in unsure footing. And today it feels like I’m trying to navigate both, an Everest of scree – exhausting and spirit-sapping.
Which makes me feel disappointed that I can’t devote more mental energy to other things that matter to me – which includes writing this post. I began this blog as an exercise in both transparency and discipline, and promised myself that I would write every day, for 21 days (the length of the original shelter in place mandate). And today, I have no carefully considered thoughts, or stories I want to share. Today I’m just a tired and distressed human, and I’m just going to have to be OK with that for the moment.
I think I’ll go out and look at the cherry blossoms down the street.
What are your greatest stressors these days? Are they dramatically different from your pre-COVID stressors?
My task for the day: I actually have two. The first was to cut my own bangs (done! and not so bad, if I may say so myself). The second is to calm myself down enough to be open to another conversation.(working on it!)