Name it to tame it

Your feelings are valid.

Hey, writer.

How are you? No, really. How are you? How are you?

As life upends itself to adapt to the havoc the coronavirus is creating, we’re thrust into a world where we must attempt to do the same.

But it’s not that easy. Listen, the world is going through a collective trauma. We’re in this together. But how that trauma feels and looks like to you is unique. However you’re surviving is good. Keep surviving.

Sometimes, I imagine that I have a grief pool. Over time, I add new feelings and experiences and situations. Some are small. Some are larger. It’s the bus driver wearing a mask. It’s seeing family struggle. It’s the fear that has burrowed its way inside and refuses to let go.

The thing about feelings, though, is that you can name them. Feel them move through your body.

“Oh, hello, there, anxiety. I see you’re here again.” And it acknowledges you with the tightness in your chest and the rapid beat of your heart and the shaking of your hands.

But it’ll pass, eventually. A new feeling takes its place, and more sensations course through your body. And you name them, and they acknowledge you. Call it mindfulness, call it emotional intelligence. Call it what you want.

But naming your feelings matters. And understanding what’s happening inside you has the power to help you tame the feeling.

So I started collecting a list of pandemic emotional aliments. They’re born of my experiences, expanded by the experiences of others. This is a beginning; this is how I process.

What would you add to the list?

  • cathartic baking

  • growing apathy

  • perpetual angries

  • fractured focus

  • lurking anxiety

  • fearful frenzies

  • scattered sleep

  • wanton gluttony

  • woeful wanderlust

  • developing agoraphobia

  • normalcy nostalgia