We're living through unprecedented times — you're doing the best you can

Opinion

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, as I’m sure you all have been. We’re in a quarantine that doesn’t have a definite end. And if you’re an over-thinker like me, join the club — you’re not alone.

There’s a lot of great advice out there. You could dig for eons on Google reading articles about what to do and how to help your mental stability through the struggle that is COVID-19. Articles and websites are chock-full of great advice, which is so important. But I think it’s time we take all of these articles with a grain of salt because, at the end of the day, we really are all individuals that need different things.

Some of us need people-to-people interaction. Some of us need the solitude of going for a run. I have friends that are running three times a day to get through this. Me, I get outside, but a run would not be beneficial; I run like a T-rex with two left feet. That’s simply not how I operate.

That being said, I’ve had a difficult time lately with a lot of the posts that are saying to reach out. Yes, people are so so important. Reach out when you need help. Reach out when you need a laugh. However, I’ve been recently noticing the amount of guilt I feel reading this encouragement. I feel guilty, because some days, I don’t want to reach out. Some days, people are the last thing I need. But I feel this large amount of guilt that leads me to believe I should be doing all of these things, and if I’m not, I’m doing this wrong.

There is no wrong way of getting through this; this pandemic is uncharted territory. Please, do reach out if that’s what you need. But just remember — how many times you are Zoom calling your friends and family, or how often you bake that sourdough bread that all your friends seem to be trying, is no measurement of how well you are doing in this. I’m not a doctor, of course, but I think it’s time we all take a step back and try to listen to what is best for our own personal situations.

Personally, I’ve found a lot of peace in rediscovering my love of music. Whether it’s a matter of sitting down and playing my piano until I’ve stopped thinking, or standing in the middle of a field scouting, with the southern Alberta winds that love to rip through here, singing my favourite songs at the top of my lungs, music is helping me. Would that work for my neighbour down the road? Most likely not.

We will get through this. Somehow, someway, this too shall pass. We’re writing history here. Do me a favour, and stop being so hard on yourself. There isn’t a correct way to get through this. We are all doing the best we can.

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