Yesterday, Kae posted an interesting comment:
I wonder if part of what has made you feel more “upbeat” lately is the shift in the stage of the pandemic? I mean, I know people have been doing things again in public again for a long time now, but overall I feel like a majority of life is just more recently REALLY back on and the general vibe has definitely loosened a lot. Before, I always felt constantly uneasy/ unsure of what was okay, what was not, should we travel, should we not, can the kids play with friends, should we go out, the whole masking everywhere thing/ always distancing, etc. was just so draining and mentally exhausting. A constant underlying buzz of stress and uncertainty. I now feel the general consensus, from the government and healthcare providers alike, is that it’s generally ok to resume living in a mostly normal way. Since you like social interactions, I wonder if all the restrictions/ stress of the pandemic was affecting you more than you realized? I could be totally guessing! But you just seem much happier, smiley and loving life again, involving a lot more social activities than you’d seen in a long time.
It’s an interesting take.
I definitely feel more positive about life lately. But I don’t think this is quite the reason. Having had COVID relatively early and sort of succumbing to the idea that we are not really willing or able to prevent getting it again, I’m not sure my lifestyle has been impacted much by COVID for the past year or so. Example: Keys trip we took with friends last June. Some of this is cultural (#florida) and some of it is just becoming sort of numb to the endless exposures between 3 kids and 2 medical jobs. I guess we are more lax about playdates and things like that, but we’ve been traveling and eating in restaurants and having family/friend gatherings for quite some time now. Some people I know (virtually or IRL) may never approve of this. Oh well . . . I supposed I have come to terms with that just like I have essentially assumed we will get COVID again.
That said, I feel I went through a mild depression (or depressive-like phase? I’m not a mental health diagnostician) in Feb/March of this year and I’m not sure what brought it on. A lot of work stress was definitely part of it, and some of that is still there, but less so.
Some time in late April, I just sort of decided to take life by the reigns again and for whatever reason, it worked. I cleaned up my eating habits (and reflected on that here + here) which resulted in feeling better in my own skin. I became more consistent with other things, such as reading, staying ahead of podcast work/ads/etc, and creating and following through with daily plans. And I really leaned into trying to anticipate and ENJOY fun events like a playdate/dinner with another family or the mini-getaway Josh and I took.
I don’t know what my own secret sauce is, or what snapped mid-April, but that is something very much worth reflecting on. Because life is still challenging and there are still many difficult things going on, to some extent in my own life (always-looming threat of illness, COVID or otherwise; work stress; homeowner growing pains & financial uncertainty; etc) and to a much larger extent in the world.
I will keep thinking about it.
In the meantime, here’s a little preview of June’s goals:
I am glad that you are feeling so much better about life in general. It’s hard to go through depressive/down periods. I think you’ve started therapy/coaching, too, so that probably helped? I think/hope I’m entering a more positive/upbeat period of life/the year. This winter/spring was tough w/ all the illnesses and so much cold weather. The illness aspect is one major downside to having kids in daycare. But I can see how it improves as they get older, so hopefully better times are ahead for us! I’m feeling excited for summer, though, as we will be able to do more this year compared to last year. Last year Will was napping 2-3 times/day so it was very hard to do much. But he’s down to 1 nap around 12-2ish so that gives us the morning and late afternoon for fun and adventures. I definitely find that I am most happy when we are out and about doing fun things. The less we are in our house, the better. Maybe that will change when the youngest is easier to entertain but we’ll see. 1/2 of us have had covid and the other 1/2 would likely have mild cases if they got it, so I’m less concerned about covid for now. I haven’t been truly stressed since the vaccines were available, though. We did continue to avoid restaurants until this spring but we also don’t enjoy eating out with very small children so it wasn’t such a ‘sacrifice.’ And really the biggest fear I had was the toddler getting it and having to stay home for 10 days, and now we are on the other side of it. It was very hard but we survived. Hopefully he’ll be vaccinated within 90 days and they will change the quarantine rules to 5 days when an under 5 vaccine is available! 5 days is manageable/fine.
I bet having the move behind you helps, too. Anticipating a big change is stressful and you had all the insurance/roof repair stress. Now you can put down some roots, get to know your neighbors, start a book club, etc! As an extrovert that must feel really good!
yes coaching + therapy probably did play a role! good point.
I 100% agree not eating at restaurants with toddlers is NOT a bad thing. the whole first year of the pandemic I didn’t feel like I was missing out on that much because G was not even 2.5 years old. By the time she hit closer to 4 we were more happy to be doing everything, so the timing wasn’t bad.
I very much hope yoou can have a healthy summer!!!
I know my experience with starting therapy last winter was immediate relief from all of the pressure I was facing. Not because my circumstances had changed, because they hadn’t at all. But everything was so much easier to move through. Life was just less of a slog. So maybe it really is thee therapy and coaching making a difference.
Sarah, have you noticed a pattern of late winter/early spring lows? Living in Florida you aren’t as subject to some of the seasonal affective disorder as those of us in the far north, but limited daylight hours and seasonal patterns may still be at play. I know personally February into March are low months every year, and by late March I start to feel somewhat refreshed – very similar to what you described here. Even just being able to recognize this pattern is SO helpful.
I agree with the commenter above– moving is incredibly stressful. The feeling of being “unsettled,” the financial stress (even if you technically “have the money,” it’s expensive), the uncertainty about dates and timelines, all the extra tasks… it’s A LOT.
Yes very good point!!