Acceptance: Take it piece by piece.
Acceptance is like a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes it’s easier to focus on a specific part of the whole, because the bigger picture feels too overwhelming.
There’s so much uncertainty in our collective situation right now, but that might not be all that you’re facing. You bring your individual life into this pandemic, and the combination of these challenges is a lot to handle. So don’t try to handle it all at once. And don’t try to find some cosmic-level of acceptance either!
Just pick a section of the puzzle and work on that. Maybe a corner, a side, or a middle bit. ;)
Here are a few pieces of acceptance you might consider. Again, don’t feel compelled to put it all together. Just pick the parts that fit for you. You can build the bigger picture over time.
Accept your feelings.
Allow your emotions to arise as they are. Approach them with patience and curiosity. You might be anxious about the future. You might be grieving the loss of the 2020 you hoped for. You might be relieved at getting to stay home. Any of it, in any combination, deserves your attention and kindness.
Accept your choices.
Maybe you clean the house, or maybe you watch Netflix. Maybe you spend all day trying to homeschool your children, or maybe you give everyone a break after a few hours of effort. Maybe you order take out, or maybe you cook a meal. Acknowledge your efforts today. Would you like to do something else tomorrow?
Accept that connection looks different right now.
Talk to your loved ones however you can, whenever you can. When used thoughtfully, apps like FaceTime, Skype, Marco Polo, and even Snapchat are great for staying in touch from a distance. If you're a parent, you'll want to monitor your children's use of these apps to be sure they're staying safe.
Accept that you might need some alone time.
Yes! In the midst of all this isolation, you might need to reconnect with yourself. Journal, meditate, exercise. Do you, and don’t feel guilty about it.
Accept that each day might look different.
Some days you'll feel productive, others you won't. But each day offers another chance to try again. In fact, each hour, minute, and second offer you the opportunity to course-correct in any way that feels right to you.
Accept that others may not respond to what’s happening in a way you like.
This can be a hard one. Your loved ones, your neighbors, and even your leaders can disappoint, confuse, or frustrate you. Others' behavior is out of your hands, though, so it's what you do with your reactions that matters! Start with accepting your feelings as they are, and then decide if there's an action you'd like to take. You might engage in meaningful conversations or you might plan to vote in an upcoming election. You might have to work on accepting that your influence only extends so far. Emotional boundaries for the win! *deep breaths*
Accept that acceptance can be hard to achieve.
If it is, be patient instead.
Accept that you might need help.
If you're really struggling with acceptance, I hope you'll reach out. Friends and family are there to support you. Therapists, coaches, and teachers are there to guide you. If you'd like to learn more about how therapy can help you during this bizarre time, contact me here to schedule an online therapy session. To learn more about online therapy, check out my previous blog post.