ISOLATED: What Just Happened? The first step to adjusting to social distancing.
The last few days have brought with it a wide range of human emotions.
Confusion, Fear, Anxiety, Loss, Grief, Frustration, Anger, Isolation...just to name a few.
We are all going through a shared experience never attempted before. An odd experience of shutting down and finding a new normal as we isolate from each other and from an invisible enemy.
We all came from bustling lives and full schedules. Long, exhausting busy office days and grueling hours of studies at schools and universities as we worked towards our goals and aspirations. All this effort to enjoy long anticipated and joyful events like weddings, family reunions, graduations, baby showers and exciting world trips.
In a moment our routines were fractured. Disrupted. Lost.
If this abrupt fracture in life is difficult for us adults, for kids this may be even more confusing as they suddenly get yanked from what was predictable. They lose the connections and comfort they had at school with friends and gone are the jokes around the lunch table with the commonality of peers who understood them. They got yanked from their sports teams, their physical expression and competitive athletic ability, For the theater kid who deeply communicated on stage through the fullness of self expression this feels like a cut-off from self and community-leaving them confused on how to now express themselves. The personal and unique impact on individuals is tremendous.
The answer? The best way to proceed?
Now is the time for grace with ourselves and grace with others. Young and old. This is an adjustment. A freight train speeding at 60 mph doesn't make a sharp turn but rather a slow and gradual one. The abrupt change of lifestyle and isolation will take time. It won't be perfect, it just needs to be a good enough transition. Everyone is adjusting. Everyone is feeling the pressure and loss and everyone needs this patience, kindness and grace as they adjust to their unique losses.
Loss is at the root of it. Grief follows loss. Yes, you are grieving. Grieving the routines, the comforts and the predictable. You are going through the stages of grief, knowingly or unknowingly. Shock, Bargaining, Anger, Depression, Acceptance. Like a pin-ball bouncing among the emotions. The only answer is to have this patience and give time to find your new temporary norm. Life won't always be like this.
Your community as you know it will return. It will happen.
And it starts with grace.