I know it’s emotionally exhausting to focus on the pandemic all of the time, but the truth is that we’re still in the middle of uncertain times. Whether you’re working from home, furloughed, or in the process of re-opening, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty in our day to day lives.
Furthermore, when all this started, there were lots of Tweets, thinkpieces, and bits of advice about how best to make the change in schedule productive.
So I’m here to give you permission to give yourself permission. Does that make sense? I hope so. You may have read some advice or ideas like this already…but just think of this as a little self-care checkup that reminds all of us that we can give ourselves permission.
Give Yourself Permission To Take Comfort In Seemingly Frivolous Things
The pandemic is, of course, very serious. So it can sometimes feel like we should only focus on very serious things. But if we’re honest, that’s not the best thing for mental and emotional health.
I encourage you to give yourself permission to take comfort in something frivolous.
Here’s an example: my customer-facing day job was put to a stop for weeks, and my unemployment and stimulus money has been mostly nonexistent. I’ve been SUPER careful with my budget, but have let myself splurge on a couple of nice candles. It’s a little thing, but they provide a hygge-esque warmth with soft light and uplifting, comforting aromas. One little thing has made my time at home more bearable.
Your “frivolous thing,” may be different…you could finally buy that item of clothing that the Instagram ad algorithms know you’ve been dying to add to your closet. Paint your nails a color that makes you happy with no thought for how fashionable it is! Put the extra fancy coffee on your next curbside pickup grocery list.
I’m not giving you carte blanche to spend countless dollars in the name of “self care.” But it’s okay to give yourself permission to indulge in a simple pleasure or two that make scary days more bearable.
Give Yourself Permission To Set Boundaries
This is the kind of thing we all technically know we can do. Of course it’s always possible to set boundaries! However, this is an item that’s often easier said than done.
This could look different depending on what your life has been like lately. Some folks have needed to set new boundaries with friends and family who they desperately want to see, but cannot for the greater good.
Working from home? That’s exhausting if you’re not used to it, because your work place and your relaxing place are the same dang place. So maybe setting boundaries for you looks like agreeing that you won’t check email after a certain hour or setting aside a designated part of your home as the only place where your work is allowed to happen.
Maybe you’re more like me, and need to set boundaries with yourself. In the stretch of formless unemployed social distance days, time is just a concept and pants are optional, right? While those things may be true, I’ve discovered I need to set boundaries with myself about things like setting a bedtime, or limiting how many brownies I consume out of sheer boredom.
Whatever boundaries you’re needing just remember: you have permission to set and adhere to them. You are worthy of that respect from yourself and those in your life.
Give Yourself Permission To Try New Things
Our time spent in social distance needn’t be driven by productivity or mastery of a new skill…but it can be a great time to try something new!
This could be a hobby like picking up painting, crocheting, or some sort of other creative art. I know someone who just learned how to embroider over the last couple of weeks, and she’s already creating incredible pieces that bring her joy!
Another new thing? Try cooking new foods that will mix up the humdrum life at home. May I recommend the Bon Appetit channel for some fun culinary inspiration?
Perhaps you’re like me, and you’ve hit a bit of a reading and pop culture rut compared to your former habits…in that case, give yourself permission to try a new genre out to mix things up. I’ve been astounded to discover that the cure for social distance blues wasn’t re-watching my favorite rom-coms. Rather, I had much better times trying out new-to-me movies in the action/adventure genre! Who woulda thunk three months ago that I’d become a huge John Wick fan?
Since our lives feel all wibbly-wobbly when it comes to timey-wimey these days, trying new things will provide excitement and purpose!
Give Yourself Permission To Be Vulnerable
I know a lot of us don’t like referring to our present time as “the new normal.” We’re certainly not in the old normal right now, either, though. There’s a lot of pressure out there to feel a certain way, carry on with everyday life a certain way, to socialize a certain way, and so on.
You have permission to feel the feelings you need to be feeling right now. And you have permission to be vulnerable with people you care about and who care about you.
Though I stand by ALL of the ways you can give yourself permission in this article, this is perhaps the most important one to take to heart. You have permission to be vulnerable, to share how you’re feeling, to embrace the extra bit of tenderness in your heart. These moments keep us connected, and help us feel fully human when a lot of other creature comforts aren’t available.
So of course, the moral of this story is: you have permission to do the kind things for yourself that will get you through another day. And you have permission to bookmark this piece if you ever need another reminder of that fact.
Be well, Frolic friends.