There’s a beautiful cover photo of a wonderful family here, but so many details are missing until you open the book.
This is always true - but toxic positivity is something we all need to consider as well. If staying positive is your thing, and it helps you get through - that’s amazing, and you should have the freedom to fill your social media with positive accounts that reinforce that for you. Likewise, if you’re struggling to see the bright side and you just want someone to acknowledge your pain and feel validated and seen, you should have the freedom to voice those feelings without being made to feel guilty. We’re all human. We all struggle. We are resilient and capable of amazing things - but life will always be a series of ups and downs’ highs and lows. It’s much easier to cope when you can openly express all of the emotions on the spectrum rather than only voice the good ones and internalise the bad. Recently, I saw a quote on Facebook that said: “We are not all in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some have yachts, some have canoes and some are drowning. Just be kind and help where you can.” How true is that? Some days you may be able to offer help to someone else who is drowning but other days - you might be the one who’s drowning. Give yourself space to feel that way - it’s valid. You’re not broken; you’re human. Keep taking care of yourself, even when you’re exhausted. Make yourself a priority.
Notice the tension you’re holding in your body, breathe, and let it go. A helpful way to deal with anxiety and inner-turmoil that I’ve found is the 4-7-8 breathing technique:
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale through your mouth, slowly, to a count of eight.
- Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three times for a total of four breaths.
Despite all of this I know that when I’m older and my grandchildren ask what was it like during the pandemic, I will say we played a lot. We made silly videos for the internet. We learned how to bake. We made a backyard cinema and stayed up late looking at the stars. We clapped with our neighbours and cheered for the front line workers risking their lives day in and day out. We realised that above all we had each other. But I also won’t shy away from the hardships, the mental impact it had on the world, and the resilience we consistently showed as human beings. 'We may not have it all together, but together we have it all’ - Unknown‘