In case you hadn’t noticed, everyone has an opinion about what we should be doing during this quarantine.  When we learn to please others at a young age, this barrage of opinions can be especially confusing.  We need to know the right answer and we struggle to trust ourselves to have it.  But the mixed messages from the rest of the world are not helping at all.  This week, I want to give you permission to be and do what feels right for you.  Accepting our current response is one of the most important things we can do as we live through this challenging time.  Here’s a list to help you see what I mean.  You are allowed to:

Stare out the window or at the wall for an undisclosed period of time

Spend five minutes deeply wanting connection

Spend the next five minutes loving this time alone

Internally judge others for their reactions because you are stressed and human

Be frustrated about this situation

Have no desire or energy for normal chores that are usually not a problem

Struggle with normal hygienic practices

Run all over the house doing everything you can find to do until you are exhausted

Feel intense fear about the future

Believe this whole thing has something to do with you

Be grateful that you are not quarantined with a particular person

Not feel bad about being isolated while others are miserable about it

Use the quarantine as a reason to say away from abusers

Eat everything

Not feel hungry at all

Wish you were someone else who has it better

Drink a little more than usual to numb those feelings

Lose your creativity and be unable to accomplish your normal projects

Feel unsafe and paranoid about what might happen next

Be angry at leaders who aren’t doing enough

Be furious at the virus

Be pissed about your cancelled plans

Need space from the only people you can be around

Pine for new connection

Not learn a new skill

Learn lots of new things and want to talk about them with others

Watch soooooooo much television programming

Obsess about being the characters of the shows because they are not in quarantine

Scroll through social media feeds more than usual

Lose track of time

Not want to spend time outside

Spend lots of time outside

Ask for help

Offer help

Not offer help

Play tons of video games

Not play video games if you hate them

Cook all the food all day long

Order out for every meal

Be completely DONE with your neighbors

Feel numb

Feel every single emotion a human could possibly feel

Dive into on-line shopping

Save every penny you can

Sleep weird sleep schedules

Struggle to sleep

Take in as much information as possible

Avoid information as much as possible

It is all okay.  You can cope how you need to cope.  And your way of coping can change on a daily basis depending on how you are feeling.  Try to give yourself space to be the imperfect human we all are.  And know that this is a traumatic experience which doesn’t need to be ranked or compared to other traumatic experiences.  You have permission to be and do what you feel is right.  There is no right answer here.