I had a bad week. Really bad.
It started with a power outage on Monday that took out a couple cities. This is apparently normal behaviour when you live in the north. This windstorm, that came out of nowhere, shut us all down and kept us in the dark for about 8 hours.
In the past, that would just mean no lights or electricity. In the past, it would be for an hour tops. Maybe two if it was really bad.
This was a new experience for us, because in addition to not having lights or anything electrical, we also had no running water, and no sub pump.
At first we didn’t panic, but only because we forgot that our sub pump is electrical. Once we figured that out, there was a mad dash to the basement, and some excellent family teamwork on bailing out the hole, now filled and overflowing with water.
The more we bailed, the more water came. It never seemed to lessen. And then we made the fast decision to run out to the store to buy a back-up generator.
Except here’s the thing… I have yet to go in public due to the outbreak. I’m the driver, remember? I drive, but stay in the car.
I wanted to do that this time as well, but if I drove my husband, who would continue to bail out the sub pump?
So I went alone. Enter panic attack number one.
The Fear of Vulnerability
Going to the hardware store wasn’t bad. First, I knew that it was open, even though ‘hardware stores aren’t essential’, because I learned that our local hardware store sells feed for farms.
Second, this hardware store, though open, is not open to the public. Only staff are allowed in the store, and everyone else must do their business from outside.
So there were a few of us in the parking lot, we waited out turn, and then when I was approached and the lady asked what I needed, I said “a gas powered generator”.
She had only one, so it made sense for me to buy it without any further questions. I had an over-flowing sub pump and there was no signs of the power coming back up any time soon.
Also fortunate, that it was already built, so she wheeled it out and it was put in my trunk.
Next up, gas. How do you power a gas-powered generator? The answer is in the name, but in my hurry, I was on my way home before I realized.
So I turned around, hit the gas station, struggled for quite a bit longer than I would like to admit on how to open a Jerry can, then made my way home for real.
After that problem was resolved, generator working, sub pump working, minor flood cleaned up, it was time for me to go back out to get food.
Missing the Habits to Deal With Fear
Keep in mind, all restaurants are closed due to the outage as well. In my experience being in town when the power cuts, I know that Wal-Mart has a backup generator and are still open for business.
So I drove there, purchased some fresh bread and a cooked rotisserie chicken, then came home and we had sandwiches for dinner.
I was in bed by 9 o’clock, exhausted from the day’s events.
It was the next day before I realized that I didn’t do 3 of my 5 regular daily habits.
To be honest, Tuesday was pretty rough for me as well. Only because I hadn’t really recovered energetically from the events the day before. Once again, I didn’t complete 3 of 5 habits.
As the week continued, I got worse. Or rather, more lazy.
I quickly spiraled. I felt stressed and in pain from the stress. I felt depressed and in pain from that too. I didn’t have the motivation to do anything.
By the end of the day, I would promise myself that tomorrow would be better. Except it wasn’t. By the end of the week, I was meditating daily, but that is all.
The thing I missed most was walking. But we’re still getting mixes of snow and rain, and so it’s not fun to walk. That, and don’t forget, I’m lazy. Getting lazier with each passing day.
Routines for Mental Health
This Monday I promised to do better. I promised to not make excuses and do all five of my daily habits, plus my bonus list of exercise, do course homework, and meditate a second time.
In addition to this, I would also ‘diet’ – although I use that term very lightly. When I say ‘diet’ I mean, I’m cutting the crap out. The way I should be eating every day but have chosen not to.
If nothing else, I have noticed that sticking to a routine has helped manage my mental health. I don’t need a routine for times. It doesn’t matter if I write in the morning or afternoon, as long as I write.
It doesn’t matter if I go for a walk after lunch or after dinner, as long as I walk.
And I need to meditate twice daily. We all should. It seems I am happy to meditate in the morning, but make excuses (or am in legitimate work meetings) for not doing it in the afternoon.
This has got to stop.
I need to take care of my mental health – and having a week off has done considerable damage. Or maybe considerable is the wrong word. Noticeable. I have done noticeable damage to my mental health.
Do not let this pandemic change you. If there are daily things you need to accomplish to make you feel complete, then you must do them now. Don’t make excuses like I did.
One day, things happen. Sure. Two days, maybe…. But by the third day, you are falling out of your habits and it will be harder to get back into them. Be strong. Stick to it.
I’m going to track my daily progress and write about it again in a couple weeks, just to make sure I’m accountable.
Anyone want to be my accountability partner? Email me!