Right Now It’s Harder, But Even More Important, to Stay Connected

As the daylight hours get shorter and the weather turns colder, it seems like we all want to stay in and keep to ourselves a bit more. This year has been such a tough one and has put a strain on so many of us. And with COVID cases on the rise, I’ve found myself feeling that same dread and panic I felt in April, only now it’s worse.

The little bit of hope we all had this summer as things were opening back up and we could do a few normal things seems to be dwindling. On top of that stressor, the holidays can be a really hard time for some people, even under normal circumstances. It can be a reminder of loved ones lost, can make us feel stressed about money, and bring up bad memories.

Reaching out to friends is always worth the effort. (Twenty20 @anelehbakota)

For people who count on the holidays to lift their spirts, this year will be hard

This year will be extra hard for those who count on the holidays and company to lift them out of the winter blues and give them something to look forward to.

I know, I’m quite the spreader of doom and gloom but I’m trying to keep it real. I love the holidays. I always have and I always will. While I am so thankful to have them coming up now as a distraction, I’ve really been dragged down by a lot of other emotions I’ve been having.

Isolation and having things you love to do taken away from you is hard on the soul. A few days ago I went to get a take out for my son’s fourteenth birthday. Most of the restaurant dining rooms that had just reopened a few months ago were closed again.

I’m not sure why this happened, but it sent me into a downward spiral and I’ve had a hard time getting out of it. I was supposed to meet a few friends the following night and I canceled. I didn’t feel like being social. After exchanging a few texts, we all started talking about how we’ve had to force ourselves to be social but acknowledged that we always felt better after. Keeping in touch just feels like a lot more work since the pandemic.

I’ve had to force myself to be social

But, if there’s one thing this past year has taught me it’s this: The more I shut people out and sit with myself, the worse I feel. I start to wallow in sadness and the hamster wheel in my head won’t turn off.

When I pick up the phone or invite someone over, even if it’s just for an hour, it always pulls me out of this darkness that has been looming over me since March. It always proves to be worth the effort.

We are all experiencing similar emotions. And when I talk to a friend about how I feel, we both benefit; it clears the air and allow us to talk about other things that perk us up. Like, if there’s a holiday craft we want to try, a great show we are watching, vent about our kids, or a new beauty product we love. I find myself wondering why it took me weeks to make the effort or respond to their effort.

What I’m saying is that right now people seem to shut down and not reach out to others in spite of the fact that they are struggling. And the longer we hesitate, the harder it becomes to reach out and ask for the companionship we crave as human beings.

Even if you have a partner and a house full of kids who are there all the time, that doesn’t mean you don’t feel lonely or need to talk to other people. Just because you are busy and tired (aren’t we all) that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make time to talk to your people. We all need our tribe, and the support that they offer right now.

Stop trying to be strong

So, instead of trying to be “strong’ and go it alone or think this will pass, there’s nothing wrong with practicing some self care and letting someone you trust know you are struggling.

It can be a great time of year, yes. But this is a tough road we are walking and we’ve never done this before. There’s absolutely no need to soak in it yourself. People want to talk, they want to help, and they want to know there are those out there who share their feelings and concerns.

Don’t worry about being a burden or think that this too shall pass. These are trying times and our mental health is important. It’s imperative that we stick together, talk, and try our best to make it through this together.

More to Read:

I Wouldn’t Make it Through These Days Without My Mom Friends

About Katie BinghamSmith

Katie Bingham-Smith lives in Maine with her three kids. She is a Staff Writer at Scary Mommy, shoe addict and pays her kids to rub her feet. You can see more of her on Facebook and Instagram .

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