Are you wearing your masks? I’m sure you dislike it as much as I do! It’s certainly surprising to me that we’re still dealing with this Covid pandemic a year later.
Clients coming into counseling are feeling more and more stressed with the unknown. I find that teachers are concerned about how to teach and the parents are concerned with how best to help their children learn. I’ve also got couple’s coming in arguing about healthy boundaries for their kids and themselves. Do the kids play with the neighbors? Do we see friends and family? Do we stay six feet apart? Do we hug? What’s safe and what’s not? So know you’re not alone if you’re experiencing some of the same problems in your home.
So…we’re living in limbo! Limbo is terribly uncomfortable and causes us to feel anxious and depressed. We feel stuck. Many of us are not patient and want what we want when we want it! We’ve been spoiled because we have experienced instant gratification in many aspects of our lives. Fast food, fast computers, products ordered and delivered within a day – remember when we had to wait a week or more?
When we live in limbo we also feel helpless and hopeless. And if you’re like me, patience is not my virtue. So waiting can feel almost intolerable. With all the unknowns, we crave control…control of anything. We all need to feel as though we have some control in our lives. That’s normal. But when we don’t have control of important aspects of life, negative emotions arise.
Anxiety rises when we’re not sure what to expect. Fear of the unknown. Many of us try to take control of parts of our lives to relieve anxiety. It’s okay to manage your own life, but it becomes problematic when you start trying to manage others’ lives. When you focus on others, you lose sight of your own needs and what you can control.
Lacking motivation and lacking energy is a common response to living in limbo and depression can set in for many people. With depression you can experience difficulty concentrating and making decisions. You can also have physical symptoms like pain or heaviness in your body. You might feel hopeless about the future, especially when we don’t know what to expect. It’s important that if you are feeling depression with suicidal thoughts, please take care of yourself. Call your doctor or therapist and get in right away. It’s not you! It’s the chemistry in your brain.
This is a very good time to think about reclaiming your soul. Take charge of what you can for yourself and let others figure out what is best for them. You may experience relief when you let go of others and just focus on yourself. Get rest, ask for support from safe people in your life, and do things for others who may be less fortunate than you by volunteering your time and energy. It can be a great remedy for many emotions. Refocusing your attention on things you do have control of can be very helpful.
But more importantly, turn to God, especially when you feel in limbo. Pray, worship in church, listen to music, talk about your faith with others. Know that God is there for you. We can’t always understand why we experience hardship, but I’ll bet you can find many positive things that have come out of this pandemic. I’ve heard so many wonderful stories from families who have had more time together, connecting with one another. The kids are loving time with mom and dad and the parents are enjoying their kids. That’s a blessing from God.
So even though living in limbo can cause many emotional struggles, many good things will come of it. Thank you God! We will persevere and get through this. Just you wait and see!