It hit me today. I was in line to get into Trader Joe’s. I was out of mushrooms and they have a deluxe mixed nuts mix that I like. It’s the first time I decided to wait in line there since this started. It wasn’t too bad. It was pretty empty once I got inside and all-in-all it probably took me less time than usual, start to finish, because there wasn’t anyone in the check-out lines.
It got me thinking, though. Why did I get so anxious and irritated every time I drove past Trader Joes for the past few weeks and saw the line around the building?
A few weeks back I drove to Costco and then just left as I saw a line of people dutifully wearing masks and standing six feet apart.
I was really bothered as I drove away.
We’re starting to see people get upset in a different way then when this first started.
On the one hand, maybe people are getting used to having to wear a mask. Having to stand on a measured out strip of tape or painted circle.
On the other hand, I think what I feel is how dehumanizing it all is.
We’re forced to stay home. Forced to look and feel silly, for lack of a better term, when we are out. Many of us are forced to feel useless. We may be out of work. If we’re lucky to still be working, it’s likely in a very different situation or different way. Probably pretty detached.
We feel out of control. Like we don’t have a say.
There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty. We don’t know when this will end. We don’t know what the right answer is or if it’s just a choice between bad options.
In predicting successful outcomes for people, mental health professionals tell us one of the most important things is for people to feel autonomous. That means the ability for someone to feel as if they can control their own lives. In many ways that is gone now.
That is a problem.
All I want to say today is that it is crucial for us to do whatever we need to make sure we feel human.
Take a walk. Read a book. Write a blog post (writing this is making me feel pretty good right now.) Talk to a friend. Do something that fills you up.
Don’t let all this just go until it’s too late. It’s important.