Yesterday I had a nice call with my “homework assignment” partner for the Shannon Institute. We called an audible, and rather than discuss the assignment, we just took some time to put everything else on hold and check in with each other. The timing was perfect as I was wrapping up two days without the kids, and with no job and nowhere to go, I keep finding myself with excessive time to think in those moments. And going into that call one word kept ringing in my ears, stress.
I’ve been unemployed before, but never like this. Never where there are almost no jobs to replace the one I lost, and no realistic timetable for them to come back. They will, this I know, but the “when” is up in the air.
In the brief time I was working and homeschooling, I found myself shellshocked by the competing needs and obligations. I feel for those still juggling this impossible task – and the stress it causes every minute of every day.
I’m thankful for my kid’s teachers, and the work they are doing to support parents and students during this time. They never saw themselves teaching like this, and many of them have their own kids they are now responsible for as they try and manage distance learning. While there is no expectation that learning is still going to be the same, there is stress in my work to learn how to teach my children – not just about school but also about this new reality we live in. Nothing prepared me, or any of us for that.
Did I mention I am moving in less than a month? Yeah…great timing. STRESS!!!!!!
Then there is the money. I was fortunate – I was given a severance and I know many who lost their jobs did not. Still, three weeks later my Unemployment Application is still “pending.” The staff at MN DEED are overwhelmed – of that I have no doubt. They are working tirelessly and under the gun to process more claims than ever before. My expected completion date was yesterday – it came and went. But waiting to hear you’re approved is a huge stress inducer.
Stress. So much stress.
It’s not unique to me, we’re all feeling it. In our own ways, in our own moments.
So be kind to yourself. Be compassionate to yourself. Give yourself room to feel, to embrace, to acknowledge it all. Know you’re not alone, even while we are all alone. Be compassionate to others, show them kindness in the face of all of this. Journal, talk with those who have always been there. Find creative outlets, think outside the box. Find comfort, peace, and calmness where you can, knowing it may be fleeting – but also that those moments will continue to give you something to reach for moving forward.