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BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL

Last Thursday was a particularly hard day for me. I was irritable and frustrated mostly because of the situation that we all are in…and so I chose to nit-pick the small things like Kroger pick up orders being five days out. I really dislike having others select my produce…and lack of alone time. I just wanted to escape to a quiet place all alone, not be interrupted and zone out.

Like many of us, I have my moments, sometimes I feel like I am totally in sync with our “at home” routines and then other days, I feel like being confined to the house is completely unbearable.

I dream of escaping to a coffee shop or the gym. It’s the lack of personal time that wears me down.  I mentioned yesterday that I didn’t have any “space” AKA personal time. My son, Bralio, chimed in with, “Yes, you do mom, your space is when you are in your office working.”

I just looked at my husband shook my head and said, “He doesn’t get it.”

Truthfully, I will talk with him about it but I don’t expect him to get it, he’s six.

Some days I feel grateful and happy for all that we are doing as a family other days I feel like I’m wearing clothes two sizes too small, want to tear them off and run screaming down the street.

I think most of us can relate with a “before COVID19 life” that was busy, over-scheduled, and spinning 24/7. Only to have it be awkwardly interrupted and put on hold.

Most of us have been in this pattern interrupt for at least four weeks. I know that there has been a lot of personal reflection as each one of us evaluates our unique circumstances. It’s normal to feel angry, resentful, sad, depressed, alone, frustrated, because of this situation. The key is to not get stuck there for any length of time. If you are feeling cooped up get out and go for a walk, breathe the fresh air, clear your head. Call a friend, start a new at home project, stay in action.

There are opportunities here to build on relationships, enhance communication, find new routines, reflect on your “at home” life and establish better habits.

Some of us may find that we are relying on some coping habits that may have turned on an unhealthy slant during all of this. The top three that I most frequently hear about are:

Overdosing on social media and media

Staying tuned in can make us feel more in control but pay attention to your emotions- are you feeling more fearful or sad?

Overindulging in wine or cocktails

With drinking it’s important to look at our underlying motivation. Are you looking to have a drink to really enjoy it or are you looking to numb and disconnect from life?

Over-consuming comfort foods

Comfort foods help build connection and are nourishing. If you are repeatedly reaching for unhealthy comfort foods you might feel disconnected and no matter what or how much you eat, you’re left feeling empty.

Here’s the thing, have a few cocktails, watch a short amount of media, have a few nourishing comfort meals. It’s all fine, we just can’t repeat it day after day. It is expected that each person will gain no less than 20 pounds during this quarantine. We know that Obesity and having a BMI greater than 30 puts us at risk for COVID complications. We also know that most of us will get COVID before this year is out.

I care too much about you to not say anything.

Yes, this is a wild time, we have not experienced the effects of something this devastating to health, life and the economy in perhaps a hundred years. You are here for a reason, you have a part to play, there are people counting on you, do NOT throw in the towel now.

With Love,

Dr. Purcell
(Catch up on my bi-weekly COVID-19 posts HERE)

P.S. Now more than ever it is important to stay connected. Opt-in below to receive my bi-weekly emails. These emails will keep you up to date on the current pandemic. I will continue to share current health updates and tips. We are in this together!
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