I would not describe myself as a crier. I usually hold in my emotions and pretend they are not there (I know- not healthy in the slightest). In the last two months, I have lost count how many times I have cried. So much has changed in my life.
I cannot help but wonder, when will I see my family again? My friends? When will things get back to normal? What will the new normal look like? To be frank, I feel so incredibly overwhelmed.
Not to mention, I was furloughed last month. I worked so hard over the last four years to become a registered dietitian. Just like that, my job was gone. Until this week, I did not realize the extent to which my identity is tied to my productivity. My structure and routine have vanished. I feel like I have failed in some way.
To make matters worse, I catch myself body checking every time I walk by the mirror in the bathroom. If I had a dollar for every time I criticized my body since this pandemic began, my car loan would be paid off (and maybe my credit card).
All these feelings have caused me to emotionally eat like crazy. I straight up went through a Costco-sized box of Cheez-Its in two weeks… by myself. I am pretty sure I am trying to bury my feelings in a mountain of fake cheese and carbohydrates at this point.
If you as the reader identify with anything I just said, let me tell you- YOU ARE NOT ALONE. These feelings and how you are reacting to them are completely normal. Think about it. Everything that we know has changed.
Many of us have lost our jobs or are put in scary situations because we are “essential”. We are separated from our friends and family, the social network that often provides us with emotional support through hard times. Our normal routine and environment have changed in a BIG way.
You are doing the best you can to cope with these changes. For many people, food is often a comfort in tough times (hence the annihilated box of Cheez-Its). That is completely OK. Just like your body may change in response to your new normal. That is OK too!
If there is any advice I can share with you, it is this- BE KIND TO YOURSELF. I know, it is so much easier said than done. Keep practicing. If you catch yourself body checking in the mirror, give yourself a compliment. If you power through a box of Cheez-Its, ask yourself how you are feeling in that moment. How can you deliver your mind a little self-care? If you feel like a failure, remind yourself you are doing the best you can.
I will say it again to the people in the back. You are doing the best you can. Please be kind to yourself.