By Gloria Ellis
We all experience frustration, fear, anxiety, and sadness, and our present circumstances are exacerbating these feelings for many people. It is important to acknowledge these feelings to yourself and talk about them with your loved ones. However, when (over a significant period of time) you are emotionally overwhelmed to the point of impaired functioning, you need to make changes and get some help.
It’s okay to hide under your covers and avoid dealing with your work or your family for one night or even two. But if this avoidance becomes a pattern, and you consistently become unable to perform basic functions relating to your physical health, personal peace, family role, or employment, you need to reach out to others.
You might choose to assert yourself by setting greater boundaries around your family time, personal time, or work time (whichever is suffering). You might ask for more support from family or other loved ones. You might determine that, if you can afford to, you need to hire help in some key area of your life that you might normally try to handle on your own, such as child care, household responsibilities, work assistance, teaching or tutoring for your children, or therapy to improve relationships within your family or marriage. These are areas where we often feel guilt for asking for more support from our loved ones or avoid spending money to get outside help, but we cannot do it all and we should not expect that of ourselves. You may even determine that you can require greater independence and responsibility from your children, and this could be quite good for them!
Give yourself permission to need help and take the steps to get it, however possible. Don’t be afraid to tell your family, friends, spouse, children, employer, children’s teachers, health insurance provider, or anyone else who can help, what you need from them to get yourself back to living your life in as healthy and balanced a way as possible!