We had to make a TON of adjustments in 2020. The totality of every day life changed and as a collective, we experienced the mental and emotional tax of a global pandemic. As we went through the year, we continually had to adjust to the fact that it wasn’t going to be over in a month.
Now we are adjusting again. And while many are excited to get back to “normal”, there are many that are experiencing the anxiety and stress that come with even more adjustments. I have heard so many people lately expressing how overwhelmed they feel with the mounting expectations from work, social groups, family, and media now that our world is changing again with the vaccine.
So it begs the question – in our rush to get back to life as usual, what is worth getting back to? Many people found that they were spending too much energy on expectations they did not want in their lives. With the pandemic, people all of a sudden had an “excuse” to set boundaries, take self-care time, honor their introverted sides, respect their own needs, and tend to their own emotions. Now, with the “excuse” lifting, many are worried that they have no choice but to go back to meeting other’s expectations, tending to everyone else’s emotions and needs, and making regular self-care a thing of the past.
Repeat after me: “Their expectations are not my obligations.”
Expectations are not obligations! Sure, if work says you have to return to your 9-5, you may feel compelled to do just that in order to keep your salary. However, excuse or no excuse, you have EVERY RIGHT to maintain boundaries, take self-care time, and honor your own needs and emotions.
Is it hard work to learn to say no without a “valid excuse”? Yup. Is it uncomfortable to ask for help or take a break just because you want it and no other reason? You bet. But is it worth it? Abso-freaking-lutely.
Time to shed what is no longer serving you and allow yourself to leave people pleasing behind with the pandemic. Talking to a therapist is a great first step!
Disclaimer: The pandemic is not over! Please be responsible. This post is intended to discuss mental and emotional issues in anticipation of potential changes to regulations about the pandemic.