You might not be okay post-pandemic

And that's okay.

We're in the throes of the most traumatic event in our generation's history. The last 18 months have not been fun. COVID. Politicization. Lockdowns. Working from home. Homeschooling. Masks (or no masks). Vaccines using a new technology. Thousands of deaths. Protests in the streets. Violence. And now, a resurgence in cases after the war was declared won. Everywhere you look there's been bad news or something to be afraid of.

We've been experiencing a societal trauma. We've all been doing our best to survive, putting on our tough faces and pushing through the difficulty the best way we know how – but at some point the facade will fade and fall away. Our determination and willpower may waver. But what's left is the result of what is for many the most difficult season of their lives.

For some, the pain might come out in sadness or anger. For others, it may be intense grief. Or yet for others who have been shouldering heavy burdens, maybe it's COVID burnout.

Pain requires a process to heal. As much as I'd like, you can't take pain killers to heal emotional pain. And contrary to the popular saying, time doesn't heal pain, either. Instead, each one of us will need to go through our own process to work through the upending events of the last year (and whatever's to come since we're not out of the woods yet).  The worst thing we can do is avoid or stuff down the emotions. These emotions need to come out so they can heal.

Talking is probably the best thing you can do. Talk to loved ones, friends, a counselor. Journal. Give yourself grace. Because, no matter your stances or what you've been feeling, know you're not alone. Everyone's carrying something right now.

Remind yourself: it's okay to not be okay, but you don't have stay there.

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