Stress and Relief


Hi all,

How is everyone doing? I think most of us got used to this quarantine changes. That is what I feel, at least. But I have been noticing some things that tell me I am not fully adapted in my subconscious yet.

One such point is that I have cycles of feeling good and feeling bad. This is part of normal life but these cycles are a bit more extreme during the quarantine. I had a very stressful time in the last two weeks. I could not see a specific reason to be stressed out. I don’t have deadlines. I don’t have kids to care for all the time. I like staying home anyways. This lack of identification of a stress factor made it harder to target and fix the situation.

Then I realized two things.

One is that a lot of my friends were going through a similar phase. We were all having the same kind of sleep issues, for example. And I never have had sleep issues. I fall asleep in the first two minutes when I put my head on the pillow. So, this was a first for me.

The second thing is that there was actually a reason why I was stressed. You might know by now. I don’t live in my home country. I visit my family in the summer. When the quarantine started, I was thinking I would go visit my family at some point in the summer. For the past two-three weeks, I am slowly realizing that I may not be able to do that and probably will not be able to do that. That was causing distress, because it means I will not be able to see my family for more than a year, possibly.

It was only when I realized these two things that I started relaxing a bit. I started accepting it. Everyone is paying some price in this situation and this is mine. And it is what it is. There is nothing we can do. I also cut myself off of social media altogether for some time, which really helped me find some calm.

It seems like this quarantine is challenging our mental constructs and with each mental construct that is challenged, we go through a stress-relief period. Ultimately, this is a good thing. We are learning a lot.

Have you noticed changes in your mood lately? Do you have these cycles of distress similar to mine? How is the quarantine going for you after all?


87 thoughts on “Stress and Relief

  1. I understand. I live with wife and daughter but cannot see my son at the moment but I do FaceTime most days. Also I noticed for the first 2 weeks I couldn’t do my normal routine so I felt out of whack so I decided to do adopt a new routine and since then I’ve found I haven’t stopped and that’s helped me. My morning walk on the treadmill listening to positive motivation on YouTube and I read 3 books. One hour of each per day plus do one big job around the house daily. This has helped my self esteem come back as for the first two weeks I felt lost a bit. I’m just missing my son but I know it will pass and will give him the biggest hug ever when I see him.

      1. The only thing that holds me back is when my daughter is having a bad day. But I’ll still try to get them all done. I know I feel better everyday. A little bit at a time.

  2. My mind has done everything it can to torment me during this lockdown. From symptoms to pointless anxiety and overexcitement. I have found communication helpful. Talk to those around you and create moments of laughter. It helps relieve our stressed minds.

  3. A few years ago I read an article written by this lady who, after a difficult breakup, threw her phone away, got into her mobile home and drove into a forest for a month. The article was about her experience there and how she extended her stay to 4 months eventually 😊
    Initially though, the complete lack of stimulation and lack of noise, almost drove her to the brink of – what she thought at the time – insanity. She screamed for hours till her throat was raw on the 4th day. She thought she had suicidal depression and felt she was very abnormal the first couple of weeks
    Slowly she settled into a routine and had such a remarkable life shift eventually….. that she realised only when she drove back into civilisation 😊
    She was happy for no reason at all
    She was peaceful for no reason at all
    She was gentle for no reason at all
    She was truthful and honest for no reason at all

    Maybe, all of us, after the quarantine, will be “no reason at all” people too 😊

  4. I’ve been having extreme highs and lows in my mood too🤔 I think it’s just coming down to the fact that my sleep schedule is wack and I’m stuck at home!
    Stay safe! ♥️

  5. I hardly fall asleep at night. I slept in the morning because I don’t have to go to office these days. I don’t have enough tasks to keep me busy. And it provides my brain a huge amount of time to wander in the unnecessary-things-land, anxious, insecurity, etc. I find it hard to stay positive. My mood swing got the worse of me. Oh, I hope things will get normal soon.

    1. I believe we will get used to it. I am generally positive but I get mood swings as well. Maybe our mind is going to find a way to get around this whole situation.

  6. This is such a wonderful post. Thank you for opening up and expressing how you feel. I hope that things will get better and you will be able to go and visit your family. I think we all feel like you to a degree. We all are hurting from the “unknown”. All of our lives are put on hold currently. We don’t know how thing’s will be in the next few months. But like you mentioned, it is what it is. It’s nothing we can do about the current conditions. But what we can do is try to remain positive and calm. I myself try to see the good in everything. That definitely helps. And during this time that I’m home, I try to stay busy and productive. Tackle projects that I didn’t make time for. What really helps me emotionally? Reading the bible daily. It gives me peace. And it gives me a wonderful hope for the future. I look forward to the day when there will be no more sickness, death, or crime. No one will be worried or stressed. We will eventually live here on earth in true peace. Jehovah God has promised that.🌸 Please stay healthy and safe!

    Isaiah:33:24- And no resident will say: I am sick.

    Isaiah:25:8-He will swallow up death forever, and the sovereign lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from all faces.

    Psalms 37:11-But the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.

  7. This being home has really narrowed down all input and the ways I keep from noticing how I feel and think. I’m treating it like a retreat. As a time to engage with feeling that I suspect are always there lurking under all the noise that has disappeared.
    Thanks for this blog!

  8. What I like writing and blogging as it’s a way to express and organize the thoughts we have. As a health care worker and nursing director, I have to lead my team confidently while myself dealing with the danger and uncertainties. I wrote this post specifically after researching how stress can benefit us ( I had to find a silver lining!!!). I will definitely be glad when this is behind us!!!!!!

  9. I understand where you are coming from Betul. I have been worried because I feel more relaxed being away from work and most people. It’s like the outside world is somewhere different. It will be a shock to my system when things return to normal but I will have to adapt, just as we have had to adapt to quarantine. Stay safe and well 🙂

  10. Changes normally frightens me but with each day we are trying our best to just carry on.
    Mostly, it is okay to feel frustrated or lonely. Talk to your friends and family —it is very important.
    Much love 💛

  11. Hi, Betul. I’m surprisingly at peace with all of this. I think it helps that I have lived in many countries under a lot of different circumstances. Plus, lots of people are moaning and groaning about what they miss. I don’t think I went through a phase of that. I’m feeling that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really withdraw from this consumer culture that we all live in. Will it hurt me to consume less, to run around to fewer places? Not at all. In fact, it’s probably going to be really healthy in lots of different ways. I truly understand that you found greater peace once you quit worrying about what was beyond your control and just RELAXED. We are taught to fight with all our might, to struggle incessantly. But sometimes surrendering is what’s called for.

    1. I am actually generally happy about the quarantine too. The thing with not being able to visit my family shook my system but I am getting over it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as you say and I want to pass it as best as I can, meaning as peacefully as I can!

    2. So true.. when we were held at gunpoint witnessed my son and brother murdered. While being held at gunpoint!!! It humbled me. Therefore with this MURDERS & PTSD IT’S CAUSED TRIGGERS OF EVERYTHING YOU CAN THINK OF. THEREFORE, YOU HAVE TO SUBMIT ALL TO GODS UNCHANGING HANDS. HE WILL KEEP YOU IN PERFECT PEACE! Be safe all!

  12. Thanks for this, Betul. It’s easier said than done, but we can all choose to focus on the positives of this situation. (With respect to those suffering, of course.) Having some time to just “be” might work wonders far beyond our understanding. That being said, I do hope you get to see your family soon! Peace to you, friend. 🕊

    1. I agree! Being able to focus on the positive requires some work and I am generally a positive person. The family thing was a bad surprise to me, but I am more ok with it now:)

  13. Beautifully described 💕
    I agree. Being in ‘involuntary lockdown’ is like a physically representation of how we feel inside. We like to run, and distract ourselves with work, fitness, family… I do it often with cleaning!!!
    From what I am seeing in my circle, everyone will be able to process the underlying issue for their frustration and restlessness. I can’t wait to meet with everyone again and see the changes in growth 🥰✨👏👏

    1. This process is indeed a gem for personal growth. I am very happy about the ways it is pushing my limits because this is the first time I am challenging some of my psychological constructs to this level!

  14. I am sorry to hear it’s been a while since you’ve been able to visit family. That is definitely a hard thing. It is good to hear of your approach to it though. When things are truly out of our control, there is almost a relief in knowing we could not affect the outcome. Staying at home has made work great! However, I do find the isolation a bit harsh at times. I dont think its necessarily isolation that is my problem but rather the quietness that can come with.

    1. The quietness is hard for me too, but I think we are getting used to it, right?
      If we can’t do anything to change the situation, the only option left is to go with it.

  15. I am keeping you in my thoughts. Family is so important. The quarantine and being laid off gives me more time to write, read books, workout, and strategize my career transition. At times, it’s difficult being with my family 24/7 but I go on 30-45 minute walks for fresh air. Lately, I’ve desired in-person social exchanges as we get closer to May.

    1. I also get these desires every now and then. I think that is a main reason for me to have these ups and downs, that I want to meet people in person. But now is not the time for that.

  16. I felt this in my soul! I’m very relieved to have read this at this very moment. I too am experiencing very similar emotions. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  17. Hi Betul, I know what you’re going through. Quarantine can feel like an extremely isolated time away from family and friends. I planned on going to Washington D.C. for an internship program, but instead I’ll be staying at home all summer. It’s disappointing, but I’m trying to look toward the best of things. I hope you’ll continue to do the same.

  18. I think you described it perfectly – relationships are being stressed in ways we never imagined. There is a restlessness also occurring with being quarantined with no end in sight.

  19. Thank you for writing this. Yes I’ve become really stressed out. I already have anxiety and this quarantine is taking a toll on me. I’m not completely isolating myself. I was visiting my in laws once a week but i didnt see my family for 2 months. They finally let me visit them a few days ago and it destressed me completely. I’m worried not about the corona virus per se but the economic effects on my already economically falling country lebanon. Economic instability is not something I’m comfortable with.

    1. May God help you and you family! This situation is affecting people in various ways but I hope everything works out for you. Try to remain calm, though I know it is hard, and pray lots.

  20. Thanks for sharing your stress during this difficult time. My husband and I also have some sort of similar distress, he can’t sleep well, we feel bored all the time, also we can’t pick up our cat since he’s in another country. it’s really not easy, let’s get through it together. 🙂

  21. I am good.
    This Covid-19 came with too many mood fluctuation. Disturbed daily routine. We are compelled to be in almost isolated environment . Working from home is not so cool.

    Thanks for sharing this interesting read.

  22. I love your post and you are not alone. I have been going through the same stress triggers you talked about. I also live away from my family, same country but about a 6 hour drive. I usually am able to go visit twice a year and it is very distressing not being able to physically spend time with them. But like you said you have to change your mindset and understand there is nothing you can do about it right now and everyone has had their life affected by this some way. I’m very grateful for Zoom which has helped. I also loved this article that I would love to share

  23. I am not really into reading blogs, but reading this blog of yours made me like them, especially that it was about the struggles some of us are experiencing during this time of pandemic. I actually can relate to what you feel. Thank you so much for sharing and keep safe.

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