Day 98: Coping Mechanisms

I don’t give a fuck what you need to do to get through this. I just want you to have something. Whether it’s active or inactive, productive or not, I don’t care. I only care that people are engaging in self-care that is working for them. Watching TV is something. Reading a book is something. Heck, staring at a wall is something.

Whatever people are doing to safely get through this is okay by me. A lot of people are cooking and baking. But some of us aren’t as into that, and we’re doing other things.

For me, that’s working out. I’ve become obsessed with fitness because I have nothing else to do. It’s what is working for me. I’ve been reluctant to talk about it because I don’t want to seem like I’m preaching.

As a reminder, I’m unemployed. I was let go from my job of 14 years in mid-February and have been searching since then. I am also studying to pass the Project Management Professionals (PMP) exam. These are the primary things occupying my time.

However, workout goals are providing structure to my weeks that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Time could easily float along in a haze of nothingness. But because I am working out five times a week and doing a dynamic program that adjusts as my abilities improve, I am staying present and motivated.

I am not getting lost in anxious swirling thoughts. I am thinking about sore muscles and daily achievements.

Neither job searching or studying for my PMP exam are likely to show results any time soon. Even when I find job listings in my field that have appeal, I know the odds of hearing anything back after I apply are slim to none until the world settles down into a stable, reliable pace again. And the PMP exams aren’t even being held right now. I’m studying, but Lord only knows when I might actually take the test.

Working out and, specifically, working on getting stronger, is something I can do with my time right now that has fast results. I started using Fitbit Coach about two weeks ago. Since then, I have gone from having almost no upper body strength to being able to do push-ups, planks, and downward dog, none of which I could do previously.

Granted, I can’t do them well or for very long, but doing them at all without injury is new and very exciting.

Exercise is what I’m using as a coping mechanism. It’s what is helping me pass the time and keep me grounded as we battle this monstrous catastrophe. It is something I can do for myself, something I can work towards, that doesn’t feel hopeless. I need that right now. There isn’t much I can do right now that makes me feel good. This is it.

The issue is that I’m seeing far too much judgment and hatred towards others and how they’re choosing to spend their time during this safe at home period.

I want to make it very clear that what I choose to do, and what I will write about, implies nothing about anyone else’s choices.

Please, whatever you’re doing right now that’s keeping you happy and sane and emotionally healthy, embrace that. Don’t worry about what others are doing and don’t judge them if they’re happy talking about it.

And if they’re preaching and trying to get others to do what they’re doing? Ignore. Put on mute. Block, if you have to.

Just keep scrolling and keep doing you. You’re doing great.

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