There have always been ups and downs in life - but never have they felt so acute for me as immediately postpartum with both of my children and continuing into parenthood.
In the span of 30 seconds I can be grateful for our health, completely overwhelmed by the state of the world (and the state of my house), in love with my kids' yogurt-covered faces, and desperate for a minute to myself. My feelings are amplified and contradictory.
Take that and add the intensity and isolation of coronavirus and it's a whole new level of hard. I'm desperately missing seeing friends, students, and family. There's this underlying level of anxiety, as Courtney Martin writes, which includes continual second guessing whenever I leave the house. This feeling of "was that ok?"
And yes, I have yoga, and mindfulness, and so many tools to find calm amidst the chaos. But my recent joys have come in unexpected places - an instagram comment from a former student, a genuine mask-free smile and chat with a neighbor in her garden (from a distance!). Turns out, these small, everyday interactions or "weak ties" as they are called in this great article from the Harvard Business Review, have a big impact on our wellbeing.
Simply, we need human connection - in both deep and brief interactions.
Here's an important takeaway :
If studying weak ties has taught us anything, it is that we need to practice self-compassion. We might not have the energy for 1.5 hour long social calls every day. That is perfectly alright.
So this week, let's connect. Reach out to friends, neighbors or colleagues to let them know you are thinking about them.
Be kind and compassionate to yourself - and you may just find support and relief in unexpected places.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.