Dr. Maya Sarkisyan contemplates the feelings that the world is experiencing as we begin to think about re-entering society. Anxiety is most likely inevitable, but we will all be okay as we learn to live in the new normal.
It all came to me today – in a form of anxiety. But wait, I don’t have anxiety, I help people with their anxiety. My anxiety is a thing of the far gone and well-processed past. I have to know better. Nevertheless…
I started feeling anxious after completing my online application to be considered for the “Restart Business Grants Program.” There were so many questions to answer and documents to submit that I had a sinking feeling I have done something wrong, and as often happens, everything in my life I have ever considered I have done wrong, came to my mind. Thankfully there is not much!
Ending Social Distancing
I also imagined emerging from my semi-isolation and going out and about to dinners, parties, other businesses, to visit my friends, or to hang out on the beach. And I felt even more anxious. I know it’s not about fear because I am not really afraid of much anymore, it’s about the transition. The transition from one unknown to another unknown, with a lot of confusion around it.
I know for a fact, it’s not only me who is feeling this way, perhaps it’s you too or other people you know. The words “Restart Business” feel optimistic. I try to imagine going back to my clinic as it was in February, with people waiting in the reception room, eager to come in and resolve their issues. Coming in concerned and going out full of hope, free of pain, and with a good plan to action. Solidified with a good hug.
Yesterday I went to my clinic. It smelled like dust and emptiness.
I went there to breathe life and energy to it, to do some Qigong movements, burn incense and sage. The cleaning crew is coming tomorrow and then I’ll be sanitizing all the surfaces and bringing freshly washed sheets. I will be posting the rules on my front door about social distancing, temperature, etc. All the usual. We are in the state of re-emerging, it all has to be done. I got a big UV light sanitizer where I’ll be putting everything that fits to keep it clean. It will be a safe place.
It will not be like it was for the fifteen years I have had my practice. It will be different, and I yet don’t know in what ways. Nobody knows.
But I know what will be exactly the same. I know I will do everything possible to make my patients feel loved and welcomed so they forget about their anxiety when they sit in my comfy chair or lay on my treatment table and take a deep breath. They will be heard, relaxed, and hopeful. Some of them will resolve their issues very quickly and for some, it will take some time. And life will feel a little more normal for both of us.
Re-Entering Social Life
What about re-entering social life? Last night, in conversation, I stated that I like this private lifestyle, with no need to go out. And, I guess, even though my rational mind was convincing me of its truth, in a few hours my authentic self rebelled in the form of anxiety. I don’t think I like to stay away from people and from hugging my friends. I love my friends.
I love to travel, experience life by touching things, eating with my hands in Nepalese cafes, hug strangers, exchange hiking gear with fellow travelers, take cold showers in high mountains, and run my fingers over luxury silks at street markets in India.
My anxiety is that I will not be able to do it as easily ever again.
And even though I know it’s the survival part of my brain hijacking my rational mind and predicting the rest of my life to me, probably to protect me somehow, I still feel anxious.
And to be honest, I don’t know what to do with it. I think it’s maybe normal to feel like that, given the circumstances. I also know what helps me in moments like this:
- Talking to my friends, talking it all out, and help them with their issues
- Walking in nature / exercising with some online group aerobics
- EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique aka “tapping”
- Thinking positive in “general terms,” unrelated to the situation
- Creating my new website; unrelated and present challenges substitute perceived problems
- Researching new recipes – reminds me to take care of myself
- Occasional dark chocolate
Life is to be experienced, in any circumstances. We just haven’t been in this particular situation, yet here we are. We have new concerns in our minds, new rules, new fears, new creative thinking. It’s more about creative thinking.
I strongly believe we will help each other as times goes on.
I believe in humanity, honesty, and kindness. I wouldn’t be able to exist if it would be different. I believe people around me want to do what’s best, and it helps me to lessen my anxiety. And when I look outside to nature and realize it will be there tomorrow, it helps too.
The transition is the most difficult thing for me, I don’t know about you, but I’m a creature of habit. I like my home, my clinic, my car, my gym, my drive through Delray Beach, my walks on the beach, and everything in between. I like the routine of it. Now I will be changing this routine so it works for me all over again.
And somehow, through my anxiety, I’m feeling we are going to be ok. Different, but ok.
We need to remember our friendships and kindness, what got us out of trouble in the past, and to keep in mind that good times always come after challenging times. We need to remember to smile and forgive, to hug who we can hug, and zoom who we can’t.
Maybe it’s not anxiety at all, maybe it’s the anticipation of the unknown. And the good news is that neither of us are alone, we are surrounded by people restoring and restarting life – by our immediate local community. We must learn to rely on each other even more, and it’s ok, it’s tribal, and it’s good to be tribal in times of uncertainty.
I know that I will be working extra hard to restart my clinic, and you will be doing what is right for you. And we will consider each other and help each other.
The thought of it gives me joy that is far more powerful than the anxiety.
I am here for you. Check it out!
If you prefer to be home – I have a telemedicine room, it is perfect for NLP, NET, coaching, nutrition, diagnostics, labs, and prescriptions.
If you are ready to venture out – My clinic is in great shape; it’s clean and ready for you. Clinic visits are good for acupuncture, cold laser, cupping, and the rest of the services and programs I provide.