Self-Care and Girlfriend Therapy What Do You Do When You Can’t Be There in Person?
What a crazy time we are in right now with the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Even though I already work from my home office, at times I feel isolated from the ‘real world’. Knowing I can pick up the keys and run out of the house at any time to meet a friend or do something fun is what keeps me sane. But, right now, we can’t do that. We are ALL in real isolation these days and anxiety can run very high. One of the things this virus can’t stop are the ups and downs that you or your girlfriends are going through.
Now more than ever we need to connect with each other or this isolation inside our homes alone, with your kids, and or your significant other, will begin to feel like the walls are closing in. A Washington Post article on 3/20/2020 asks the question, “Why is social closeness so important?” The answer: “Because it releases oxytocin, sometimes called the ‘love molecule’ because it is excreted when we have contact with others. Oxytocin binds us together. It raises happiness and lowers stress and increases kindness and charity toward others. In contrast, when we are isolated from others and thus bereft of oxytocin, life can feel cold and empty.”
I have been promoting “girlfriend therapy” because we live these busy lives with the hustle and bustle that starts well before 9am and goes well beyond 9pm and it's hard to make time for your friends. Little did I realize how vital girlfriend therapy truly is now that our outside activities have come to a complete stop.
Just as much as your girlfriends can make your busy lives possible in normal times, they will help you make your new, short term indoor life possible.
How do your friends make you possible, you ask? Think about it:
Your girlfriends are there to let you vent about everything on your mind for hours, whether it is complaining about the kids, spouse, job, parents, or even laughing about needing alcohol to survive it all and they can help you handle this lock-in, too.
Your girl is there to let you do all this complaining without reminding you how blessed you are and telling you to be appreciative, because she knows you know that you are blessed but that you just need to vent, with no judgement.
Women speak a different language than the opposite sex, so placing this burden on them is just unfair and will not get you the result you need.
Your girlfriend has a much better chance of stopping you from losing your $hit and telling you that you need to pull it together in times of distress and stress.
She is the one you can pick up the phone to call, even if you haven’t spoken in years due to the hustle and bustle of life and you’ll both pick right up where you left off. This may require a few extra hours of catching up, but it seems we have nothing but time on our hands these days anyway.
She is also the one who understands your need to laugh when you want to do nothing but cry and can allow you to be as “unclassy” as you want when you use your “sentence enhancers” frequently (just make sure your kids are in another room, ha-ha).
The bottom line is this…your girlfriends are the front-line warriors who can help you with life’s daily battles, even when (especially when) you are stuck in the house.
Remember earlier when I said the virus isn’t going to change many of the life’s up and downs, we were going through the moment before this pandemic began? Now more than ever, you can’t forget about:
The Bad A$$ BFF who is coming up on a major milestone and just had her plans cancelled and is now having a solitary party alone in the house.
The girlfriends who are battling cancer, like the two I have. One still has chemo to get to and the other is scheduled to go into surgery tomorrow because this virus isn’t stopping the spread of either one’s cancer. We have girlfriends who just lost parents or love ones before this hit, and many may lose more during this time.
I for one know the stress and anxiety the virus is causing on girlfriends who are care takers of aging parents. I spend my day trying to remind my parents, who both battle dementia, to not leave the house, while fighting the crowds at the grocery store to stock up and transport food back and forth because they don’t cook for themselves. I don’t want to infect them so I limit the time I am near them and keep my fingers crossed they follow instructions.
I also have to maintain my own house with two teenagers whose lives of constant stimulation and activities to fill their day has just come to a complete halt and are now effectively hermits in their rooms watching endless hours of Netflix and trying to figure out how to navigate campus life online.
Or that girlfriend that was in the middle of dealing with infidelity and is now locked up all day with that same spouse, or the one who just filed for divorce and instead of being able to get out and be active, has all day to ponder of the loss of a past life.
What about that girlfriend who just came out on the other side to start a new life, either as an empty nester, or possibly in the middle of buying a new home and her adjustment to a new normal is now something completely different. Not to mention the girlfriend who became who own “shero” and decided to take that leap of faith to retire and or start a new business venture, but now finds herself in a financially stressed environment that was unforeseen by any of us.
Oh, bless those family members stuck in the house with a “hormotional” woman in the peak of wanting to go menopostal, because one minute she’s cool as a cat and laughing and the next she’s enraged and on fire.
Yes, we all have one of these girls in our tribe and very likely it’s you yourself. We need each other more than ever.
You can make the difference in any of these women’s lives and your own life by connecting with each other to share these ups and downs and bring each other some real therapeutic relief that will leave you feeling restored, revived and renewed and better able to deal with this isolation.
It’s easy for us to just text someone because we don’t want to be intrusive and while it is a connection, there are so many other ways to truly connect and feel the emotional support we long for.
So, pick up the phone and call your girlfriend. Believe it or not, getting an unexpected phone call can save someone’s life in a moment you didn’t even know about.
Schedule a live in-person call via Facetime, What’s App or Zoom. Zoom has allowed me to gather several girlfriends at a time and have a much needed “Wine and Zoom Time” party. You can even tell your girls to grab a glass, put on a party hat and celebrate someone’s birthday.
Sure, we live a life on Facebook and Instagram, but are we really connecting one-on-one and getting real girlfriend therapy? No, we aren’t. We “like” or make a quick comment and move on and think that sufficed for real connection. But, it doesn’t.
Wouldn’t you love to hear from a girlfriend, or even receive a cute care package in the mail? I know I would.
Use this time to reach out and get some real, free girlfriend therapy. It only takes one smile to change someone’s life. Let your self-care include sparkling, moving, indulging, laughing and exhaling, because a SMILE is a curve that sets everything straight.