CRAP! Why Am I Still Here?

A few months into the nightmare that has been 2020, a lot of you unhappy attorneys were making plans. You realized that life was short. You were done with all the intolerable, dysfunctional nonsense of law practice. And you were not going to spend your wild, precious life being miserable.

So how is it almost the end of this oh-so-memorable year, and you haven’t figured out what you want to do instead? Or you have, and you don’t know how to get there? Or you just haven’t sent out any resumes, even though you’re pretty sure you know one or two things you’d like to try?

If you are berating yourself about laziness, or questioning whether any job exists that you would enjoy and be good at—STOP. We are all struggling.

Welcome to Club Paralysis–We Have Hot Towels and Drinks

I hope you’re not beating yourself up for not being on top of your new life quest. For starters, even if you didn’t suffer from depression and anxiety (at least a third of you did) before last spring, the chances are that you do now. Rates of depression among the general populace has tripled since the pandemic began.   I haven’t seen data about lawyers specifically, but I would be gobsmacked if our industry’s rate hasn’t at least doubled. That means at least 65% of lawyers (probably way more) are in the throes of mental illness while trying to work during a pandemic. And there was an election that was far from normal, just to ratchet up the stress level.

Depression and anxiety often result in paralysis and inaction in our lives, making getting the dishes done or clothes washed a real albatross. Things that are difficult to tackle, like figuring out a whole new career and life path? Exponentially harder.

I’m not saying that you should give up on making a change. In fact, I’m begging you not to give up on yourself.

But if you are berating yourself about laziness, or questioning whether any job exists that you would enjoy and be good at—STOP. We are all struggling. People may be posting stuff about how they have embraced a new yoga practice,  or started a cool new side gig giving virtual workshops, or whatever. But remember, people post their highlights reel, and that highlights reel may or may not be completely transparent.

Plus, even if these folks are brutally honest about their success, so what? You have to start where you are, not where Karen or Chad say they are.

Photo by Julia Peretiatko on Unsplash

So give yourself some grace. Take that warm bath if you need it. (Just not during a Zoom meeting, K?) Binge watch that series that makes you laugh so hard you need adult underwear. Eat some chocolate or other dopamine enhancers. Get some movement from the chicken dance instead of something serious and “good for you.”

Don’t Go It Alone

From law school onward, we have been so very conditioned to figure things out by ourselves. Once we’ve been practicing for even a few months, we aren’t all that used to asking people for help. Even if we desperately need it, we have been shamed so often for not knowing something, that we hate to ask for anything.

Now, though, is the time to start overcoming that rugged independence—at least in some areas. Regardless of how self-starting people are, they usually do better with some kind of accountability to another person when they are trying to make a big change. There’s a certain magic to telling another human how you’re doing, and why you are or aren’t doing what you said you wanted to. Checking off to-do lists just isn’t the same.

woman climbing side of mountain alone, with ocean in background
Photo by Luigi Pozzoli on Unsplash

Selecting Your Sounding Board

So find someone you can talk to about your quest to escape law. Spouses, family, friends, maybe even colleagues, are all potential accountability partners. A good brainstorming session with them could do wonders for your quest.

Some tips on picking a good sounding board:

  • Look for people who don’t have an agenda for you. Some people are great at setting aside their own wants and needs to focus on what you need. Others, not so much. Be honest with yourself about who those people are in your life. Your spouse may be wonderful in hundreds of ways, but maybe not when it comes to taking an objective look at an idea that is new to them.
  • Avoid other practicing lawyers. While they will intimately understand your constraints, they may not be very gifted at understanding what is really holding you back. (Perhaps because they have their own struggle there.) Or, they may just be too judgey for this stage of your journey.
  • Seek out people who have broad interests, work experience outside conservative industries, or who are just quirky thinkers. You don’t need someone just like you. You need someone who can complement you, and help you see situations in a different light.

Of course, if you try an accountability partner or two and still aren’t getting anywhere, you can always reach out to a career coach who works with attorneys.

Jennifer Alvey is a recovering lawyer with diverse experiences or a checkered past, depending on how you frame it. Pro-tip: It’s always about the framing! You can set up a sample session with her by emailing her at jalvey@jenniferalvey.com.

All They’ve Sown Was a Song: A Pandemic Soundtrack for Unhappy Lawyers

Back in May (a few days ago, or years, whatever), as the pandemic exploded here in the US for the first time, a lawyer friend posted about an Indigo Girls’ Facebook live concert later that day. Immediately, seeing that concert rocketed to the top of my to-do list.

The Indigo Girls were a huge part of my law school and early practice soundtrack. I was a good 15 years away from joining a choir and really learning to sing, but I loved the Indigo Girls’ harmonies and poetic lyrics, and sang right along. Loudly, in my car.

You bet your sweet bippy I was belting out the Girls’ lyrics when they were playing on Facebook. Fortissimo. I definitely annoyed my family more than usual that evening.

woman with long brown hair swinging head with white headphones on, holding smart phone, and singing

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Listening and singing with those beloved tunes during the pandemic and Black Lives Matter crises, I realized that all us lawyers need to guide us through this time is the Indigo Girls’ inspiring songs.

I’ll Be Fine as Long as None of This Lasts Too Long

It is deep human nature to believe, when we are going through something difficult, that we will be fine as long as things don’t get worse. Then, of course, things immediately go straight to hell:

  • That bad feeling you’ve had about your boss turns into a layoff. 
  • The jabs between you and your honey that you thought were a little sharp, but all in good fun, turn out to be signals you wildly misinterpreted, and you flee the relationship you thought was your one and only. 
  • The nagging feeling of being off turns out to be cancer. 

All of those endings at one point seemed terrible, and likely something you thought you absolutely couldn’t endure. 

But the wood is tired and the wood is old 

And we’ll make it fine if the weather holds 

But if the weather holds then we’ll have missed the point

That’s were I need to go

The Wood Song (Swamp Ophelia, 1994)

Yet eventually, we mostly manage to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the unthinkable. Somehow, we move on, even if we feel we aren’t doing it right. Hopefully, we learn something useful from the experience.

I Just Want To Know When Things Will Feel Normal Again

If anyone out there actually knows the answer to when things will feel normal again, or the answer to its siblings, when will there be a vaccine, or real change in America’s race problems—they could make some serious bank. 

Should we even spend much energy on those questions, though?

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look

Skip to the final chapter of the book

And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took

To get us where we are this far… (yeah, yeah…)

But the question drowns in its futility

And even I have got to laugh at me

No one gets to miss the storm of what will be

Just holding on for the ride

Wood Song

As much as we all want to have our “normal lives” back and have all the chaos be over, we aren’t going to get that desperate wish. The chance of things reverting to exactly how they were is, roughly speaking, zero.

Personally, I suspect many of whatever changes we will see are for the good. 

We don’t need to be in offices daily to be productive (sorry Boomers and some GenXers), and the environment would sure appreciate a break from all the commuting pollution. A lot of nerves would, too. Plus, I’m holding out hope for communicating via holographic projection some day soon, like on Star Wars.

Star Wars scene with middle-aged Obi Wan and Yoda at a Jedi council meeting in conference chairs, with Ki Adi Mundi attending virtually by hologram

Any changes we can make to protect Black lives will only make us better as a people and a country. We have allowed our society and culture to give far too much power to those who were already powerful. The resulting abuse of the downtrodden has been appalling. The last thing we really need is a return to what was. 

Is the Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

Few of us in November 2019 imagined the radical changes hurricaning toward us. We have been forced to slow down by the pandemic. We have seen how the inequality we have ignored for years, decades, or centuries has wreaked real havoc throughout our society.

But mercifully, 2020 has forced us to stare down the gullet of what needs fixing, scrapping, or rebuilding. That’s true not just for the large issues of the day, but also in our daily lives and work.

Many clients have told me that they are less stressed by being laid off than when they were working at a firm. That’s more than a little telling about the dysfunction of law culture.

Others are happier being at home and away from the full brunt of some difficult personalities, from constant interruptions, and even from pointless meetings (although, sigh, Zoom). Some are Zoomtigued, but do enjoy seeing the pets and kids of their colleagues, and a side of their coworkers they never got to see previously.

I Just Want This Pandemic To Be Over So I Can Decide What To Do Next

It is the most on-brand kind of lawyer thinking: I shouldn’t make a decision until I can see what all the options are, in detail, and think them through. So I should wait out the pandemic and social unrest until things start to settle down.

Decision tree begins with "Do you want to go out tonight?" and works it way through the lyrics of Morrissey's

But the Indigo Girls know better:

Gotta get out of bed

Get a hammer and a nail

Learn how to use my hands

Not just my head

I think myself into jail

Now I know a refuge never grows

From a chin in a hand

And a thoughtful pose

Gotta tend the earth

If you want a rose

Hammer and Nail (Nomads – Indians – Saints, 1990)

A lot of unhappy lawyers are reaching out to me recently, because they’ve been thinking about a change for a while. The pandemic and protests have given them clarity that they don’t want to remain in an unsatisfying, maybe even miserable, job. The time for a change is now.

I wrap my fear around me like a blanket

I sailed my ship of safety ’til I sank it

I’m crawling on your shores

The less I seek my source for some definitive

The closer I am to fine

Closer to Fine (Indigo Girls, 1989)

Yes, times are highly chaotic and very uncertain right. This level of unknown makes most lawyers a LOT anxious. After all, we are conditioned to worship control and predictability.

Right now, though, spending a lot of energy on predicting the future is about as useful as predicting the trajectory of 5 sand grains during a dust storm.

Perfect Plans Are Useless in a Pandemic

So stop trying. Agonizing about the perfect, bestest decision won’t get you where you want, or need, to go.

Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road

You can stand there and agonize

Till your agony’s your heaviest load.

You’ll never fly as the crow flies, get used to a country mile.

When you’re learning to face the path at your pace

Every choice is worth your while.

Watershed (Nomads, Indians, Saints, 1990)

Instead of trying to see 5 years down the road, how about looking deeply at what you need right now? Maybe it’s a less contentious workplace culture. Maybe it’s a need to create something, rather than tear apart arguments and look for flaws. Maybe you need more people to interact with regularly, assuming they are fairly pleasant, or at least highly interesting.

Whatever that deep part of you needs, now is the time to listen. You don’t have to go live off grid in a yurt right away. Maybe you can squeeze in more outdoor time first, and once you can do that regularly, move on to your next need.

The fact that we don’t know where we will end up is in many ways a gift. Because predictability is out the window for now, we can really free ourselves from any perceived need to conform our dreams to the expected, to the familiar, to the known. We can dream bigger, because who can really say that our dreams are unlikely to come true? No one really knows, y’all!

bright yellow VW bus on road in southwest US desert, amid sandstone rock formations

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

When no one knows how anything will turn out, you can feel freer to follow your inner wisdom without a cloud of guilt and doubt hanging over you. Your inner wisdom has always been more likely to be the right answer for you; now more than ever, you can free yourself from justifying the dreams borne of that inner wisdom.

Connect with whatever inspires you–the Indigo Girls, or something else altogether—and use that to dream big, and act big.

The Indigo Girls will be in concert on their Facebook page August 6 at 7pm EDT. Just in case you need to know.

Jennifer Alvey is a recovering lawyer who knows how powerfully a pursuit of your inner wisdom can transform your life. She also is ever-so-slightly fond of the Indigo Girls. You can reach her at jalvey@jenniferalvey.com to schedule a sample career coaching session, and get clarity on what your big dreams are.

 

Is the Pandemic Triggering Your Lawyer Perfectionism?

Being plunged into a global pandemic crisis has a way of unsettling people, even logical thinkers like lawyers. In fact, it might be harder for lawyers, because figuring out the worst-case scenario is literally our job.

Add to that, most attorneys are poor at separating their job skills from their approach to their personal life. So I know a lot of you are vastly more anxious and depressed than usual, but maybe it doesn’t feel like a worse version of your usual depression and anxiety. Maybe it’s so much more that the feeling is very, very different.

Oh Hey, Depression, You’re Back. Did You Change Your Hair?

What I did not see coming was how my own depression, which has been infinitely better for years than it was during practice, would come roaring back. And how it would take me a while to even figure out that depression might just be the problem. 

Many of you may be in the midst of depression about surviving this highly uncertain crisis. And yes, it is damned scary, and we have plenty of solid reasons to think that covid-19 is going to sicken or kill people around us.

But survival isn’t where my mind is going. Instead, I’ve been locked in a battle against my inner critic, and it’s bizarre. I’m a monkey on my own back because I’m not writing enough, or putting on FB Live events, or pushing ahead with plans to offer a subscription service for additional coaching materials. Also, I’m not sewing, painting, or even reading much. I’m completely struggling to do nice things for myself, even though every expert on the planet tells you to. Including me!

What AM I doing? 

  • Coaching existing clients and responding to inquiries. Yay! Some minimum normal functioning.
  • Napping like it’s my side gig. Sleeping until 9am or 10 am some days.
  • I’ve done an exercise DVD twice. Go me!
  • Gardening. Sometimes that means pulling up weeds for a couple minutes. Sometimes I even plant a few lettuces or herbs. I got really crazy the other day and planted 6 whole summer bulbs!
  • Getting on Facebook and watching TV more than I care to admit.
  • Doing a few Zooms and more texting/messaging with friends. I’ve even—gasp!—called a few people, unscheduled.
  • Far too much searching online for things I would rather go out and browse for. But going out is a bad, bad idea now, so online it is.

I finally made a rule for myself starting this week that I had to change out of PJs within an hour of getting out of bed. Basically, I put on leggings and some kind of stretchy shirt. Goals, people! 

All of this not-doing-workish-stuff provides infinite fodder for my inner critic. That inner critic loves to point out the 3.27 million ways I am just not worthy or enough, and gleefully points to my current lack of productivity as proof.

His name, incidentally, is Guido. He’s a mobster thug amalgamation from people I’ve known throughout my life. He really, really doesn’t like it when I venture into new places or try creative things.

Guido’s favorite methods of attack are those cloaked in perfectionism. And that is what this current depression is mostly about: I’m not doing all those things I’ve said I would if I just had the time, the energy, or could get enough sleep. So on top of being lazy, I’m also a liar.

Guido is not good company at parties.

Objectively, I know that expecting ourselves to carry on as if nothing life-changing is happening is absurd. But part of me very much expects to have mental energy, motivation, and physical energy, too. That I will suddenly, despite all prior experience before the pandemic, be a dynamo of productivity.

Yeah, right.

How Is Your Perfection Monster Doing?

I’ll bet a wad of cash that you’re experiencing perfection expectations from either yourself, or your bosses. Likely both. Lawyers do love to pretend they can power through anything, and we have the depression, substance abuse, and suicide rates to prove it.

So instead, do your best to accept that you are living through a major, historic crisis, and that however it resolves, some things will never be the same. Accept that we are literally making this up as we go along, because we have no other choice.

You are going to feel uncomfortable and unpleasant things. You are not going to be perky and energetic often, if at all, even if that is the face you’ve decided to present to the world. 

IMG_1773

So nap if you need to nap. Be sweet and nice and protective of yourself, like you would be to a frightened 5 year-old right now.

If you are getting pressure from your law employer to perform at your peak, maybe you should send them this article. Or this one. (Unless you’re involved in deals and lawsuits that will literally save lives.) Even federal judges recognize that these are extraordinary times, and we should get a clue and perspective.

Is Your Past a Problem Again?

You may find that this current, stupendous lack of control triggers some old, old wounds that you thought were laid to rest. 

If you experienced childhood trauma (have you taken the Adverse Childhood Experiences survey to assess that?) or other serious trauma, you are probably having some kind of struggle right now. 

If you have ever grieved deaths or other losses, you could very well be re-experiencing that right now.

If you already suffered from depression or anxiety, or both, you’re probably experiencing more of it.

Speaking of anxiety—Lawyers, in particular, often experience their anxiety through increased perfection pressure. That happens at work, mostly. Yet even if work has dried up (a whole other source of anxiety!), there’s always:

  • being the perfect homeschool parent, 
  • being extremely prepared by stockpiling or taking monumental measures to clean and sanitize, or 
  • being completely, utterly informed about current developments with the pandemic.  

Those are just the tip of the iceberg.

What Gives You Calm?

I suspect that I’m struggling from the re-awakened trauma from growing up in an alcoholic household. I don’t know what is coming next, just like I didn’t know then. Plus, my reaction to being enormously scared isn’t fight or flight, but freeze. So I resemble a refrigerated sloth more often than I care to. Yippee.

Fortunately, my grown-up, gone-to-therapy self has discovered some really good coping strategies over the years. For me, the priority is to spend time outside, preferably in my garden, possibly taking walks along very deserted paths in the woods. Or even going for a drive in the country by myself.

Grown-up me also knows that I need to stay off Facebook and away from most news updates, let alone hourly ones. I am instead watching Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear at 5pm EDT a few days a week. 

andy beshear headshot next to Kentucky flag

I’m a born-and-bred Kentuckian, yes, but more importantly, Gov. Andy has a wonderfully down-to-earth, “we are all in this together” message, and frequently reassures us that we are going to be OK. There are also exhortations about being patriotic, and that this is the defining challenge for our generation. He also talks a lot about doing what we need to do to protect our people, along with chiding those who try to evade restrictions, and reminding us, “You can’t be doing that. Do what you know you should be doing. We need to protect each other.”

I find some calm and hope listening to Gov. Andy. 

I share my own current struggles not to get any sympathy, because I’m really doing better than I was (or you wouldn’t be reading this post).

Mostly, I want to let y’all know that despite all the productivity porn (love that phrase!) you may be seeing on social media, everyone is struggling right now. That struggle may look like abject denial of the existence of a crisis, to all kinds of decluttering, cleaning, and stockpiling, all the way to self-harm. 

Some Gentle Goals

There are some excellent resources (here and here, for starters) about how to take care of yourself during this time. If you feel able to adopt a few of these behaviors, that’s outstanding.

If you are utterly overwhelmed at the idea of most of them, THAT’S OK. 

 

The most important thing is figuring out what makes your inner 5-year-old feel safe and calm. Then do that!

Some ideas that your inner 5-year-old might like:

Consider singing and dancing as ways to deal with anxiety and depression. It does not matter in the slightest if you are the worst ever at these. Humans have been singing and dancing in their tribes since before recorded history. These activities are human birthrights, because they let us express a huge range of emotions. It’s hard finding words right now for what we are feeling. Let it out in other ways.

group of adults on brown grass field, dancing in disorganized group

Read and take bubble baths. Get under a weighted fuzzy blanket and go on a streaming binge! 

Meditation and yoga, or any kind of movement, are wonderful for most of us, no matter how old.

Have a little forbidden food. Unless it’s forbidden due to allergies or very serious health reasons. Hint: I’ll gain weight/it’s not paleo/vegan/low-fat are not the kind of serious health reasons I’m talking about. 

Do something for someone else. Putting a smile on another person’s face is a powerful, amazing drug. Just be sure to keep up your own self-care, OK? No martyrdom!

Make some really bad arts and crafts. Let your inner 5-year-old have fun making a glorious mess. Do not insist on pretty or Pinterest-level. Unless it’s Pinterest-fail.

Be careful with alcohol and other similar substances. A glass or two of wine nightly is probably OK right now, unless you’re a substance abuser. I’m personally up to a whopping two drinks a week lately, which is about 3 times as much as I usually drink.

Most of all, remember you are important, loved, and needed in this world.

The world has the best medicine and doctors in history, along with the best communications and technology ever known. People are working together to find solutions. To quote Gov. Andy, “We’re gonna get through this,” even though the way may not be crystal clear right now.

Be well, everyone. Take care of each other.

If you’re struggling, connect with someone and get the help you need. If you want to drop me a line about work, career, or deep questions, I’m jalvey@jenniferalvey.com. I’m not a therapist, but sometimes I have a few decent ideas about how to reframe what’s happening. I’ve also leveled up to Snarky Queen of Coffee & Memes™, so we can always discuss that.

 

 

When Everything’s Gone to S%#(*

I have spent the last couple days trying to write a fabulous post that will help all of y’all feel better about living through a pandemic. You know, something that isn’t so pie-in-the-sky that most of you lawyers would eye-roll past, but that still inspires y’all to look for some deeper meaning and wisdom in this crisis. Something that will help you dig down for what you really want your life to be in 6 months or a year.

This is not that post.

The truth is, I’m struggling as much as anyone else right now. Trouble focusing, feeling OK one minute and crying the next. Not wanting to work at all. Spending way the hell too much time on Facebook, and in chats with friends, even though that often depresses me as much as keeps me connected. Oh, and TV watching. I’m considering upgrading my Hulu account every other hour. My chocolate consumption is . . . unwise.

No Music, and I’m Crying

Which is why, this morning, I was outside gardening in the rain.

In the spring, two of my profound joys are mucking around in my garden, and getting ready for Easter with many choir rehearsals. 

I realized several days ago that the likelihood of having Easter services was about .0005% of a chance above nil. No live services means no choir joyfully processing down the aisle in song. Or at our church, no singing the Hallelujah Chorus right before the end of the Easter service. I’ve sung that for a decade now, every Easter. I’ve gone from abject terror to absolute delight about that, over the years.

Episcopal choir in black robes and white cottas, on dais, holding music folders

St. Paul’s Episcopal choir, Franklin TN

Merely thinking that we wouldn’t have choir, I was OK. But I actually typed that out in a chat with friends, and I started tearing up. Singing is one of the greatest joys of my life. I didn’t start singing with a choir until 2008; before that, it was the radio and me, baby. 

I had no idea what I had been missing all my life.

Now, I do know what I’ll be missing. And I’ve been pretty depressed about it.

But it’s just this one time, right? Many things that are much more important are also going AWOL in all our lives right now. So why was I sobbing about singing?

It’s All About that Grief

Finally, I realized: I’m grieving.

For the foreseeable future, there won’t be rehearsals. That means no time with my choir family, who are cherished, maddening, hilarious, eyeroll-inducing, and so many other things. Plus, there’s the real joy of making music.

Then, there’s the other parts of this spring I was really anticipating: Finally going to Keeneland on my college alumni racing day, which I have never been able to attend; seeing a dear friend who was coming to visit Nashville with her daughter to look at a local college; seeing my son at his school guitar concert. 

These were some of the bigger emotional milestones in my life vision for the next couple months. And now, in less than a week, it’s all gone to the compost pile of our lives. 

Future Haze

It is a kind of death. Just like when someone you love dies, suddenly we are faced with a very different future than what we imagined. When someone dies, it’s disorienting and shocking, but at least the rest of the world stays roughly the same. 

Now, not only are all of the pleasant expectations we had being destroyed, the rest of the world is morphing into something radically different than it was just weeks ago. And it sure isn’t looking like a fun, new reality.

Here in Nashville, it’s also been overcast or rainy since February 1 for all but a tiny handful of days. I’m like a solar light; without sunlight, I start to fade and lose energy. No sun also means little to no gardening time. One of the best ways to soothe ourselves is to get outside, and I haven’t been able to do that much at all.

The Crazy Lady in the Rain

Today, though, I decided to seize a window without rain, and gave my rose bushes some badly needed pruning before they get so overgrown I would be bleeding copiously if I tried to hack them back.

Then, I decided to pull some weeds. I love pulling weeds, because I get this absolutely visceral thrill from prying them out, roots and all.

garden bed with a small pile of pulled up weeds in middleOf course, it started raining. I decided I didn’t care.

So there I was, an overweight, middle-aged woman squatting in a garden bed, digging into the dirt with my bare fingers, while the sprinkles intensified. If someone were filming my life, this would be the scene where I’d finally lost my mind.

But instead, it was the scene where I finally found some calm and peace. 

So What Now?

What does this mean for you lovely souls who are still reading? 

Give yourself permission to grieve. We have lost our familiar routines and pleasures, and instead are being plunged into some frightening uncertainty none of us have ever lived through. It’s a monumental loss, and it’s terrifying.

Remember that grief is very weird and very personal. Sure, there are stages of grief, but that doesn’t mean everyone experiences them the same way, at the same rate, or in linear order. You bounce around from denial to acceptance, then loop back to bargaining, etc. Give yourself permission to simply accept what you are feeling, no judgement, no expectations.

Find some way to include things that bring you joy. If this is the first time you’ve really considered what brings you joy—what a wonderful gift you can give yourself by figuring that out. 

If you know what brings you joy, but feel like it’s impossible to get right now—time to get creative. Maybe you can’t go to a raucous party with 100 of your closest friends, but maybe you can create a similar experience through Zoom, live-streaming, or even a simple multi-party phone call.

Do something nice for someone else. It’s a proven way to improve your outlook. Write a note to someone who has been important to you. Call someone you’ve lost touch with. Get some necessaries or small luxuries delivered to someone you know is struggling in some way. 

Do something nice for yourself. Get some wonderful-smelling soap, and enjoy the fragrant suds. Take naps. Splurge a little on art supplies, books, favorite foods, or plants. Read or watch something hilarious and fluffy. Whatever puts a genuine smile on your face that you can do while social distancing, just do it.

And if you’re struggling, connect with someone. If you want to drop me a line, I’m jalvey@jenniferalvey.com. I’m not a therapist, but sometimes I have a few decent ideas about how to reframe what’s happening.

Be well, everyone. Take care of each other.