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A Daily Walk

Madeleine Ouellette

Posted on July 19, 2020 12:44

5 users

Finding ways to cope with difficult emotions.

I've been stressed and sad for so many months now and there's no end in sight. My boyfriend and I moved to Charlotte, NC at the beginning of the pandemic and have been unable to do much since we've been here.

My parents live about two hours away, so we have been able to safely see them a couple of times, but that's the only interaction we ever have with loved ones.

My boyfriend and I live in a small one-bedroom apartment and are together pretty much all day, every day. This can be taxing no matter how much you love someone!

I'm one of the lucky ones; I have an apartment and a stable remote job that pays the bills. I feel a pang of guilt whenever I'm feeling down because there are people who have it so much worse. But this guilt doesn't stop me from waking up some days and staring at the ceiling, wondering how things got so bad.

If I'm not feeling sad, I'm feeling frustrated and angry with the people I see on social media, at large public gatherings with no masks or any distance between themselves and others. I think, "these are the people that are making it so I can't leave my house!" I have to take a breath and remind myself that I cannot control what others do, only my own actions. I just truly wish some of these people would, for one second, think about the greater good instead of only themselves.

All this to say, I've had to come up with some coping mechanisms for the daily onslaught of negative emotions. Although it gets up to around 92 degrees here most days in Charlotte, I've started taking daily walks around different areas of my neighborhood.

I go at a slow, relaxed pace and listen to a podcast in my headphones. I spend these walks really paying attention to the beautiful trees that line the streets and the cute dogs that I pass by.

Some days I crave a higher-intensity exercise, but recently it's brought me a lot of calm and peace to just walk, alone and without any specific destination. I take different routes and walk different distances each time.

It also can feel nice to pass by someone else in the neighborhood on their daily walk. We look at each other, smile underneath our masks so that the corners of our eyes crinkle, and give a small wave. These are the small moments in which I can find some peace.

Madeleine Ouellette

Posted on July 19, 2020 12:44

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Source: NPR

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