Take a shower. Wash away every trace of yesterday. Of smells. Of weary skin. Get dressed. Make coffee, windows open, the sun shining through. Hold the cup with two hands and notice that you feel the feeling of warmth.  You still feel warmth. Now sit down and get to work. Keep your mind sharp, head on, eyes on the page and if small thoughts of worries fight their ways into your consciousness: threw them off like fires in the night and keep your eyes on the track. Nothing but the task in front of you. Get off your chair in the middle of the day. Put on your shoes and take a long walk on open streets around people. Notice how they’re all walking, in a hurry, or slowly. Smiling, laughing, or eyes straight forward, hurried to get to wherever they’re going. And notice how you’re just one of them. Not more, not less. Find comfort in the way you’re just one in the crowd. Your worries: no more, no less.

Go back home. Take the long way just to not pass the liquor store. Don’t buy the cigarettes. Go straight home. Take off your shoes. Wash your hands. Your face. Notice the silence. Notice your heart. It’s still beating. Still fighting. Now get back to work. Work with your mind sharp and eyes focused and if any thoughts of worries or hate or sadness creep their ways around, shake them off like a runner in the night for you own your mind, and you need to tame it. Focus. Keep it sharp on track, nothing but the task in front of you.

Work until your eyes are tired and head is heavy, and keep working even after that. 

Then take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes.Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. You’re doing just fine. You’re doing fine.

I’m doing just fine.

― Charlotte Eriksson, You’re Doing Just Fine

Sometimes when I read words they become a part of me. Today I stumbled across these words and I’m re-reading them on the hour. In this weird time where everything feels uncertain, unnerving, and plain old uncomfortable, I am sated by these sentiments.

I don’t know how you’re doing, but I’ve been struggling this past week. I had an uptick in anxiety because I forgot to rest, pray, and had far too few fikas. I’m on the mend because I reorganized and reprioritized the calendar for my comfort. I have a plan, which I was lacking, and feel excited about the rebound. It’s important to share the struggle. Anxiety is often hidden, chastised, or criticized. But it’s real and rampant, especially in this pandemic. Check in with yourself. Check in with others.

I’m good. You’re good. We’ll be okay. Find some words, let your heart consume them in entirety, and make the mess meaningful.