Wearing Multiple HatsPatient & Families
How many hats do you wear throughout the day? We often have physical hats or clothing that help distinguish one hat from another. The pandemic has asked us to wear different hats in the same space, sometimes overlapping all at once!
We had teachers teaching from home while supporting their children’s online learning. There were couples working remotely together in studio apartments. There were college students learning remotely in their family home. Therapists began providing therapy from home. Family members took on childcare needs.
In some way, everyone had to adjust.
Things became messier, roles became blurred, and the canvas was never so gray. Commutes, transportation home, coffee stops- the separation between home and school or home and work vanished overnight for some of us. Those spaces offer time for preparation, a mental transition from wearing one hat to another. What has been the impact of not having that space to prepare, digest the day, reflect, call a friend, listen to music, or just sit in silence? How much time do we have to shift gears after our laptop closes?
Some of us have transitioned back to the work place and some of us have learned that remote work is a permanent change. While we adjusted professionally to the remote lifestyle- have we really examined how it has impacted us personally? It might not be immediately apparent how far we have strayed from healthy habits.
Does working remotely allow us to cut corners with hygiene? What is the impact of not showering as frequently, or styling our hair, putting on makeup? Do we roll out of bed and work in pajamas because we want to, or because we’ve lost the motivation to dress? Were we doing those things for other people or for ourselves? Do we feel so numb that we no longer care about who sees us in what hat?
What has the impact been on our partners, roommates and families who weather our varying temperaments after a long workday? Are we angry, impatient, irritable, exhausted, hopeless?
What if therapy was part of that transition time? A therapist or psychologist can help you examine all of the hats that you’re wearing and assess how you are coping. It might be time to slow down, carve out a little bit of time to talk to a caring professional and introduce ourselves to another form of self-care.
Lauren Pena MFT, ATR, LMFT # 130687
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