I was talking with a few friends about the emotional reactions we’re all experiencing in this crisis.

“What I’ve noticed,” Chris said, “is how much bigger my responses seem to be. Things that would have been no big deal before now get a major reaction from me.”

It’s not surprising. When our assumptions get overturned and we lose all margin for self-care, we’re probably going to end up with some amped up feelings.

We’re not going crazy. We’re not becoming emotional hot messes. We’re human. We’re doing the best we can.

I’m not suggesting we throw up our hands and let ourselves go, or that we indulge in one constant virtual happy hour. I’m suggesting that webe gentle with ourselves. That doesn’t mean we should coddle ourselves. It means that we need to be strong with ourselves, but in an understanding way.

It means we’ll say to ourselves, “I know you’re doing the best you can. Put structures into your life that help you practice good habits and stay connected with good people. You won’t be perfect. But over the long haul, it will help you be that person you want to be.”

That’s what gentleness looks like when we apply it to ourselves. And we need you to extend gentleness to you. It will enable you to do the same with the rest of us.

Be bright