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Melinda Karlsson offers advice on “hibernation”

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“I spent 8 months hibernating and hiding from the world,” she wrote on Twitter.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 22: Melinda Currey (L) and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators attend the 2016 NHL Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Fans aren’t the only ones starting to feel cabin fever while staying indoors to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. Though the circumstances are obviously different, Melinda Karlsson (wife of defenseman Erik Karlsson; no relation to the Sharks’ other Karlsson) offered advice from the time she spent self-isolated during her pregnancy in a post on Twitter.

The two-part Tweet says:

I spent 8 months hibernating and hiding from the world. Pregnancy wasn’t easy for me and sharing it wasn’t something i felt like i was capable of doing. That hibernation was hard, it was filled with lots of fear and anxiety but it was also filled with some positives.

My entire existence started to revolve around what i could do to make myself healthier mentally, physically and spiritually so that i could get my daughter here safely. Let’s concentrate on what we can control and find some peace and growth there.

Karlsson is writing about her pregnancy with the couple’s daughter, Harlow Rain, in 2019. The pair likely decided to keep this last pregnancy less public after the online harassment and abuse suffered when they had previously lost their first pregnancy to stillbirth, as Karlsson wrote that she felt she wasn’t “capable” of sharing the pregnancy.

Living her life outside of the public eye while pregnant during a contract year for Erik, his first season in San Jose, almost certainly gives her some authority when it comes to giving advice for not going completely stir-crazy.

To be clear, however, being able to focus on finding “some peace and growth” is a privilege in itself. Too many people right now are being generous with the definition of “essential” and not everyone is healthy enough or financially stable enough or mentally healthy enough to see a lockdown as an opportunity for “growth” — and frankly, applying that advice broadly is pretty gross.

But choosing to assume that not considering that point comes from a place of ignorance, I’m finding ways to incorporate her advice, because I do think there’s a reminder in there that I needed right now.

She calls for focusing on the things we can control, which is something I struggle with constantly. One of the things I’ve been telling people as we check in with each other during these lockdowns is that I felt fine until bad things happen to people I care about and I can’t go to them. I don’t have control over the ways I’m able to be the for people right now. But if I can focus on the ways that I can be there for people, I won’t feel as anxious about it.

I hope you find something in there you need to hear, too.