An interesting thing happened about two weeks ago. This was prior to the George Floyd murder. When Covid19 was our biggest concern.
We had just reached the completion of three months of dealing with the consequences of Covid19. Related to health, work, economics, education, family & friends, etc. We had started to settle into our uncomfortable unpredictable new norm. And one day around noon, I realized that I was tired. I mean TIRED.
So I sent a message to my sibling chat group (there are 4 of us) and just let then know that I was going to take a nap because I couldn’t do one more thing.
My siblings responded immediately saying that they were glad I had said something because they too were exhausted and thought it was just them.
We laughed (emoji style) and then for two minutes texted what we knew to be our truth. The steady state of anxiety, isolation, uncertainty for three months had taken its toll. We may be working partially from home (3 out of 4 of us are in health care, the 4th is in international affairs) but our work hours had increased. I had done the math and I was putting in 14 hr days without the benefit of a water cooler break or an interruption from a colleague passing by my office to chat about upcoming family events.
And the responsibility.
And the doomsday news.
So, yes. We were all tired.
How to make it better?
Started scheduling time in my day to just sit still or go outside (weather in NY is getting better). Used my smartphone alarm and chose a song that would make me want to get up (also the ringtone for my non-medical brother when he calls).
Also started to put a timer on social media bits that were depressing. 5 minute doses at a time. No need to get sucked into the vortex of despair. Try to get 10 minutes doses of positive messages. And 15-30 minute doses of things that make me laugh out loud.
Family time was not an issue since my teens and spouse were technically quarantined. Finally saw each other every morning, afternoon & night. Reminding myself how lucky I am to have them together now because in the fall (hopefully if things fully reopen), my older two go to college and my youngest is the solo child for the next two years.
And each morning- keep trying to find something positive to post. Even in the darkest moments- if your heart is still beating- you have something for which to be grateful.
Most importantly- if you can- take a nap!!