I’ve hit a wall. The emotional kind, and also a LITERAL WALL. We’re closing in on the one year anniversary of needing “two weeks to flatten the curve.” My soul is done. I have pandemic fatigue. I want vacations and hugs and crowded concerts. The adrenaline that fueled my productivity early in this pandemic is zapped.
Also, I was so tired this morning I ran into the actual wall between my bedroom and the bathroom. So we’ve passed the point of symbolic storytelling: I’m hitting real walls over here.
Getting Through It
I love this blog because I can share the habits, food, and fun that get me through life. This post, unfortunately doesn’t have the easy tips and tricks that make life more manageable. If you’re a regular reader, you know I carry the baggage of anxiety and depression. In the best of times, I work like a NASCAR pit crew to get out of bed, manage a family, and a job.
You add in some seasonal depression, pandemic fatigue, and some unprecedented world events and it’s getting harder, and harder, to do the work needed to keep all the plates spinning.
We are trying to be incredibly observant of COVID restrictions and safety guidelines. My husband has asthma and even the common cold turns into pneumonia for him. So if you’re tempted to say, “just go on vacation” know it’s not that simple for us.
6 Ways to Manage
So like an athlete training for the Olympics, I am following a plan to train my brain. While I may not emerge from this time with a gold medal, it’s helping me navigate this weird, weird time.
Here’s what I’m doing to manage:
- No booze: For the foreseeable future I’ve cut out booze. I really love a glass (or two) of wine but I don’t sleep well after I drink. And, alcohol is a depressant. I miss the ritual of unwinding with a glass at the end of the day, but I hate feeling anxious and tired the next day. It’s not worth it. For now, I’m drinking flavored club soda in a wine glass with dinner. I won’t even try to convince you it’s a good substitute but I’m sticking with it.
- Clean eating: We’ve always had good nutrition habits in this house but I’m a sucker for desserts and candy. With kids around somehow that stuff just gets in the house. I find I wake up in the night if I’ve had something super sugary. The sugar hangover the next day isn’t worth the dessert. I will never swear off sugary treats entirely, but during this time I’m avoiding them.
- Exercise daily: For me, exercise is medicine. Even if it’s just reaching 10K steps, I make it a point to move every day.
- Meditation: This 5 minute morning practice always, 100% of the time, improves my day. But it’s always the first thing I abandon when mornings get busy. I’ve now set an alarm to remind myself to meditate in the morning. I feel too guilty turning it off without completing the practice, so it’s forcing the good habit.
- Find joy in the ordinary: We’ve all heard how gratitude improves your mood. I go throughout my day looking for those incredibly ordinary, but wonderful moments to celebrate. For example, my dog just spent 3 full minutes trying to catch her tail. How funny is that? I’m so thankful to have this hairy, goofball, dog as part of our family.
- Get sunshine, even the fake kind: Winters are rough for me. If the sun is shining, even if it’s cold, I bundle up to soak up as much as possible. On a cloudy day, I use a light therapy lamp. I actually plug it in during my meditation. (I pretend I’m sitting on a beach. It’s not a pure mediation, but it works for me, okay?)
I’m emotionally training like an athlete just to be able to function with the rest of you people. I expect, when the clouds lift, I’ll add in an occasional glass of wine and the cookies our kids always seem to find.
Have you hit a wall too? Listen to our latest podcast where we talk about this and more: