As the days go on a lot of us feel the additional tiredness creeping in. Partly, it’s due to nearing the end of the year. This change of season tiredness. But most likely we feel the Covid19 tiredness even more. Yes, there seems to be a heavy mental shift in the air, no matter where you live.
But I wonder what more is behind this extra tiredness, behind this “Corona tiredness”? Does it as well have to do with the (at times subconscious) realization that we move from the adjusting- to the adapting phase? And the realization that adapting usually brings with it a bigger change? Something unknown?
After all, adjusting it’s more about minor changes and becoming used to a new situation. Whereas adapting is about major changes, with a much bigger impact to our life.
And that we are able to adjust, well that we have proven with all the sudden changes and the back and forth over the past months. Yes, we had to make adjustments with homeschooling, home office, lockdowns, mask wearing, social distancing, no travels, no catch up, no lunches, no coffees, no dinners out, no meeting of family nor friends, feeling fear, sadness, anxiety, facing health concerns and so much more. At times over and over again.
But I don’t think that I’m alone when I write that I thought that all this would be more temporarily lived, or? After all, we were all talking about “going back to normal” soon-ish.
So now, 8-plus months further it’s clear that the situation is with us to stay. And talking to others, observing myself and my family, I think it’s this stepping away of hoping for it all to go away, and this honest admitting that life has changed indeed which is causing the additional trigger for the now happening mental and emotional tiredness.
The “wait and see” is over
In some ways the changes might be minor, in other ways huge, tremendous. But no matter what, we can’t avoid it – a change is there and life will be different.
Then add all the other stressors we might be exposed to at the moment (climate, political unrests, family issues, health issues, you might have to move, job insecurity, etc) and we don’t really have to wonder why we fell that drained, do we?
No, I haven’t figured it all out.
I am still struggling myself at times.
I feel lost, anxious and overwhelmed.
I find my footage and routine.
I lose myself.
I feel motivated and energized.
I feel tired and oh so exhausted.
I crash and start again.
Sometimes over the course of a week, sometimes over the course of a day.
But I realized that I stopped thinking about “the old normal” more and more. And instead, I try to focus on
- what has changed
- what was good
- what worked
- what am I able to keep on doing
- what can I build on
- what is relevant
- what can I do now to feel more at ease
- what can I do now that will help us as we keep going forward into the more unknown?
And what stresses me out, what can I reduce or even avoid? What is there that I can let go, do less off?
At the same time I learned to look at things differently, I try to get away from the“fixed” planning to not get disappointed and too stressed again. After all, we never know anymore, do we? We all experienced short notices changes and restrictions. And I believe we will be challenged to remain flexible and adjustable and patient as we keep going.
It’s a big acceptance to acknowledge that life as we know it has changed drastically, for now, for longer, perhaps forever. And with that realization and acceptance comes a major change within ourself.
So yes, I still feel the exhaustion but it’s getting less powerful and more short lived. It felt to me that the comparing to the “old” pushed me down. Instead I started to get some sort of curiosity, if not even some kind of excitement, a different perspective into this “new and different” that is around us all.
While we have no control about what is happening with Covid19 and how each country is handling it, we still have
- control on how we chose to react
- control on how we chose to behave
- control on how we get through the day, day by day
- control on how we decide to take care about ourself and near and dear ones.
Scared, terrified, anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed, lonely, lost…? No, you aren’t alone feeling all this and more!
So, what can we do
It’s certainly not the same for each one of us but here are some thoughts and actions that helped me and others I spoke to especially in moments of overwhelm. Such as
- relax time, reading, music, art
- a bath, a hot shower
- a good cry
- limit the news intake (!)
- don’t give in to rumours
- make sure to eat healthy(er)
I still enjoy junk food and sweets and a drink, but all balanced – most of the times. After all, some days…they just ask for a bit unhealthier food to soothe the soul.
- go outside into nature (if you can) and breathe fresh air. Open the window, step onto the balcony or terrace.
- be active, keep moving – but listen to your body, don’t overdo.
Sometimes we have the desire and energy to push, sometimes a simple walk or slow Yoga session is what we need.
- connect with friends.
Some need it more than others, so listen to yourself how often you want to connect. But don’t become a hermit! (I noticed that I can easily fall into that, but once I reached out others it is so energizing. Yes it can take effort to do so, but it does help!)
- be curious – try something new, a course, a book, a hobby, arts and craft
- light up candles, buy some flowers and make it cozy at your home
- spread a nice scent with essential oils
- sit and just be
Observe the clouds, listen to the birds, hear the wind in the trees, feel the ground under your bare feet…
Whatever you chose to do, take is slow, don’t overdo things. You don’t want to add additional pressure onto your shoulders, you want to release the stress!
But that’s not all. I think, overall we need to learn to be kinder and show more understanding and compassion towards ourself. After all, literally nobody ever experienced what we all do. We need to rethink and in fact learn a new way on how we approach life in general. And yes that is scary!
So, in moments of overwhelm, when it’s all closing in on you…try to just focus on this 1 (one) thing you can do just then to be just this 1% more relaxed, grounded and at ease, to feel little bit happier, joyful and energized, peaceful.
The more we fight against it all the tougher it will feel, we need to learn and accept to be with what is.
And please – for all of us – please wear a mask!
I hope you are doing well and safe and that you find your ease amongst all this!
Do you think adapting is an underlying reason for the mental tiredness, too?