After weeks of social distancing, quarantining, staying home as much as possible, an overload of information on social media, and daily news briefings, it’s not uncommon to feel tired, anxious, restless, and just plain unsure.
As a journalist, I’ve been getting weary of writing COVID-19 stories at times. Brene Brown recently said that everyone is handling the pandemic in different ways, but collectively, people are tired— physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.
In challenging times, I am reminded of the quote by Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” It’s a quote that still resonates today.
I’ve been able to look for the helpers in my job and report about some of the things that people are doing to help others during the pandemic. Many people are making face masks for health care workers and donating hospital gowns or other protective gear to nursing homes and others have donated food and time to serve community members.
There are endless stories of people helping others and I’m choosing to focus on that and look for ways that I can help when the weariness kicks in.
How are you doing? what helpers have you seen during the pandemic?
I typically work from home unless I’m traveling or at an event, so I thought I had a routine down that works for me- take breaks, create a morning routine, stay organized, go on walks, etc. Turns out that went out the window when it became clear that I was going to be working from home and not attending any type of event for the foreseeable future.
That routine, one full of balance, became a little harder. It became: sit at desk most of the day, become anxious and easily stressed out, and snack whenever I want.
I saw something the other day that really resonated with me: you are not working from home; you are at home during a crisis trying to work.
I took a deep breath in and exhaled.
Right. This isn’t typical, I reminded myself. I keep hearing people talk about adjusting to a new normal and it finally set in that, yes, that’s what I’m trying to do.
I’m trying to set up a new routine that is good for mental, physical, and emotional health during this time. I’m focusing on the things I’m grateful for – a job, health, the many people working in the medical field or working in the grocery stores stocking shelves, and technology to keep in touch with family.
I’m making myself walk away from my desk multiple times a day, I’m prioritizing time for exercise or a walk, I’m limiting time scrolling on social media or other news outlets, and I’m prioritizing time to create and/or read.
I’m still figuring it out. What is working for you?