Six months into various states of lockdown, ranging from official “stay at home” orders to jobs and schools continuing to be remote or virtual to cities mostly reopening, and things still aren’t back to “the old normal.”
People have adapted their supermarket and cleaning routines and we tend to spend more time at home. Virtual offices and Zoom are booming, but now I hear talk of screen fatigue. Life in the time of Coronavirus is here and seems to not be going anywhere for a while. We’ve developed new routines, from exercising at home with the materials we have on-hand to being cautious with travel and outings.
I spent five months answering phone calls from employees who felt stressed, anxious, depressed, and even suicidal. The theme among most of the callers was the feeling of being stuck, or feeling like people were in a rut. Now it seems like every hour bleeds into the next and each week is exactly the same as the previous. Listening to people, I heard impatience and boredom.
Normally, we have events and activities to look forward to, be it a birthday, a concert or play, a trip, or even out of town guests. Since everything has been postponed or even cancelled, our time drags and we are just starting to get more creative to break up the monotony of daily Covid life.
The rut of our routines keeps us stuck.
So how do we break these ruts?
Look at what’s working and do more of this!
Are you liking the slower pace? Maybe this is something you’ll keep in your life. Do you feel closer to some family or friends? How can you pursue these relationships? Maybe you prefer working from home? Will your supervisor work with you to construct a new schedule?
Maybe you’ve had to postpone that Europe trip, and I feel for you. But, perhaps you can find a silver lining in a local vacation to visit someone you haven’t seen in a long time.
Nature heals. No need to be competitive, just continue to walk outside and your day will be broken up better.
Eat or cook different foods.
You’ve probably started to feel kitchen fatigue (along with all other types of fatigue). Is it time to order a pizza or lean on an old familiar recipe that brings you joy? Or, maybe you need to learn to cook that meal that’s eluded you for a long time.
Look at your day and week and see what’s ONE THING you can change.
Maybe going to bed a little earlier would make your mood more cheerful. Or calling a different friend on the phone once a week could give you the boost you need. Or, volunteering for a ‘get out the vote’ organization might help you feel connected. Regardless, examine where things feel stale and freshen them up.
Have you been dating?
Maybe it’s time to start again. Or, refresh your relationship with a mini-getaway. Regardless, connecting with a romantic partner could be just the thing for you to feel excited about life again.
The ruts within the routines are real. I work with lots of people who are suffering from Covid fatigue. Feel free to reach out if you need a tune-up. Now is a great time to invest in yourself.