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Pandemic Exhaustion

March of 2020 seems a lifetime ago, a world where masks were worn only by medical staff and tourists.  Where pandemics were a thing of the past, at least that is how it seemed.  School shutdowns happened during natural disasters and massive snow storms.  Where wiping down groceries would have been deemed neurotic.  

Now, we have masks in all different colors and styles and we wear them properly, everytime we leave the house.  Pandemics are now something we are intimately schooled in, watching the news is like taking a remedial science class every single day.  Schools continue to close and reopen as COVID cases increase and decrease but at least for now, we have given up on wiping down groceries.  

We have gotten to the point where the pandemic and rules pertaining to it are the new normal.  Humans adapt, that is something innate built into our DNA, it is how we have survived over the milenia, but adapting does not always translate into thriving.  Reading through the site, there is post after post detailing the reality that we still have to deal with everything that was going on pre-pandemic, as well as the additional struggles brought on by the pandemic.  It is a precarious balancing act.  

The more stress you accumulate, the heavier it becomes. If you accumulate too much, the weight of carrying it can break you.
-Oscar Auliq-Ice
 

Stress is something we have been taught to manage, but don’t often find a way to completely rid or banish ourselves of it.  We carry it around with us, it keeps us awake at night, we ruminate on it, it becomes a part of our every waking and sleeping hour.  The Pandemic has given us so many things to worry about, argue over, stress about and all these months later, it has left us exhausted. 

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
-Etty Hillesum
 

So here we are, Fall of 2021 and while we aren’t sitting in a corner rocking due to COVID fear anymore, we aren’t quite whistling while we work either.  There is this weird middle ground that has taken hold, a feeling of blah, neither depressed nor thriving, just sort of surviving.  In a piece by Adam Grant, published by the New York Times, he writes:

Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.
 
muddle through 
verb
muddled through; muddling through; muddles through
:to achieve a degree of success without much planning or effort

 

It is our firm belief in spite of everything we have been through and continue to go though, that everyone on this site deserves more than to just muddle through.  We deserve more than to languish like an expired, dusty jar of olives on a pantry shelf.  We deserve to thrive, pandemic or not.  

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about. -Haruki Murakam

Tips on how to move from languishing to thriving amidst the pandemic:

  • Take up a new hobby or skill

Sign up for a class online or in person, through a college, a cooking school, your local school district, a craft store or language app, just to name a few ideas.

Go on youtube.com and learn a skill you have always wanted to master, how to re-caulk a tub, change a tire, how to sew on a button, how to crochet, cook, the amount of knowledge that is contained on youtube is astounding and bonus, free!

  • Make self care a priority

Many of us are still working from home, in sweats and feeling pretty basic.  Even if you don’t have a zoom call, get dressed, put on something that makes you feel good, it doesn’t have to be fancy, but something without a drawstring should do wonders for your overall well being.  

Make time for things that bring you joy.  Reading, singing, crafting, doing an in-home spa night, watching a new series that was added to the myriad of streaming services you pay for or simply setting time aside in your day to workout, meditate or rest.  

  • Learn to say “NO”

As soon as the vaccines came out, schools started asking for volunteers, organizations started sending out pleas for volunteers, races and runs were back up and so were the emails asking you to sign up, social invitations started appearing in your inbox...it is a lot to process and also very confusing as to what is healthy and safe.  So here are the guidelines: if it doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t bring you joy, doesn’t serve a purpose other than peer pressure, say “no thank you.”  

You'll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.
-Mandy Hale
 

Thank you to everyone who is a part of our site, you bring a smile to our face and support into the world.  You make the world better and brighter.  

Wishing you all the very best,

Team SG

 

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