Does anyone else feel like they have a dead battery? For the past week or so, I’ve felt like everything takes so much energy. In fact, every night I’ve felt like I could go to bed at 630. However, since that feels too early, I continue to do other things and then all of the sudden it’s 11p and the cycle starts all over again. Not only that, but I’m hearing the same thing from other people. Like collectively, our energy reserves are running low.
In high school, I took a psychology course in which the teacher likened our relationships to bank accounts. Every time you do something for someone else, your account with them goes up. Every time you take energy, time, emotion, etc. from someone, your account with them goes down. Same thing on your side. Every time someone does something for you, their account with you goes up and every time they take something, their account with you goes down. So you should always make an effort to give more than you take. With that in mind, there are things and people in your life who constantly overdraw their account. They take and take and take without giving anything in return. And right now, this pandemic is definitely overdrawn.
Now I’m about to launch into some un-cited and possibly misquoted and unreliable information that I heard somewhere and can’t remember where. So bear with me. I’m no psychologist. I heard somewhere that our bodies and minds are made to handle X amount of stress. Which is why normal stressors are a lot, but we push through. However, as an entire communal society, we’re not equipped to handle 6+ months of stress, fear, and isolation. Which is why in the beginning we were all “We’re in this together!” and “It’s just two weeks of staying home. We can do it!”. But 6+ months in and we’re all about to break just because of the one way arrows on the floor at the grocery store. Not only that, but 6+ months of this is causing our energy reserves to run a bit low. Some are even calling it “Covid fatigue”.
As we move into the holidays, things will inevitably get more stressful and isolating. To be sure, many people miss their families and holidays may be bittersweet. Unfortunately, I don’t have any solutions to Covid fatigue. Of course I normally love to jump up on my soap box and give a grand speech about how we can get through this. But I’m tired.
However, I do have some advice. (Are you surprised? I always have advice.) Take care of #1. Like RuPaul always says “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” The same goes for taking care of yourself. Although we can’t do a lot of the self care things we normally would, there are still a lot of things you can do to recharge.
I saw this thing on Instagram (I know – I’m really coming at you with reputable sources today) that a person named Jennifer Barnes was at a Q&A with the author Nora Roberts and she wrote about what she heard and learned:
“One time, I was at a Q&A with Nora Roberts, and someone asked her how to balance writing and kids, and she said that the key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic and some are made of glass. And if you drop a plastic ball, it bounces. No harm done. If you drop a glass ball, it shatters. So you have to know which balls are glass and which are plastic. And prioritize catching the glass ones.
Nora was not talking about juggling five balls. She was talking about juggling FIFTY-FIVE balls. The balls don’t represent “family” or “work”. There are separate balls for everything that goes into each of those categories. “Deadline on Project Y” or “crazy sock day at school.” And her point, addressing a room full of women, was not “prioritize kids over work.” It was “some kid stuff is glass and some is plastic, and sometimes, to catch a glass work ball, you have to drop a plastic family one, and that is okay.” – Jennifer Barnes on Twitter/Instagram
So during this period of Covid fatigue, just remember you don’t have to do it all. Just stay on top of your health, catching the glass balls, and making sure your battery doesn’t get too low. Because once a battery gets too low, even a jump start can’t help.