As I write this, Brisbane is mere moments away from being released from our most-recent four-day lockdown that we’ve experienced this week due to rising cases of, you guessed it: Covid-19.
Yes! I can now invite all of those 30+ people over to my unit for the night … Ha! I jest. I have much more important things on tonight’s agenda … looking at you, J. 😉
While, as someone who’s mostly an introvert (you can call me an extroverted introvert), I’m not usually too bothered by lockdowns, working from my isolation station in my tiny little unit, making trips to my local supermarket my nightly ‘get out of the house’ routine.
Although, having said that, I really do feel for all the people who are on struggle street at the moment, who work in the ‘hospo’ industry during these snap lockdowns. It’s a lot. And I’m sure anxiety is HIGH.
But even for me (also as someone who, let’s face it, really isn’t too affected by these things – I’m employed, alive and well, and I have my own space), this time it feels a little different.
And it seems like the grey clouds and rain we’ve had over the last few days, have captured the mood this week extremely fittingly.
I’m trying to stay positive, to keep perspective and to think of the long game.
But, somehow, with this lockdown – it’s been harder to do that.
I feel flat, moody, tired, forgetful … burnt out?
Has the pandemic fatigue and burnout got me?!
Fittingly, on my trip to the supermarket last night I bought the July issue of Vogue Australia, which features Selena Gomez on the cover, and opened to an article by Fiona MacDonald: ‘Heavy Load’.
“Lately, no matter who I talk to, one subject eventually seeps into the conversation,” writes MacDonald.
“It’s not the vaccine rollout, or work, or the strange state of the world. No – people want to talk about fatigue.”
And that fatigue, she says, is the “cloudy and forgetful feeling of apathy that’s settled over us in 2021 as the pandemic drags on”.
It certainly doesn’t help that Australia’s vaccine rollout is an absolute sh*tshow and there is some serious in-fighting going on between those in power, the so-called decision makers.
While I know, in the scheme of things, we are extremely lucky to be living on this giant island – Australia …
Or ‘Fortress Australia’ as it is becoming known with the border closures and the said extending limits on overseas arrivals.
… the uncertainty about what the future holds and about when, exactly, this so-called new ‘covid-normal’ will actually begin, is starting to take a toll.
Quoting organisational psychologist, Adam Grant, MacDonald writes that there’s a name for the ‘blah’ many of us may be feeling right now, and that name is ‘languishing’.
According to Grant, languishing is “a sense of stagnation and emptiness” – like we’re “muddling through a foggy windshield”. In fact, he says that this “might be the dominant emotion of 2021”.
I could not have described it better myself: BLAH!
I’m trying to stay positive; to use my learnings from the many years participating in endurance sporting events; to focus on the future – the hope of things to come …
J has gone as far as creating a timeline of events to help me/us stay focused on our long-term goals … that of being reunited and EVERYTHING that ensues 😉 – who knew long-distance during a seemingly never-ending pandemic would be so tricky! Thank God for modern technology …
… but fatigue, frustration and burnout are starting to creep in.
Champagne is helping.
Deciding to do ‘Dry July’, is not.
Perhaps deciding to cut out my champagne vice during a pandemic, lockdowns and a yet-to-be-completely-certain future was not the greatest of ideas … ?
Nevertheless, I’m not giving up.
Because, as MacDonald writes, this won’t last forever: “The good news is that it’s highly likely that the mental fog we’re experiencing, and to an extent even the anxiety and depression, will be entirely reversible with time.”
The future, while it may lie underneath all of these dark, grey, clouds at the moment, is bright.
While there is an undercurrent of uncertainty right now, there is hope and so much to look forward to in the months and years to come.
The trick is, not letting this pesky, ever-evolving, little b*tch of a virus get the better of us.
And hey, at least we’re all in this together!
In her article for Vogue Australia, MacDonald notes a few ways to help get through these bizarrely challenging times:
- Reduce stress, where possible.
- Exercise. (Agreed – without daily movement I find things so much harder!)
- Stay socially connected.
- Learn something new. (A French boyfriend + Le Tour = a great way to escape the madness while learning what I think is the greatest language on earth! *I may be biased*)
- Eat well.