It’s been 12-days since South Africa went into Lockdown, and 3 weeks since my company decided on working from home. To say that things are pretty wild at the moment would be an understatement.
My husband and I seem to be taking turns feeling our of sorts this week. We both feel overwhelmed, unproductive and drained creatively. Being creatives, we both rely heavily on our creativity to pay the bills, so it’s easy to let a block send us into a panicked state.
I’m sure the same could be said for any one on the planet at the moment. You’re likely feeling what I have coined; Coronanxiety.
You feel a little drained, maybe have a dull ache headache that never seems to break. You’re anxious, maybe a little more wired than usual – there is a good chance that you’ve been awfully hard on yourself too. Heaven knows I have been.
But here is the thing, how many global pandemics have you survived? Be real for a minute, each massive event that has shaped your life had some kind of reference for you to use as a survival guide.
There has been some rough road map we could use to navigate the challenge in our way. But I have never survived a global state of medical emergency.
Might just be me, but it’s a little unnerving navigating the unknown that is so heavy with uncertainty. We can’t actually tell what the future holds, we have to be in the now – live in the present. We can look at this in two ways:
1. We can retreat into a spiral of Netflix binging and toilet paper purging then take it out on yourself for not using this time productively.
2. Realize that we are pioneering a way through a crisis that hasn’t been around since the 1900’s. You’re allowed to be a little off.
We haven’t been given a free pass of time to do with what we want to, we’ve been given a life saving ultimatum to stay indoors. There is a massive difference. If you aren’t being productive, but your fave blogger is – good for them! Everyone of us will cope with crisis in a different way, being hard on yourself is not a healthy option.
It’s okay to have anxiety right now. You are not alone.
Don’t be ashamed of the horrific way that anxiety makes you feel. Humans are programmed to have a fight or flight instinct during times of stress, so your natural instincts are all over the place. You can’t flight and there is nothing to fight, so what do you do?
Breathe. You just breathe.
You can’t worry about anything that you can’t control. There is literally no point or enough energy for you to, and I know that it is easier said than done.
Pray, meditate of just sit in silence without a device to help centre yourself again. You’ll know when anxiety is creeping up, but you will also know that you can retreat within to overcome fear.
I know, it takes work to master – but start now, what do you have to lose except anxiety?
Unplug when you can.
My favourite WhatsApp feature is the mute function. This is really effective for the WhatsApp groups that are currently more active than they’ve been since Aunt Beryl sent three forehead selfies.
For some reason, people like creating a stir with fake information. Other people send it along not knowing if it is factual or not – it can be exhausting sifting through the information overload we now have.
Switch that shit off, yo! Uninstall Facebook, mute WhatsApp notifications and make a rule to switch off tech at a specific time. Your sanity will thank you.
Be realistic with your routine.
Like thousands of families all over the world, our lives have been flipped on its head. Now isn’t the time to try enforce normalcy in a time that is far from ordinary – so be realistic with your expectations.
This goes for the expectations you put on your kids, your partner and most definitely yourself. Sure, I love my routine but I also know that I’m in a situation I’ve never been in before and I’m open to winging it now too.
Now more than ever, it’s okay to be a little more flexible with things like TV time when you need to get work done. A lot of parents are now homeschooling as well, which is a brand new hurdle that many of us never expected. You aren’t going to get everything right, prepare to be flexible with your routine – you’re doing the best you can.
Reach out to friends and family.
You’re on Lockdown, not solitary confinement. Speak to your family and friends regularly – you have the ability to stay connected at your fingertips. Schedule family WhatsApp calls, let your kids speak to their friends over Skype – do what you need to do to keep connected.
We do live in a wild time and who knows what the future holds for us, but it’s up to us to keep calm and cope through this insane period. Think about how we can look back at this in years to come as the generation who survived Coronavirus.
Stay safe. Stay home. Wash your hands.