How’s everyone doing? It’s tough, isn’t it? It can feel like we’re on an emotional rollercoaster, and there is one thing we can be certain of – there isn’t a right or wrong way to feel or behave during a global pandemic.
When lockdown started a month ago, pressures started being heaped upon us. There were talks of how to use this time productively – whatever that means! Write that novel, learn to bake that sourdough bread, clear out your house, do those jobs you’ve been putting off for years.
But coping looks different for each of us. For some, we need to physically be keeping busy – cleaning those cupboards out, for example. For others, jobs like that will feel overwhelming, and getting out of bed in the morning might even be a struggle. Please don’t worry, that’s an absolutely normal response, but do take a look at our self-care tips for some inspiration to make some time for you to recharge your batteries.
Here are just a few of the examples of the pressures we may be feeling right now…
This was meant to be a time when you were ramping up and getting ready to sit your exams. Suddenly that has been taken away from you. Maybe you’re relieved and enjoying the break. Or maybe you’re not, maybe you wanted the chance to sit your exams after months of hard work. Whatever you are feeling, know that it is ok. Your feelings are valid and important.
When an event has been taken away from you – even exams – your mind and body will be in grief mode. Allow yourself to grieve over the should-have-beens. It’s rubbish, and it’s ok to admit you feel sad or frustrated or happy or relieved. Talk to someone about how you feel, be it friends, teachers, your family or you can text HECTOR to 85258.
You might be undertaking what feels like a huge responsibility of homeschooling your children. You might have found it okay before the Easter holidays, or maybe you didn’t? But, now it all feels harder, and there is less clarity as to when they’ll be going back to school. Also, they definitely don’t talk to their teachers the way they talk to you!
There is no urgent need for you to homeschool your kids. Right now, their world has been turned upside down too, and the last thing they need is Mum and Dad fighting with them over their times tables. And you don’t need to stress yourself out over it either.
A daily routine is really important for kids during this time, so it is a good idea to have a structure, but make sure you schedule in time for them to relax, watch tv, do some crafts or be outside. And have fun! Use this time to connect with your kids, share memories from your childhood, and make new ones they will reflect on once this is all over. They might not remember the lessons you teach, but they will remember the fun and laughter you shared.
WORKING FROM HOME
You’ve managed to keep some sort of a semblance of normality in your work routine, but it may be feeling really tough to stay motivated, and your day-to-day job might now be looking different to what it used to.
Go easy on yourself. Your brain is working 10x harder than usual trying to process our new normal, so it is ok if you aren’t feeling as productive as you usually are. Set realistic goals for your week and try to take your new working life at a slightly lower pace if you can.
If you need more guidance on this, read our working from home tips.
Whether you have been furloughed, unable to work in your self-employed role or have lost your job because of this pandemic, it cannot be easy. This must feel incredibly frustrating and like your purpose is gone. Please know it is normal to feel this way, but your purpose is still crucial to the world. We are more than our jobs. And we can be productive in other ways.
Write a list of all the things you would like to achieve during this break, and see if you can scratch any of them off your list.
It’s also a good idea for us to have a flexible routine for each day. Try to wake up at a similar time, do some light exercise and then have hour-two hour blocks of time for certain tasks. You’ll be surprised how quickly the day can go by and it will be comforting to know what you are doing next!
Also, try to enjoy your time off to do very little. This time is unlikely to happen again, so enjoy the freedom while we have it!
If it wasn’t enough to be living through a global pandemic, it seems there is pressure to become some kind of super-human right now. We are told this is the perfect time to launch our dream business, learn a new language, write a novel or start making our own clothes. Em, no.
We are living through a pretty tough time right now. There are a number of uncertainties going on that are preoccupying our brain, who is trying to send us messages to keep us out of harm’s way. That, on top of working from home, that DIY job you’re thinking of finishing and homeschooling your children, is it any wonder we aren’t exactly feeling motivated to take on a huge task like these?
Again, take it easy. We don’t need to use this time to do anything but survive. You might see your friends on social media platforms working hard on their Mandarin, but know that everyone is coping in different ways – and remember that social media is a highlight reel of someone’s life.
The only thing we want you to achieve in this time is to stick with us. Survive each day. Laugh and smile each day. Accept all your emotions – the good, bad and ugly – and allow them to pass through you without fighting them. Get up each morning knowing we are one day closer to this being over, and go to bed each night knowing you have done your best. We are so proud of you.
There are so many added pressures on our lives lately, but please know that you are not alone in how you are feeling. And remember that although it may seem never ending, this will pass.
MORE INFO & SUPPORT
Read our advice on managing anxiety during a pandemic.
If it does feel too much to cope with at the moment, please Text Hector to 85258. One of our trained volunteers will help you through this. It’s free, open 24/7 and completely confidential. We are here for you.