In the first few weeks of social distancing, I was panicked, stressed and, frankly, depressed. I could not wrap my mind around what was happening. I was in denial about the changes we would have to make in the coming months. I told myself then that I would not force myself to be productive. I read a tweet that offered an important reminder: You are in a pandemic while still trying to work. It helped me realize that I do not have to try to do it all and have everything together. That’s simply impossible. But it’s important to try to find the joy in social isolation.
I’ve experienced various stages of grief in this time. With that came various shifts from low to high to low to high. Some weeks I am mentally and physically exhausted from the roles I have to play, and other weeks I have so much inspiration and energy to create content and complete projects. Some days I don’t have much to say or much drive to do anything, while other days are full of writing, photographing, gardening, painting or creating.
I share all this to show how there is no right or wrong to feel during all of this. There is no need to be productive (except when your job depends on it) or start a business or keep busy. But if being busy and active helps your mental health and coping, do it! If someone makes you feel like you aren’t doing enough, limit your consumption of their content. Think about what it is that you are feeling and why, and act in your best interest. For me, tackling home projects and being crafty has brought me joy during such a scary time. On some nights, watching “Schitt’s Creek” instead of being productive has brought me lots of laughs. Taking naps whenever I can has helped me feel less exhausted. Laughing at Tiktoks has helped me momentarily forget about what’s happening. Zooming with friends and family has helped me feel more connected and grateful. Working on my side hustles has brought me hope. Giving to others has helped me feel like I am contributing in a positive way and my greatest motivator has always been to help others. Spreading information about how to help essential workers and those who are struggling has made me feel less useless in the situation.
I hope that you will find joy in whatever way you can. How are you doing?