I came across a Forbes article over the weekend that captured how I’ve been feeling over the past 8(!) months since the pandemic began and lockdown orders were set in place.
It’s called “Covid-19 brain.”
As Phyllis Mufson, a career coach that helps with career change and job searches, noted in the article, Covid-19 brain is the feeling of being overwhelmed by all of the problems swirling around us.
It’s also feeling inadequate when everyone around you suddenly seems to have so much extra time for all kinds of things.
We live in a world where we constantly feel we don’t live up to expectations. We love comparing ourselves to others. And the highest bar is often the expectations we set for ourselves.
This can negatively impact any business professional as well as anyone who is currently looking for a job as they dealwith feelings of grief, trauma and trying to cope with prolonged periods of stress, which drains your energy.
When this happens, according to Mufson, “It’s easy to succumb to ‘micro-addictions’ to distract from reality.” This could range from binge-watching too much Netflix while eating junk food to drinking too much alcohol.
One way to counter these feelings is to substitute good habits for micro-addictions.
Mufson says to “double down on your self-care.” For instance, she says if you meditate or do yoga for 10 minutes a day, then try for 20 minutes. The same holds true for painting, cooking or any other positive productive outlet that takes you away from the prevailing negativity.
Basically, we are all stressed, tired of being cooped up at home (often with kids and pets) and in this new normal and many of us have a constant feeling of dread. It’s a lot to handle for a prolonged period especially when there’s no end date in sight.
There have been a lot of ups and downs with the second wave coming and the pandemic hitting different areas at different times. Then it’s the constant worrying about loved ones getting sick and of course the financial pressures of this time.
I know that I have this – I feel sluggish a lot, and with the holidays here, which is usually my favorite time of year, I feel sad about the fact that it won’t look like holiday seasons from past years with festive gatherings.
But I know this is temporary and that’s what helps me get through it. I also have two adorable puppies who help brighten every day, and I exercise regularly and keep in close touch with my friends and family.
The bottom line is to take time for you, do things that make you happy and cut yourself some slack, realize that this period will end and that no one is alone in this feeling of general malaise. It will get better.
In the meantime, be kind to yourself and those around you and take things day by day. Managing to stay healthy, and keeping our loved ones healthy is the new definition of success to me.