At one time or another in our lives, we’ve probably all wondered things like….”what would my life be like if I didn’t have to get up and shave, get dressed, or put on lipstick every day?”…“what if I didn’t have all of these social obligations?”…“if I only had a free day to catch up on my Netflix”….or “when am I ever going to finish cleaning the garage?”
That old adage “be careful what you wish for” has never been more apt. Because most of us been granted one or more of those wishes in 2020, and as a result, some of us now have a pantry full of more banana bread than anyone could ever eat.
And if you’re finding your temper is a little shorter, your focus a little more strained, and your patience with dumb questions sometimes non-existent, guess what? You’re not alone.
Whether you’re finding yourself back in quarantine for what seems like the twentieth time, or slowly making your way out back into a world of facemasks, outdoor dining, and drive-in standup comedy, you may find yourself awfully weary of this brave new world.
COVID Fatigue is real, folks, and only the most super-human among us are immune.
The changes that have been forced upon our society as we deal with the fall-out from working to bring the current pandemic under control are truly mind-blowing. Unless you live in Antarctica, you’ve been impacted by it in one way or another.
If you’ve been untouched by the disease, you have great reason to be thankful. But how do you come to grips with the fact that, while your complaints truly pale in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their lives, they continue to wreak havoc on your psyche?
It’s OK to feel put upon. It’s OK to feel a sense of loss when you think of all those activities you engaged in a year ago with hardly a second thought. It’s OK to be angry at the world.
As long as you don’t let it get the best of you.
We’re all tired of it. We all want our lives back. But after more than half a year of this stuff, we’re still not there.
So how do we cope in the meantime?
We can’t give up. We have to work harder than ever to find a sense of peace. We’ve still got to rely on those small joys that brought us a little respite from reality when things were at their bleakest.
Some of these have become rituals, cherished moments in our day when the real world can be put on the shelf for a little while. Our daily snack of choice, a few moments with a favorite book…a morning jog, an evening stroll.
We need to keep giving ourselves permission to disconnect. We need to give ourselves permission to be non-productive for a few minutes. Uninformed for a little while. Free from our professional and personal goals for a moment. Unplugged from our steady stream of tweets, posts and headline news.
Consider a stay-cation.
Long the purview of strapped workers with time off but little budget to travel, the stay-cation has taken on a new meaning. Sure, you’re stuck at home. Sure, your options are more limited.
But when your new office is five steps down the hall from your bedroom, getting away from the world is a lot trickier. It feels less like working from home and more like living at work. The line between work and home has blurred, and for some, all but disappeared.
That’s why a stay-cation now is a different animal. It requires a good deal more commitment. Discipline. And yes, focus.
Focus on yourself, and doing the things you need to refresh your spirit and restore your soul.
Sometimes—and don’t laugh—I’ve had to add “relax” to my daily task list. And I’ve found taking a true stay-cation in these strange and unusual times can be surprisingly difficult. Keeping one’s mind from wandering back into one’s virtual office is no easy task.
But it starts with giving yourself permission to truly take a break. Untether yourself from the need to accomplish anything. Unhook your 24-hour news feed. Seriously. Give yourself a 24-hour digital sabbatical. I promise that it will do wonders for you. Spend some prolonged time engaged in a pursuit that brings you joy. And nothing else.
And once you can manage this, even for a day, even for a couple of hours, you can put yourself back on the road to recovery, and bring your best self to the table when it’s time to come back to the realities of our all-too-real world.
I’d like to hear how it goes for you—share your experiences with me, through the social media platform of your choice!
I know you’ll come back from your stay-cation refreshed and renewed, and ready for the next round.
But it all starts with granting yourself permission. And that’s up to you.