Leaning into the C-19 dread
I think I am getting a little tired.
I have put my morning and evening routines on hold for the past two weeks because I just did not have any motivation to perform them lately.
I have stopped reading my morning news because I realized I was just growing more distressed about the reality of our new normal.
Actually, I have not read anything in a while. Nor did I blog. Nor did I work on all the other things I said I wanted to do.
Even though I start every week with a jam-packed schedule and then revisiting my daily priorities every morning, I still end up chucking some of them away and instead, binge-watching Community instead.
(It was my bad, I didn’t expect Community to have almost 20+ episodes per season alone. I really should have checked before I got sucked into this addictive sitcom.)
The motivation that I had sustained early in MCO is now draining, and at this point, where there is no predictable end in sight to this quarantine, it is burning out quickly.
I felt really disappointed in myself for falling off my habits. Even though I know the habits I have setup for myself are beneficial towards my mental health, I recognize that I am running out of energy to keep up appearances, even for myself.
Leaning into the discomfort
Earlier in the week, as I self-hated myself while watching through my 4th Community episode of the day by 2 PM, I decided,
“You know what, I should not hate myself for this. This pandemic is already making us all feel bad and I don’t have to add this negativity to myself.”
“I had remained positive throughout most of the MCO. But right now, I am clearly in a ‘down’ phase. I just have to make space for this feeling of dread. If it helps me to just lie down here and watch another episode of a sitcom to make me feel better, sure, why not? I am not hurting anyone.”
“This is just how I cope today and it does not make me any less of a person. My worth is not defined by the things I do or don’t do.”
I proceeded to lean into the dread, head-on.
I am scared when I think about how we can never truly get back to our previous lives, at least not until next year or so. What does that mean for our communities, our career plans, the dreams that had been halted or stopped altogether? This is such a painful and scary experience, and it seems like every day, more and more people are suffering because of this pandemic. And I feel so helpless in it.
I just leaned into it first and did not attempt to reframe these issues to be positive/hopeful.
It felt like it was a long time coming – the overdue moment of allowing myself to embrace my negative feelings instead of trying to avoid it through the shield of routines and productivity.
It is time to listen to my body instead of shaming it.
The fact is, I do feel overwhelmed and demotivated, even if my workload is smaller than before. I assured myself and decided to just adopt a different, gentler strategy moving forward.
So, I reduced expectations on myself for this week. If before, I could tackle two to three main priorities in an MCO day, well now the bar is at least one main priority. If I want to watch Community for the rest of the day when that task is done, well, that is okay. (Thankfully, I can say this because I am unemployed right now so I don’t have deadlines/managers to answer to – I might as well enjoy it)
Surprisingly, by letting myself really lean into the negative feelings earlier this week, I find myself now feeling a bit alright. It is that feeling of just having had a really good cry.
You are still sad but you have since let yourself work your way through the major pain points. And now, you just wanna do/feel something different because you are kinda tired of being sad, ya know?
I think that is why today I managed to write this blog. I am still feeling dread and I am still a little demotivated, but I am reaching out to feel something new. I want to feel connected again to other people, ie you, readers and friends. I want to feel creative by writing this down and then, designing the cover photo for this post.
On related news, I only watched 2 episodes of Community so far today compared to the average of 6-8 that I had going on earlier in the week. I would say that is some good self-restraint on my part!
In the middle of this seemingly never-ending quarantine, me binging another episode to help me cope instead of being productive 24/7, is not something to punish myself over.
This is just how I cope today and that is a-okay. And maybe tomorrow, I will feel better and can make space for more positive feelings.
I hope you are faring better than me this week, but if not, that is okay too, kawan. Do share this post if it was helpful for you because as a brand new blog, I need all the help I can get. You would help me in getting this content out to those who might really need it 🙂