If all you can do is get out of bed and brush your teeth, consider that ok. – Ashley McGirt, licensed mental health therapist
This pandemic has been a tremendous physical, emotional and spiritual drain. Nothing about life has been normal for a year now. The pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives causing us to make adjustments that would have been unimaginable in the past. It’s easy to dismiss what a huge stressor this is as we try to cope with daily life. It’s also easy to blame ourselves if we aren’t as “productive” as we used to be prior to the pandemic. I know I have been concerned about myself, wondering if I have just gotten lazy. Then, as I was surfing the net looking for ideas for this post, I discovered that there is such a thing as pandemic laziness (google it!). It is brought on by current conditions and circumstances and is not a reflection of a person’s individual worth or character.
It is so important to give ourselves a break right now. Getting frustrated and making demands on ourselves just makes things worse. If you don’t feel like doing the dishes, buy paper plates and cups. If you dot feel like making the bed, don’t. If you don’t feel like cleaning, hire someone to do it (I know I am seriously considering this!) And you really don’t have to wash your hair everyday! We have to nurture ourselves before we will have the energy for even ordinary everyday tasks.
What to do? Here are some great suggestions from an article I found, ” How to Stay Motivated When Staying Home,” by Emily Bouch.
- Set an alarm and keep a regular sleep routine – This one is a challenge for me. It is so easy to turn the alarm off and just lay in bed! My work hours are flexible so this is something I can usually get away with but it is not the best idea. We need some semblance of a routine (even if it is looser than normal) to cope with these challenging times.
- Get dressed – Since there is nowhere to go, it is easy to stay in our pajamas and somedays, that may be all you want to do. But, it sends the wrong signal to your brain and just makes you more lethargic.
- Try to keep some semblance of a routine. Without even a basic routine, it seems to me, life gets a little disoriented and it can be hard to even know what day it is.
- Set small, manageable goals. I’ve started thinking in terms of what I can do in 10-15 minutes. That’s how I got the clutter cleaned out of two corners in my bedroom. Let that one accomplishment be enough for now and don’t attach other things to it.
- Reward yourself for accomplishing a task. Take a break. Call a friend. Have a cup of coffee and appreciate yourself for what you have done.
- Set boundaries with the tv. It is so easy to get lost scrolling through Netflix or Amazon.
- Exercise – Ugh, I’m tired already! There is not getting around the fact that exercise is an energy booster. As I have said before, my Fitbit tells me I need to walk at least 250 steps per hour and when I’m sitting at a computer, that can be easy to forget. It’s spring. Take a walk outside. It doesn’t have to be a major exercise routine – just get moving!
All this being said, you may find there are days when you don’t do anything on this list and that’s ok. As Abraham Hicks says, “I am where I am and it’s ok.” Just try to talk lovingly to yourself and appreciate yourself for who you are.