So how are you, really? Five ways to clear through the effects of the pandemic
In the US things are beginning to return to “normal”. Mask mandates are being scaled back. Restaurants are re-opening. People are beginning to travel once more. Some are even returning to their offices. There is a collective sigh of relief from most people.
In other parts of the world, things may be getting worse (looking at you, India!), or just staying the same (way to go, Vietnam!). But the whole world is now looking toward the end of an extraordinary year and a half.
So, how are you feeling?
Are you doing okay with this change? Some people really appreciated being in lockdown as it gave them an excuse to do what they felt most comfortable with anyway – being alone and not having to leave their home. For others, it was a form of torture because they need other people. What about you?
For some of us, it was business as usual. We worked from home anyway—no big change there. For others, we now had an extra job or two piled on top of the ones we already had (hi parents!). Many of us had to deal with people being in our space when they hadn’t been before. Although our pets were certainly a lot happier about it, that doesn’t mean we all were.
Were you able to write through the pandemic? Were you able to concentrate?
Some people who could continue with their usual routines are now finding themselves hit with brain fog or anxiety. It’s a turn-around we hadn’t expected and yet here it is and we have to deal with it.
There are a number of ways you can work through this or get back to your old productive self if you are experiencing these problems. Here are five that might help:
- Get some exercise. Yes, I know, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but have you actually done it? The weather (in the Northern Hemisphere) is getting warmer. Have you gone outside and just soaked up some rays? Vitamin D is an incredible thing. It gives you energy and is good for your bones and skin and you can create some just by sitting in the sun. (And for those of us who might be a touch pale after a long time indoors, it might give you some lovely color.)
- Talk with someone. That person could be your spouse, a close friend, or a therapist. It doesn’t matter. But talking with someone will help you voice your concerns. Just talking about and acknowledging the problems and emotions you are dealing with will help—and who knows, maybe they’re feeling the same way and you will help them by providing the opportunity for them to talk about what they’re going through.
- Take a break. You deserve it! You’ve been working (or even not working) so hard for this past fifteen months. It’s been stressful. You can take a break. It can be for a day, a long weekend, a week, or even a few months. The world will continue to turn if you don’t write every day. Your readers will come flocking back to you even if you don’t publish a book every few months or however often you publish. Enjoy some time off from writing.
- Get off of social media. That can be a lot easier said than done. We rely on social media not only to keep up with readers, but other authors, and our friends. But sometimes it’s important to take a break. Getting off every now and then is good for your mental health.
- Turn off your computer. Don’t just get off social media, turn off your entire computer. It’ll be good for your computer to reboot and it will give your eyes a break as well. If you want to keep writing through this time there is nothing wrong with picking up a pen and doing so. It might just ignite your creativity in a way it hasn’t recently.
Hopefully, one or more of these ideas will help you work through any brain fog you might be experiencing and allow you to relax and refill your creative well. If you don’t refill the well, there is always the possibility that it will run dry and no one wants to experience full burnout. So, get out there, take a break, and do something strange you may not have done for a while – have fun!