It took me by surprise. I really didn’t see it coming.
It's been almost one year since the pandemic struck like lightning in Germany. And now I got the Coronavirus blues! Out of the blue.
I could also call it lockdown fatigue or pandemic depression. The name doesn't matter - the feeling is unpleasant. I feel hopeless and helpless, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. A daily monotony, nothing to look forward to. At least that's how it FEELS.
Hitting a wall
I'm not the only one who feels this way; many people are experiencing the same thing right now. There is an English marathon metaphor that says that when you run out of energy long before the end of the race, it's like hitting a wall. That's exactly what many realized in January and February: This pandemic is a super marathon along an unknown route, not a short run in the local forest. And we are already pretty exhausted.
The Coronavirus burnout took me by surprise! A friend of mine claimed last year - tongue-in-cheek - during the first lockdown that highly sensitive people have an advantage. It's true, most highly sensitive people like to spend time at home and avoid places or events where they would be exposed to a lot of stimuli (like bars or concerts). A lockdown with all its restrictions should therefore not hit highly sensitive people so hard and not affect their normal lives too much.
I am highly sensitive and can confirm this. Social distancing restrictions didn't bother me much for many months. Of course, I would like to cuddle my parents again to my heart's content - including my cousin and my best friend; and I would like to be able to visit my grandfather in Romania without risk (for him and me). But all in all, I've coped well with the pandemic-related daily restrictions.
What changed? Why now? What exactly is it that I'm missing?
Experiencing surprising things
It's a paradox: On the one hand, I know I have so much to be grateful for. I have a cozy home, a loving partner, two adorable cats, a good job that I can pursue from home, my family and friends are healthy...
And yet, and yet! The On the other hand weighs heavy at the moment: Life got monotonous, nothing surprising happens. Today resembles yesterday – and tomorrow – down to a T, there is no clear distinction anymore. It’s like two big white clouds slowly merging in the uniformly blue sky. I like blue skies. And I like clouds. But if that's the only prospect, day/week/month in and day/week/month out, then for a change I'd like to experience a proper thunderstorm, a gusty tempest – in other words: A little adventure! I want to experience something that stands out from the everyday monotony and that I can remember for days to come. Something about which I can say with certainty: This is what happened last week, on TUESDAY (or Wednesday, or Thursday, or whichever other day of the week this unusual thing took place).
Get out of the apartment and do something out of the ordinary. Get in the car and drive to a neighboring town for a stroll. Or visit a castle. Take a fun walk in a vineyard in the Palatinate. Watch wild boars feed at a wildlife sanctuary. Yeeeeeay, just making plans has given me already new momentum.
Last week we jumped straight into action and visited the wild boars – with an added bonus of snow, minus degrees, and fresh forest air. A perfect little outing... my adventure of the week!
My hope is that each weekly adventure will keep me going and help me master the remaining distance of the pandemic marathon. Slowly, step by step, day by day, adventure by adventure.
I'm curious: Have you also hit the pandemic wall? What strategies do you have for counteracting the Coronavirues blues?
Psst, How to cope with a pandemic – Advice by an MBSR teacher & Leonard Cohen and Turn the 2020ies into magical years with these great intentions.
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