This Is How I Eased My Pandemic Fatigue
I had a good rhythm, checking things off my list left and right. Vision Board workshops, checked. Photoshoot and video for www.laurasgroi.com and In Our Thirties´ launch campaign, checked. Annual trip to Nicaragua, checked. Getting booked as a speaker for International Women´s Day events, checked. Dentist and gynecologist appointments, checked. 2020 started great. Most of us had a great vision of what we wanted to accomplish in the year.
My friend Amy had written an article for The Scientist about this new virus in January. That was all the way in China. Nothing to worry about.
We started getting worried when the virus arrived to Italy, as my in-laws live there.
Then we started receiving the first emails from the school with the news about the US. They were monitoring the virus, therefore I didn´t have to. I thought it was one of those threats that never get close to us such as Ebola, cholera, anthrax, even Y2K. The school requested hand sanitizer. Finding it was only the first mission.
I remember our last night out. My son´s last day of school. The last stroll at the mall, already feeling afraid of the sound of a cough. I remember filling the gas tank up, before locking ourselves down at home, imagining the virus like the death walking rampant on the streets, staying inside was (and still is) the key to staying safe. Ordering groceries from three different supermarkets and wondering what we would actually receive. Cancelling meetings and events, welcoming my mom at home, our bunker. My husband arrived from his last trip and quarantined in the garage for fourteen days.
The good: We were all healthy. We enjoyed most financial breaks like delaying tax filing, mortgage forbearance, and no late payments fees from our health insurance company. I baked cookies, cupcakes, and banana bread for the first time ever, sometimes before 8am. We had a virtual book launch for In Our Thirties and I am proud of my work on Fauci: The Virus Hunter and a few other remote productions.
The bad: I couldn´t believe what was going on. I had no solo time, no ME time, no free time. My daily routine went from having eight hours of solo and work time to zero. In spite of staying safe around the horror of illness and death around the world, I struggled to feel grateful.
The ugly: Missing and worrying for our family in Italy, the Dominican Republic, and friends around the world. I couldn´t help but feeling unhappy, frustrated, and defeated, not only for myself but for my whole generation of moms now at home. Quarantine mornings felt like waking up to go to a full-time job I didn´t apply for. My husband would leave to work at his office, and I would wave goodbye feeling castaway at our island, left out our home, screaming SOS from the kitchen, drowning in the sink full of dirty dishes, buried under dirty and clean laundry. I was not meant to be the person I was being asked to become. I was miserable. Missing and grieving everything and everybody.
Six months in something shifted. An email from Thrive Global prompted me to journal.
Ease was not part of my pandemic vocabulary. How could I do that? I started coaching myself.
What was the best thing I could do to ease my pandemic fatigue?
The answer arrived so fast, obvious, in spite of the fact that I had never thought about it before:
The best I could do was to embrace my caregiver role instead of resisting it. I was at the core heart center of my family, as a mom, wife, daughter, sister. I had to be there for them, physically, mentally, and emotionally present for them. It was not a sacrifice; it was a commitment.
That is all I had to do. That changed it all.
Two years have passed, and while still grieving many different types of losses, we finally start seeing the light now. We are traveling for business again, we are fully vaccinated, my son is back to pre-school, and I am back to work on new projects such as speaking about natural fertility, the translation of In Our Thirties (En Nuestros Treinta), and welcoming new speaking and coaching clients.
I appreciate life, health, and time more than ever now, and I will do the best I can, always.
What about you?
How did you feel when COVID started?
How do you feel now?
Thanks for staying close.
With newfound gratitude,