It’s hard to be creative and productive when the worry and anxiety are so overwhelming. But I don’t need to really need to say it when so many of us are feeling it, do I?
How do we not not focus on the awfulness coming up from this virus, like the panic and greed causing toilet paper shortages? My family didn’t stock up weeks ago, aiming to be reasonable about purchasing and leaving enough for others. But, unfortunately, that means we’re now running out.
Of toilet paper. Of all things.
Clearly, not everyone else thought the way we did.
Before this all started, I was working on my own projects while searching for a job. I’ve been doing small freelance jobs and commissions, but a steady full-time job is preferable. While I have been applying, I have had little feedback or response. I’m trying not to get discouraged, since I also know that there are a number of people getting laid off now and also looking for work. It’s a difficult time and the demand for work is high. It will like be some time before I find a job, especially one that’s full time.
I’m not going to stop looking, though.
At the end of February I went to visit my parents in Toronto for my mom’s birthday. More information was coming out about the virus after my arrival, and the seriousness of what was happening in China and Italy was coming to the forefront. Luckily, I was able to get back to California before a pandemic was declared. All the while being careful not to touch my face and to wash my hands and to wash my hands and to wash my hands.
It has been nearly two weeks since my return and everything feels like it’s all different, all over again. And it is such a change that I need to relearn how to work within it. To learn how to be able to focus despite these stresses looming overhead. These last few weeks have been rough and creatively empty for me. This last Tuesday I tried to draw, but it was a real struggle to maintain any semblance of focus.
I’m unused to dealing with these kinds of feelings when it’s not depression. It feels so strange to say it like that, too. I don’t want to treat it like depression, either, but it’s so close. But maybe that feeling is coming from a worry that, by doing so, I’ll let Real Depression in and have to deal with that, too.
Wednesday (the 18th) I tried to work on writing for an hour, and fared a little better. (An hour seemed like a small but reachable goal.) The urge to check email, news, Twitter, etc, was unbelievably strong. I had to repeatedly interrupt my actions with directions and reminders.
“The news will be there when you’re done.”
“There’s nothing on Twitter that can’t wait another half hour.”
“You’re doing this for your own sanity. Relax.”
I’m still working on taking care of myself, and redirecting my focus from following the news too closely. Remembering to take a nap if I’m overwhelmed or read more books that I enjoy. (Evidence of this is the recent influx of book reviews on the blog.) It’s far too easy to get caught up in the influx of information everywhere. One can’t check Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram without being flooded with news.
It’s time for a break from social media. Not completely, as I do need to be informed, but limits need to be in place for my own sanity. Resorting to checking social media less, maybe just 2-3 times a day, then leaving it for a few hours to allow myself to relax.
Thursday, I was doing better putting this social media moratorium into practice. It’s a start.
And then my husband got laid off from his job.
I know I’m not the only one going through issues like this. (Dealing with the effects of the pandemic, metal health stuff, etc.) A lot of us are. And a lot of us are worse off than I am right now. The world is a scary place these days, and I wish I had some good advice or insight to offer, but I really don’t. This is new for everyone. And we can only try to do our best, even if that’s not good enough for now.
All I can think of is: Stay safe out there, and try to be strong. I’m trying, too.