In the past 12 weeks we have learned new words and phrases: ‘flatten the curve”, zoom meetings, pandemic, Carole Baskin, social distancing and more. Between working from home, Zoom meetings, assisting our children with video learning or paper packets, cleaning the house, shopping, avoiding illness, etc. you probably feel exhausted and worn thin. You are so tired and all you want to do is go to bed as early as possible, but when you do, you cannot fall asleep. Finally, around 3am you drift off. You wake up the next morning as you always do, and repeat the previous day. You feel as every day turns to the next, you are foggy, irritable and may even have physical aches and pains. You have either grazed like a cow all day, or have no appetite. You feel at your breaking point. Dear reader, you are not alone! Thousands of us have the same experience, myself included. We are feeling the effects of isolation, exhaustion, and fear of the unknown regarding a virus that is previously unknown. What can help you? me? The number one thing is to take care of ourselves. If we are not well, and functioning as well as possible, that affects everyone around us. Part of the stress is the disrupted schedule we are all on these days. Try, if possible, to make a solid schedule. Keep it simple, write it down. Follow it as best as you can. Get that sleep. Take an afternoon nap if you like. Exercise. Whether it is a walk around the neighborhood, push ups in the living room or an intense run or weight lifting session. The natural endorphins created by even a short period of exercise helps fight the doldrums. The exercise will also help with the achiness from being inactive. Take some quiet time for yourself. Do not try to do anything during that time other than what you want. Take care of yourself. Get outside, not in a large gathering, but breathe in the air, get sun on your skin (but wear sunscreen). Do not let the crisis and having to multitask in multiple roles overwhelm and destroy you. We are all having to be superheroes these days. We are multitasking and taking on the multiple roles we must, for now. The end of that will come, eventually. You just have to take care of yourself and not flame out. Superman is the ultimate superhero. Almost undefeatable, definitely superhuman. He is almost perfect. Superman is also an alien. Batman can do almost as much as Superman, but he bleeds. He hurts. He cries. He has darkness about him, he isn’t perfect. He is human. But he is a superhero because he is strong, intelligent, and never gives up. Let’s get our capes, cowls, magic lassos, and shields together and rise to the occasion.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
Roger Kirk, CRNP