Wednesday 20 May 2020
Is it just me or do some days now start at lunchtime and end between midnight and three in the morning? I think a lot of people have trouble with sleep during this period and the majority of us are feeling that we are not doing enough even if we have assessments due or we just want to start a new hobby or to read a book, but this is fine, doing nothing is fine too.
You might have the feeling that the rest of the world is advancing by taking advantage of every free second and that you will be left behind. Do you know what I think? I think it is a way for people to help themselves to feel valuable by being productive. Do you think all your friends are learning a new language, doing a second degree, or applying to an internship while you read this text? Perhaps some are, and some are not and that’s OK. We are all managing in our own way and it is ok to feel exhausted and scared of our helplessness. Sometimes we don't know where we're going, and that can be unsettling, so it is OK to not look too far into the future and live day by day.
It feels like a time of crisis, we are living a collective trauma and, although you do not consciously realise it, your subconscious is working hard every second so that your everyday conscious can help you deal with your day and get through this period. That's where all your energy can go - that’s where I think my energy goes.
This is where we need to be kind to ourselves. I had days at the beginning of this lockdown where I had some panic attacks because I thought that I could not deal with everything and I was overwhelmed. Do you know when you forget to close all your open tabs on your phone or when you are doing research and you have dozens of tabs opened that you forgot about? This is what it felt like was happening in my head. There were lots of different scenarios playing out from; ‘how I will deal with the amount of homework I have to do’, to ‘what if I do all of them and the year will get suspended and I need to repeat it?’ But this was just a period of bad days in the past. Because of them I have learnt to be kind to myself and started old passions that relax me, and that is painting and baking. This was what helped me to relax and forget about my (imaginative) problems. Perhaps you can start to do yoga, start gardening, try to do something new…or do you remember that tv program that you wanted to watch but you did not have the time (Money Heist has a new season if you did not see it already!) perhaps get round to reading that article or book. Whatever you do, it is a time for you to be kind to yourself - even if you cry, the next day you should be like new and you know the quote; “after the rain, the sun will shine.”
Don't worry, people are standing still and not expecting you to be productive, but it is still important to work hard on assessments and hold on to our dreams for the future.