2021 hasn’t been better than 2020 so far.
On top of political turmoil and skyrocketing Covid numbers, my anxiety shot through the roof during a 48-hour span when my car battery died, a front molar cracked, and a leaky water pipe flooded our laundry room and adjacent hallway.
I know I'm blessed to be healthy and have a roof over my head when so many struggle. Still, it takes every coping strategy in my tool box to push away worries, and I constantly battle to stay upbeat. Here’s what I've done to shake off seven funks in Covid 2021. Hope something here helps you, too.
Funk 1: I am glued to the news, and it is mostly AWFUL
Like many Americans, I can’t get my head around the takeover of the U.S. Capitol, and I fear more civil unrest and division. Plus, global updates on Covid and its variants are constant gut punches.
I know what you’re thinking. Nope.
Can't totally turn off current events. This is history in the making, and I want to be present. Instead, I decide on a "newsfeed-light" – quick morning and evening check-ins, plus lots of good-news feeds.
Funk 2: I can’t sleep
Always a night owl and light sleeper, the strange dreams and restlessness I experienced at the start of the pandemic return to haunt me. It takes forever to nod off, and I get up a few hours later, exhausted and edgy, moving through the day like a zombie on 3 or 4 hours of sleep.
Never a nap person, I don't consider a daytime snooze. And since I devour books digitally, reading to chill before bed doesn’t help, either.
Funk 3: I don't feel like posting on social media
I don’t feel I have anything engaging or uplifting to offer my friends and followers. Can't bring myself to post on my Facebook or Instagram pages, despite a FOMO.
Funk 4: My heart isn’t in writing
There’s a school of thought that advises authors to write every day, no matter what. That doesn’t work for me. Authoring is hard and lonely during the best of times. In Covid days, I'm beyond weary and mind-maxed to write a jot.
Funk 5: I worry about our nation’s divisiveness
Funk 6: Everything feels hard; where's the joy?
Aside from not sleeping, this is the worst. So even if I don't feel like it, I make myself find something fun to make those happiness endorphins kick in:
Funk 7: I fret about surging Covid rates and mutations
I'm beyond lucky to be one of the first in my circle under new CDC guidelines to get my Covid shot. YIPPY!
I encourage eligible friends and family to keep trying for theirs despite the frustrating process and limited supplies.
My dearest wish is that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as possible, and we return to a more-normal life. I can't wait to see family, give hugs and go out in public!
Ups and Downs
So far, my fight against the funks is mostly successful.
But they always loom like Pigpen’s cloud, threatening to bring me down. I can’t always fight them off. But I'll keep trying.
My wise author pal, Julie Gorges, suggests finding one inspirational word to pursue for personal and writerly growth in 2021. My inspiration word is perennial.
Like the hardy perennials resting now in my garden, I'm hunkering down to survive a pandemic that feels like a million winters. Like blooms that return each spring, I'm determined to pop up when Covid goes away, refreshed, healthy and blooming gloriously among others who kept me company in long, dark months.
What makes your heart happy in hard times? If you experience stress and anxiety during Covid, I hope you, too, can keep your funk to the curb. Please share in the comments what’s working for you. I’d love to hear, and give it a try.
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