'Lockdown fatigue' is a new phrase that has been coined in my household to sum up how we feel at the moment. We're tired, we're grumpy and we're dreaming of the day that everything will be normal again. Although, what is normal? I suppose that word has now been redefined. Before lockdown, for me 'normal' meant getting dressed up, seeing my loved ones, going out for lunch and then going to work. Now I can hardly remember how to do my makeup! It's hard to believe that this life (which I certainly took for granted) has been turned on its head so suddenly. Gone are the days of motivation... my life now consists of me lying on the sofa with a chocolate bar in one hand and my Nintendo switch in the other. Lockdown fatigue is a strange feeling, but I'm trying my best to reflect and remember that it's ok to take each day as it comes.
A few days ago, as I was scrolling through Instagram for God knows how long, I came across a picture that stopped me in my tracks. It was posted by American artist Michael Schneider (@blcksmth) and it really resonated with me.
Before seeing this picture I felt as though I was trapped in a vicious cycle. Every night I'd mentally set a new goal for myself:
- "Tomorrow I'm going to start working out!"
- "I'll get up early and I'll eat well!"
- "Instead of watching Tiktoks, I'll read my book before bed!"
And everyday I'd wake up, feeling angry for not sticking to it.
I've always described myself as a motivated person; I enjoy working, studying, and if I want to do something I will make sure that it gets done. However, recently I've felt as though I'm lacking this productive energy. Everything seems to be a massive effort and I'm finding it hard to complete tasks that would've once been a breeze, even my new found love for colouring-in has taken a back seat! This dip in motivation characterises lockdown fatigue. It has been extremely frustrating to deal with and has definitely began to affect my mindset and mood. But, Michael's picture opened my eyes and made me realise that I'm not actually being unproductive, I have just adapted to the new 'normal.' Looking back, I can't believe that I've even had to come to the realisation that it is completely impossible to keep up with my regular 'productive' routine when the foundations behind it no longer exist. I can't be bothered to wash, blow dry and straighten my hair everyday, because I know that there's nowhere for me to go. I don't feel like completing the online course that I signed up for right now because there's no deadline lurking or teacher waiting to grade it. I dont want to wake up early today, I want to lie in.
This is ok!
Rather than feeling irritated that I can no longer bring myself to complete these tasks, I'm trying to remind myself of the smaller things that I have done whilst in quarantine. For example:
I'm getting dressed and out of bed everyday.
I'm going on walks when I feel like it.
I'm teaching myself new skills. So far, I've mastered the art of baking, writing blog posts, and I'm determined to become a pro at skipping by the end of lockdown!
I'm reconnecting with my family and friends through online quizzes and Zoom calls.
I have a three star rating on my Animal Crossing island (if you're not playing it, you need to get on it ASAP!!)
I'm beginning to appreciate the things that I usually take for granted.
This list seems small, but at least I'm achieving things during this crazy time! I've finally realised that I am still being productive; it's just taken on a new form.
Lockdown fatigue can be draining, but it's good to use your down days as a time to reward yourself for how well you are adapting to your new 'normal.' If, like me, you've found yourself stuck in a negative headspace, try listing your lockdown achievements (however big or small they may be), focusing on the positives, and taking each day as it comes.
We're in this together!