By Dorothy Cook
I’m burnt out. I am working two jobs, taking 17 credit hours, and doing teaching practicums. I am tired, and I miss my family. I need a break.
Since Miss Rona has come around and decided to throw 2020 the dirtiest curveball we’ve ever seen, life has been… weird. We wear masks everywhere, everyone sanitizes their hands 52 times a day, and people are scared to be around their loved ones out of fear of getting them sick. Our “new normal” is not normal at all, and I want it to be over. Things are so different from how they were back in February, and I want to go back in time and just spend one day, one single day in my “old normal”. But I can’t. This is our reality now. All of the sanitizing, masks, and fear that control our lives. It has become part of our daily routines. We are used to it, at least I am.
At first, I was afraid, I was petrified. Honestly I was. I didn’t know what to think or who to believe, and I was just kind of pretending it wasn’t happening and the world wasn’t falling apart. But it is, and I have accepted that the world is falling into a pit of chaos and there isn’t really anything I can do about it. I’m not going to get into the riots or the anti-mask Karens or the election mess, but those things very well add to the chaos.
I am not a person that can settle for being scared, and so I tried not to be. I put on a smile under my mask and learned how to smile with just my eyes. I put my energy towards something productive during our initial quarantine, and I lost 30 pounds. I focused hard on my classes and finished with a 3.9 GPA that semester. I did all these things to make my overall well-being better, but I was still miserable. I was still sad, angry, and confused, but I couldn’t figure out why.
We’re social creatures, us humans. We need to be around other people, science even says so. Just for you, I did some research and found some things that can happen to you if you spend too much time alone. You’re welcome, this took me five years.
Negative effects of spending too much time alone, according to ptsdjournal.com:
- Poor self esteem
- Loss of reality
- Increased tumor risk
- Body chills
- Decreased ability to learn
- Shorter life span
We (some of us) spent weeks without leaving our homes. Sure, our family members might have been there, but that doesn’t count because after about 24 hours we wanted to get away from them. Our bodies were freaking out because of our lack of social interaction. If you had any of these symptoms during quarantine, it is probably because you needed to hangout with your friends.
Enough of the sad stuff, let’s talk about how we are surviving. I mean, we aren’t exactly thriving, but that’s not the point. We are blessed to be alive, and we are trying to make the very best out of a pretty bad situation.
Some things I did to get over my Rona Slump were facetime with my friends, focus on my health, focus on my classwork, so many face masks, tutoring some little girls, and going on walks with my mom and my dog. Now that I’m back in school, I make it a point every single day to do something for myself. I bought a journal that I write in so that I empty my frustrations on paper and not my friends, I cook dinner sometimes, I workout occasionally, and I have made it a personal goal to dress up nice at least once a week. I encourage you to find something, anything, one tiny thing that makes you happy every single day. It could be a coffee from 10:31, a facemask, playing catch with a buddy, drinking some water (seriously guys, drink some water), or anything that sparks joy in your heart.
I’m in survival mode at this point, not thriving, just surviving. I wish we had breaks this semester, but I get it. We are done with our semester early, but I am so tired. I need a nap, or maybe a hug, or maybe just a venti iced cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks. I’m fine, we’re fine, everything is fine. That’s beautiful and relatable, I should get that on a pillow.