Last week I wrote about things to do while dealing with this Safe-At-Home situation. I posted positive and playful things on my social media feed. But generally I was not doing so well. I felt numb, in shock, and I had no desire to do…well….anything.
I didn’t want to compose. I didn’t want to exercise (but I forced myself to, thankfully). I did the bare minimum of work to keep things going. All I wanted to do was eat and lose myself in TV shows and movies…..but I struggled to decide on which ones and left many things half-watched. When I felt something it was generally grief but the majority of the time I didn’t feel anything at all. I was just really freaking tired.
On Sunday it seemed to reach a peak. I slept a lot of the day. I felt so tired everything was an effort, and the only exercise I could convince myself to do was a little yoga. It was concerning. I was worried I was actually coming down with something, although I didn’t really feel sick beyond a headache. I took my temperature: totally normal. So I took it again.The same. There was nothing left to do except go to bed.
Monday I woke up and I knew I needed to go for a walk. Immediately. Sunday I hadn’t left my studio. So I pulled myself out of bed, fed the cats, left the house and got going. It was lovely outside. I did slip on some poop but stayed upright and soldiered on. I ended up at the grocery store. Things there were calm, well organized and well stocked. People were kind and friendly, while keeping their distance.
I came home, dropped off my groceries and headed back out to the coffee shop. My local coffee place is run by a lovely couple – Heather and Josh – and they are still hanging in there. It was SO nice to walk, get coffee, and have a quick catch up (at a distance). Felt normal. In fact, I started to notice that I was also feeling……normal.
After my walk, armed with my coffee (now in my coffee mug, the takeaway cup both sanitized and recycled) I started to work. I had things to do and I sat down and did them! It felt like a regular day in the studio. I was energized and productive. Later on in the day I did some yoga, and some dancing. (I am now finding dance work outs on youtube. They are fun! I am sure I look ridiculous but I am having a great time.)
When I went to bed I checked out twitter. There was a thread from brilliant creator and entrepreneur Emily Best (@emilybest) which started like this: “This is hard/embarrassing for me to share, but on the off chance it helps someone else today: After a really productive and exciting last week of gathering resources for our community, pivoting the business to support them, I could barely get out of bed this morning.”
I completely understood how she felt. It seems we were on opposite schedules.
Tuesday I woke up and again felt pretty good. I started the day as I usually do, journaling and (this time) homemade coffee, then got into work. Composing felt good. Working felt good. I felt good. It was a good day.
So, now I am feeling like myself again. I have the energy and focus to do all the things I want to do. Last week I didn’t feel that AT ALL. And nothing happened to magically change things from feeling awful to feeling well. In fact, technically things have gotten worse (although I am thrilled with the leadership we are seeing here in California through this crisis).
But my point is that last week I felt numb and in shock and had to rest and that was OK. I listened. I stopped. I did very little. I was (for once) fairly patient with myself. And then, just as my very dear friend and business partner Robinton Hobbs had assured me during that tough week, the desire to create and be productive returned, once I was ready for it.
Listen to yourself. Do what YOU need to do in this crazy pants, uncertain, extremely concerning time. And don’t worry. You will feel like yourself again.
It comes back.