Now that so many of us are being vaccinated one issue remains to be faced; the Covid Hangover.
The Covid Hangover in action
I remember when the shut-down began, just as you do. I was in Japan with my beautiful bride Terrie who was just beginning her Spring Tour as Lady Ashtar. The U S Embassy sent out a message that we should all return home. Easier said than done. My flight had been cancelled because traffic was so light. When I did get a flight, I returned to the U.S. to find LAX deserted. My first few months home I used the period of self-isolation to turn out blogs, work on our yard and even complete a book. (Four books are on-line if you care to read them.)
As I look back on the next six months I see that in order to deal with self-isolation I scaled-back my energy. As a result, my writing slowed-down, the yard became self-sustaining and I began fewer projects. Now that there is light at the end of this tunnel my energy is still in a reduced, protective state. I call this the Covid Hangover.
Breaking the cycle
I am fortunate to have a friend who goes back to my years in the Army. Ron and I do weekly FaceTime calls. Both of us feel this lack of enthusiasm, or drive, affecting our normally active lives. As we shared our screen time today each of us realized we are just kind of walking through life. This doesn’t feel good at all. With a little sharing each of us came up with things we can do to break this cycle of the Covid Hangover.
Step one for me, get back to writing blogs. I stopped talking about upping my exercise and began a regime of simple yoga workouts. I have a list of things I have been putting-off that moved from a drawer to the wall in front of my computer. In short, I have decided to take control of my life again.
The insidious effects of Covid Hangover
The human mind is nothing if not adaptable. For months on end the most important issue for me was the election. This in itself caused a hangover no different than the Covid Hangover because it too came to an end. The things that seemed so important during those months now seem much less so. But in putting aside those things in my life that are important to me long-term, I lulled myself into a stupor for protection.
I wanted so much to be able to visit my family, take a trip or eat dinner out. But these things were unavailable to me. As a result that energy switch was dialed back from 11 to 3. I see now I did this to protect myself from going crazy. The insidious effect is that now, as things open again, I remain at a lower energy level. It is up to me to break the cycle and return to life.
We did nothing wrong.
Finding a way to protect ourselves while our movements were restricted was essential. Dialing-back our energy-expecting less- was a reasonable choice. If I had fixated on not being able to travel I would have had much more anxiety. Shopping on-line became essential which severely impacted so many businesses. In short, we did the very best we could with what we had.
Beginning to move forward again
The problem is, this reduced energy level and expectation has become a new normal. It is a normal that a we can accept, or we can recognize the effects of the Covid Hangover. If we choose to continue performing at less than our full potential we will suffer the effects.
Clearly it is important to continue to practice common sense about our activities. Wearing a face mask in public may well be the norm for some months to come. Limiting our potential exposure to Covid and it’s derivatives just makes sense. Washing our hands frequently has long been a good suggestion.
Perhaps the most important thing we can do is to review our goals, plans and dreams. Those things still exist beyond the Covid Hangover. Are you prepared to live life fully again? It’s time to decide what is important for our futures. Begin taking the steps to resume our full lives. But we will not be able to do so if we are still suffering the effects of our hangover.
You had a life
Before Covid-19 swept the globe you had a life. You had a life that was creative, fun and challenging. It’s time to become aware of the lingering effects of the Covid Hangover. It’s time to decide what your life will look like. Prepare to step boldly forward mindful of the many lessons we have learned the past year or so.
Remember those who remained on the front lines to keep us fed, protected and yes, even alive. Bring those lessons into your new reality. And as the world reopens, remember most of all, the lesson we learned. that this is one planet. We are all connected. We are all dependent upon each other. This is our home, as you step boldly into the future treat it accordingly.