Several of my friends and clients complain about feeling tired. Friday, 23 October 2020, I was tired beyond measure. I went to bed Friday night and slept to 14h30 on Saturday. And almost repeated the process on Sunday! “Slow Down, You Move Too Fast!”
This is my story.
Lockdown is a bugger – I do not go out to see clients or for business as I would normally do. The illusion is that I am not doing ANYTHING, and I drive myself to keep busy and chase the goals or I feel guilty. I think there is an underlying COVID-19 stress with most of us.
Effects of Lockdown
I can see the effects of the Lockdown, which adds to the stress. I see it in my activity to try and save cancelled policies, I see it in the number of shop windows covered with newspaper, I see it in the new people at the robots. I think COVID-19 is like a low volume, irritating buzz in the background that just will not stop. It causes stress, even if we are not aware of it.
The result of all this is that I am busier than normal, take less time out and there is the low level “hum” in the background.
Rest is Important!
On the 14th my wife went for an operation (everything fine, grateful to report). Late to bed and early to rise, I started the day with a lack of sleep. When I say goodbye at the theatre doors, I feel an immense sadness. Instead of going home and having a restful coffee, or even taking time to get back in bed, I rush around to get everything done, so I can be back at the hospital when she comes out of the theatre. The keyword is rush – and rushing is not in my nature! I always build in too much lead time.
Anybody who has had somebody in hospital will know that it is detrimental to a routine. Which simply means Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (when she leaves the hospital) does not go anywhere close to what even a normal lockdown day goes.
Monday, Monday – not all I had hoped it to be!
When Monday comes it is not all I had hoped it to be (with apologies to The Mamas and Papas). I am tired, but I must work, work, work. It is lockdown, the economy is down, the ANC has “lost” 2/3 of the international assistance funds. As Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs sang: “We owe, we owe, it is off to work we go.” (Good luck, Tito. I trust you to stand up for what is right and don’t envy you your task.)
Starting a week like this is not a good thing. I am irritated and frustrated, because things go too slowly, people ask stupid questions and obviously do not read my emails, if they even respond to an email!
Hello Caffeine, my Bridge over Troubled Times
To make things worse, I do exactly what Elizabeth Dostal years ago told us not to do. She said when you have an energy slump, take some time out. Take a power nap. Don’t try to power through it. But me? I drink coffee and more coffee to keep going. What a combination. Feeling tired, all the caffeine not conducive to good sleep, more coffee – a vicious downward spiral. I am not sure what is ringing louder, my ears or nerves! (Caffeine is only good in moderation, like everything else.)
Finally, Friday evening I listen to Simon & Garfunkel:
“Slow down, you move to fast, you got to make the morning last, just kicking down the cobblestones, looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.” (59th Street Bridge Song).
I subscribe to Netflix again (I will not pay for SABC that I do not use without a TV) and watch a few episodes of Heartland and when I go to sleep, I sleep!
And I share this as a reminder that we must be aware of ourselves and look after ourselves in these crazy times. We need to take time out and “make the morning last, looking for fun and just feeling groovy.” I am currently on Rooibos tea, which does not have the same effect as coffee. Sitting on the stoep, my feet on a chair with a slow cup of Rooibos, well, let’s just say I must still acquire that skill.
I am glad to say I started this week much more like my normal self with lots of energy and, strangely enough, so far this week, I have seen a lot less assess! (I read somewhere: If you wake up and the first person you meet is an ass, you can say: “I met and ass today.” But if you wake up and every person you deal with is an ass, well, then you know you are it!)
I would love to hear your experiences and feelings in these times. Please comment below.
And listen to Simon and Garfunkel!