Lockdown during this Pandemic can be tough. Some people thrive. They complete a book they're writing. They tackle projects that were set aside for months. They start new projects. They learn new skills or do more cooking.
Others do not fare as well. Many have trouble focusing or concentrating. They have no motivation, no urge to tackle any of the work piling up. Some are suffering severe financial pressures.
How are you doing? My husband and I have always believed in and lived, an emergency preparedness lifestyle so food-wise we are fine. Items that are hard to come by where we live are: Yeast, flour, disinfectant wipes, and some fresh vegetables. Meat is also starting to be in shorter supply but nothing extreme.
The "I Can't Focus" Camp
But we are both in the "I can't focus" camp. Every day I think about my second Janie Riley mystery I have been working on for a few years. I think about opening it and writing. But I can't.
I look at the Genealogy project I started with some excitement back in December. Now it seems a waste of time and energy so there it sits.
I have a gazillion ideas for projects I want to tackle but all I do is look at the binders I set up or the notes I jotted down. I sigh and close it all up with a shake of my head.
My Pandemic Brain
My mind is suffering what I call "Pandemic Brain" I can't focus. I can't remember what I did a few minutes ago. My mind is a jumble of thoughts. My sleep is disturbed with disjointed extreme dreams.
But I'm finally coming out of that fog a bit. Two weeks ago I decided I had to set myself one daily task and one fun item. The daily tasks I started setting and completing were small and simple. One day I made 3 loaves of pumpkin bread, another day I made a spreadsheet of all the wills I found for ancestors. That's not a lot compared to my pre-Pandemic work ethic! But I found completing the tasks not only made me feel good, it made me settle down and concentrate on what needed to be done, then making a choice.
I started expanding my tasks by making and canning dozens of jars of homemade Chili Sauce. That was a huge job and my husband spent hours helping me. Once I did that I felt much better about things. I was taking some control again, and not giving in to feelings of helplessness.
I still have Pandemic Brain. I'm much more forgetful than pre-Pandemic. I'm not inspired or excited to start on any of the ideas I have rolling around in my mind but I am doing things. I am completing one task daily (sometimes more), I am setting up one fun thing each day, and I am walking a bit ever day.
Coping With Pandemic Brain
Many of my readers know I have physical challenges and auto-immune disorders and cannot walk more than 20 minutes on a good day. So I do what I can by walking on the cement surrounding our in-ground pool. It makes a good track for my rollator and allows me to walk more easily.
We live in a rural area and are forced to use a mobile capped connection to the internet, thus we cannot get Netflix or use Zoom or participate in any online meets, nor can we stream movies or podcasts.
So we have to make our own fun with jigsaw puzzles, card and board games, etc. I also created different areas inside and outside our home for sitting for tea or a snack. I gave them names - for instance our sunroom is the Poolside Bistro. I made a menu on a white board and we enjoy sitting there and "ordering" our food. It may sound silly but we enjoy the change of routine.
I hope all of you are coping and staying safe. What are your suggestions for coping during this lockdown?