I was talking with a mental health professional last week and mentioned how I feel sort of . . . blah. I’m not motivated to do much of anything lately, and I don’t just mean the things I have to do, like working and exercising, but even the things I like to do, like reading and knitting, are leaving me feeling indifferent.
I liken it to the letdown feeling you have after a major event. You know those things you plan and plan for and look forward to for months and then when they are over you are left feeling meh. A little blue, a little at odds about what to do next. It’s not as serious as depression but it’s definitely a feeling of malaise and perhaps even indifference. The weird thing is, I thought I’d feel full of hope and excitement right now. Dale and I are both fully vaccinated. We have taken a mini vacation, we have gathered with friends, we feel able to let our guard down a bit. These are all amazing things but they aren’t enough to break this funk that I’m in.
Turns out, according to my friend, I’m not alone. She stated that many, many of her clients have been reporting these same feelings for the last few weeks. Our conversation inspired me to do some research and I think, after doing some reading online, that what so many of us are experiencing right now is fall out from the emotions and anxiety surrounding the pandemic. For over a year we were so concerned with keeping ourselves healthy, with staying home and meeting only on zoom, with entertaining ourselves with Animal Crossings and binging television shows, and being hyper focused on staying safe. And all of that vigilance took energy and effort. It was exhausting but we didn’t allow ourselves space to feel exhausted because we had to keep repeating the same things, day after day, and there just wasn’t time to stop and think about how it made us actually feel. Now that we can relax a bit, the trauma that we experienced due to the anxiety surrounding the pandemic is starting to show itself. The adrenaline rush of flight or fight is over and we’re left with having to cope with all of those feelings we (maybe) ignored. And coping with feelings? Also exhausting. No wonder so many of us are feeling unmotivated.
The other day, when I was riding my Peloton (yes, I still do it even though I feel uninspired), one of the songs that played was Lean On Me. And the lyrics really resonated with me . . . we all have pain, we all have sorrow . . . lean on me when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on . . . For, it won’t be long till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on. Goodness knows, the pandemic taught us how much we all need each other. Maybe now . . . now that we can gather . . . now that we feel more safe . . . now that we can start to process what we’ve been through . . . maybe now is when we realize that leaning on each other is the key to moving out of this pandemic funk.
I know I’m willing to give it a shot and I hope you are, too.