It’s Okay If You Can’t Relax Right Now

Do you remember those idyllic days, back in March or so, when we all realized we were going to have a lot more free time? Office workers worked from home, restaurants were closed, and events were canceled. Suddenly, whether you were working or not, there weren’t many places. Hello, free time.

But the time was not free, was it? If your kids are at home, they probably interrupt you every five minutes. If you live with a partner or roommate, they are probably already pounding you against the wall. And even if you are in blissful solitude, it is not so pleasant.

We are in the midst of a pandemic. Or at the beginning of one, to be completely honest.

In such circumstances, it is normal to worry about the state of the world, about your health, about how your grandmother is doing, about whether it is even safe to go for a walk.

Trying to work in a pandemic is not the same as working from home. Emergency distance learning during a pandemic is not the same as homeschooling. And trying to relax during a pandemic is not at all the same, it will never be like just relaxation.

This is why you cannot focus on a book for more than half a page. I still can’t. I thought I was lucky enough to catch a long deep book from the library that they cannot now get me to return. I barely got through one chapter, and don’t ask me what was in that chapter.

I think there are several things going on here. It’s kind of hard to focus when you’re worried about the state of the world. But another aspect is that everything we know about trying to relax has been turned upside down. Forget about disconnecting from the network, for example. Your phone and computer no longer distract you from the real world; They are now your lifeline for every person you know who doesn’t live in your home.

I constantly feel that I will need somewhere. My kids, coworkers, online friends who need to talk, or who burn their own anxiety by posting on social media. And this is not really a problem: I want to be close to these people. I have the same desire to communicate with others, to be useful in this world.

Before the plague, I read a lot. Including the textbook, which I studied diligently. I also kept a regular diary, reflecting on possible future book topics. Now, nothing stops me from doing any of this except … you know.

It’s okay, and it’s okay to be honest. I think I’m relaxing now, like most of you. Play games that don’t require too much mental effort. Drink beer in the evenings more often than not. Watching the TV that distracts me most from the world around me (I started with Tiger King and now I’m moving on to a vintage muppet show).

I don’t have a life hack to get through this. I think exercise helps. Dive into any hobby that still has room in your brain. I just wanted to tell you that if you feel this way, you are not alone.


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