A Year Later...
Exhausted. Burnt out. Depleted. Sound familiar? It’s not just you. What initially seemed like a handful of short-lived disruptions to our normal routines has turned into a year of restrictions, Zoom meetings and remote learning. It’s not the anniversary any of us ever imagined having to acknowledge, but, as 2020 taught us: anything goes.
Pandemic fatigue is very real. As a society, we’re still expected to parent, be a productive employee and check in with our partner or friends—sometimes all of the above—as though we haven’t been living in hell for 12 months. Feeling emotionally zapped is a normal response, according to mental health experts and, really, any observant person. We can’t stop the pandemic, so how do we get through the rest of it? Here are five suggestions:
- Set boundaries. In a recent HuffPost article, Amy Cirbus, a licensed mental health counselor in New York and the director of clinical content at Talkspace, said that she advises patients to first identify their biggest stressors—whether that’s the news, a job or toxic conversations with a friend. Then, make a plan to address them.
- Work with a therapist. If your typical coping skills aren’t cutting it, consider getting extra help. Mental health professionals are trained on specific techniques to accommodate various lifestyles. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Mental health care can be expensive; however, affordable or free resources are available.
- Practice self-compassion. Even those of us who proudly display our introvert badge weren’t made for this, so don’t belittle your feelings. Chances are you already know how to respond to struggle with kindness. You’re patient with friends, relatives, peers, etc. You deserve that same grace.
- Survive. Do whatever it takes: exercise, meditate, read a book, discover nature, binge some mindless television, go for a drive, eat a box of chocolate. This is a no-judgment zone.
- Find the bright spots. They still exist. We’re writing about them in the pages of Print+Promo Marketing … a year later. Inspiration is found in the case study that connects a school with its community. It’s in the innovative ways distributors are (successfully) selling a traditional print product that industry outsiders often dismiss. It’s in the story of a CEO balancing the health and safety of her family and staff, while helping brands fulfill their messages. It’s even in our February cover story that doesn’t mince words about the current state of the supply chain. Do you know what isn’t a mess? Supply chain partnerships.
Stay well, friends. Our individual circumstances may differ, but we see you, we hear you, we are you.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.