This week I went to the office to clear out my cubicle as our office prepares to create shared workspaces. Like many others, it was mid-March when I started working remotely and everything changed. There’s just something about living through a pandemic, working full-time, and being a Black woman during a time of racial tension and injustice. At the end of the day, it’s just a lot.
Granted I no longer have the two-hour round-trip commute to work and not spending as much money on gas or tolls. Instead, I’m spending more time at home, less time with friends, and going to the store or Starbuck’s for a socially-distanced coffee date is considered “going out”. Oh, and the masks…let’s not forget those or the marks on the ground to keep us socially-distanced.
I think I speak for most of us when I say all of this has taken a toll on our mental health. At the beginning of the quarantine, I worked hard to keep a routine. But, after some time, the sense of normalcy was gone, because what is happening in the world is not normal. I started channeling my energy and extra time into blogging, and DIY projects like my peel and stick backsplash, and my spotted wall in my home/bedroom office.
I think Michelle Obama said it perfectly on Instagram after her most recent podcast episode “Protests and the Pandemic with Michele Norris”:
“The idea that what this country is going through shouldn’t have any effect on us—that we all should just feel OK all the time—that just doesn’t feel real to me. So I hope you all are allowing yourselves to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. I hope you’re listening to yourselves and taking a moment to reflect on everything that’s coming at us, and what you might be able to do about it.”Michelle Obama
All this to say…it’s OK to not feel OK, feel what you’re feeling. Let’s all continue to hang in there, wear our masks, social distance, spend time doing things that make us happy, and pray this pandemic will be behind us soon.