During this pandemic, some people are finding themselves more stressed, pressed, and depressed (SPD). I can relate to this for I have been feeling SPD for the past few months. No matter how hard I have tried to maintain my early morning routine of praying, meditating, and inspiration, it seems to have gotten lost in the working from the home syndrome. I am so over conducting life from home! I have not written in a while, not enough energy to do things I normally do, and constantly putting out fires has left me mentally and physically exhausted! It may seem as though working from home has brought about all these mishaps but it is the effect of the pandemic and the fear that goes with it. The urgent need for an outlet that used to help us through difficult times has changed and trying to adjust is compounding more threats to my mental health.
I started crocheting blankets and headbands to deal with the emotional challenges behind COVID-19. Crocheting has taken my mind off of some of the need to be out and about or desire for human contact or socializing in-person. I loved going to church and worship with like believers in Christ. Having church online is good for every now and then, but actually being present or in the same building has a different effect on me. Going to my grandkid's cheerleading and sports events refreshed my spirit, now I have to video chat with them. I even miss running for the bus and catching the train to the office just as much as driving to the school to be with the students. The hugs I receive from the students when I arrived highlighted my day. Now, Zoom has replaced that interaction although it is good to see them online, I like being in the same space with them. It brought me joy!
Working at home gives people the flexibility to be at home, while still being able to collect a paycheck. But does working at home automatically make you get more done? It seems that I am busier than ever before being at home and time escapes me. I work with middle schoolers that even testify to the fact that their teachers are giving them more work than in-person teaching. In fact, companies may expect more of you when you work at home and your time is going to be more scrutinized. You may end up working more hours even when you factor in the lack of commuting. Your boss may be inclined to call you up after work hours and ask you to handle some tasks. Truly, I have to ponder whether working from home or virtual learning is more beneficial or not?
Many people dream of being able to stumble out of bed and begin their workday. They argue that since they do not have the commute, they can start right away and essentially work during the time others would be using to commute. The argument is that it is less stressful not to have that commute hanging over them. Being able to spend more time with your family is another benefit people associate with working from home. You can be home when your kids come home from school. You will be able to go to their after-school activities such as sports games. Yes, I can see that working!
However, during a pandemic when the kids are home with you or in my situation caregiving for my 80-year-old mom bring about constant interruptions. Quickly, I have learned that people who work at home have unintended challenges associated with it. For instance, while it’s nice to be around your family, are they letting you get your work done? Are you spending too much time with your family that is taking away from your responsibilities to your job? Not to mention the neighbors and others that figure you are home it is okay to disrupt you during work hours. On the other hand, it tempting to welcome the disruptions from family, friends, and neighbors. It is also, difficult for some kids to focus on school when they are in the comfort of home, and mom or dad is in the other room.
Time to Elevate
Yes, working from home can be great! For some jobs, it is ideal if you are working in solitude. At the beginning of this pandemic, it was ideal to skip the commute, not having to get dressed, having food readily accessible, and save a lot of leave. After a while, I realized that I am forced to live this way and it has made me lazy and comfortable to the point that I do not want to work rather stay cozy doing what I please which is nothing. I did not realize how much I would miss getting out of the house going to visit friends, interacting physically with co-workers, greeting strangers, and meeting new people until it is not possible to do so.
Finally, as we reach this time of thanksgiving, I am grateful for those that found purpose and meaning in their lives during the pandemic. They have been able to focus on themselves, discover new possibilities, and limitless ideas to impact the world. As for me, I am fighting my way back because I still have work to do. I refuse to go into another year with the same mental, spiritual, and physical restraints that have held me captive in Circa 2020. Pray for me as I pray for you during this time of crisis. I have recently discovered that I have been submitting to loss of life and stuck in this pattern of grief. Not just the loss of loved ones, but the loss of me living the life God had in mind of creation. I am talking about the things that keep me thriving in life and are not able to do because of this global pandemic. I am one of those people that do not like to be told I cannot do something; it just makes me want to do it even more. I am normally flexible with change or adjustment but this thing that we have never experienced before is a beast! In the meantime, I am planning for my Exodus and using this time wisely.
The things I have complained about, I am now forced to indulge. We complained about how much time the kids should spend on their phone or playing video games, now that is all-day life. We complained about social media taking over human contact. How about being in a restaurant with loved ones and everyone is on their phone? We complained about watching too much television or paying too much for cable but what else do we have to do. Although these complaints are valid, it has turned into reality. It is time to get back in the game and get our lives back! Take this time to plan a happier ending. Do not let this current situation destroy you! No matter what it seems like, all power is in the hands of the Lord. Get your fight back!
My prayer comes from the lyrics of the songwriter ‘Take Me Back,’ “I must confess, Lord I've been blessed, but yet my soul's not satisfied, renew my strength, restore my joy, and dry my weeping eyes. We are all in need of revival in our mind, body, and soul. However, 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (NKJV). God’s grace is sufficient, His grace is the fuel that keeps me going and His grace is the fate that keeps me from being defeated. I won’t complain! Amen!
I would love to hear from you that I am not alone!