This post is part 1 of a mini-series called So Tired You Could Cry.
The 2nd part is available here.
You can cry!
In fact, put it on your to-do list. Cry in the shower every morning. Cry in bed wrapped up in your blankets. At a minimum stop trying not to cry.
Tiredness isn’t the only reason you might want to cry. I know some of you have students with Covid, students whose parents have Covid, students who’ve lost parents, grandparents or friends to Covid. Some of you have lost family or friends to Covid or something else. You might be lonely. You might be upset about how this whole situation is affecting other people (known or unknown). There are good reasons to cry.
I also recommend daily hugs.
If you live with someone you can hug, put at least one 20 second hug on both to-do lists every day. It’s easy to forget amongst all the work and home and other stuff, but it makes a huge difference. (The science is in that book Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski that I keep recommending, but you can just trust me.)
If you live alone, I strongly recommend figuring out which of your local friends is reliable enough to be a bubble for you. Seriously, my academic expertise is based on the idea that “family” and “household” are highly problematic concepts. The fact that they are an easy way to frame public health advice doesn’t mean that they apply to you. (And at least in England, the advice has been modified to include “support bubbles” for single person households.) Get yourself a hug-buddy. If you lived in a country where the isolation was combined with policies that would make it temporary, you could go this alone. (Interestingly, those countries probably would have allowed you a hug-buddy anyway.) But you don’t. So get yourself one. You must balance the physical risk of Covid with the serious psychological risks of isolation. So assess the Covid risks amongst your local friends and pick the lowest risk person. Then hug each other regularly for at least 20 seconds.
I also know someone in Italy who borrowed a cat back in the spring when things were bad there. She said it helped a lot. So if there isn’t a human you trust to hug, get a cat or a dog or a rabbit if you can. Or see if you can volunteer at the local shelter.
You can do it!