The years 2020 and 2021 have been stressful for most of us. With such drastic changes brought about by COVID-19, many of us worry how and if things will go back to normal. Some people may worry about not getting back to previous versions of themselves. If this is something you think about people remember that it is totally fine to feel this way. For now, surviving this pandemic is the now. Maybe some fresh dose of motivation is just what is required.
Gradually we are all adapting to the demands of the “new normal”. However, we are not sure of what to expect, whether to be hopeful or hopeless, what’s normal to feel now, and what isn’t. There is no denying that the pandemic has completely disrupted our lives, forcing a lot of people to miss out on experiences they’d been looking forward to for a long time.
I have virtually seen many patients, some regulars and some new ones who have concerns regarding their mental health. As we are living in these strange times it is okay to have some strange feelings; some feelings that would warrant a bit of concern if we were living in the pre-COVID era.
11 Things That Are Normal To Feel During Covid-19
1. Feeling burnt out
Burnout occurs because we pour out more energy than we take in. Although we are not working like we normally would, a lot of other things are taking a toll on us. Having to work from home, less distinction between work and personal life, the increased need to be vigilant to the happenings around us is taking away a lot of our energy. We are also lacking our usual recharge mechanisms like going to the movies or just enjoying the outdoors. So cut yourself some slack if you find yourself constantly tired and not willing to do anything every once in a while
2. Feeling anxious about what might happen
As already mentioned, nobody knew such a pandemic was incoming let alone being able to be prepared. We generally know things can happen out of the blue, but this pandemic seems to have made this message much clearer. It is normal to be anxious about what might befall next.
3. Mourning canceled events
Many birthday celebrations, vacation plans, graduation parties are canceled due to this pandemic. A lot of people feel guilty for caring about these when a pandemic is upon us; but it is normal to feel sad, annoyed and disappointed no matter what is going on.
4. Swinging between hopefulness and hopelessness
There are always new developments – death rates, survival rates, who’s being infected, vaccines. The pandemic seems to be slowly decreasing in momentum even though there are new strains at play. All these new developments might make us swing between feeling hopeful to being completely hopeless in a very short time and it is normal to fluctuate on how you feel.
5. Craving physical contact
Human beings are social animals after all. Social distancing might seem like a burden and we might be worried about the safety of our loved ones. Even though Facetime and Zoom calls have helped bridge the gap, it is not the same as being together physically with others. It is alright to be craving hugs and cuddles from your loved ones now and then.
6. Having feelings of guilt
There are many people less fortunate.. Sometimes we might feel guilty because of the privilege we are granted.This is normal. However, we should try to be grateful for what we have and try to offer help if we are in such a position. Otherwise, we just need to do our part in containing this pandemic by following official guidelines.
7. Wanting the pandemic to end but not really
Some of us are secretly enjoying the quarantine time, free of a commute and free of social obligations. A lot of introverts are happy with what they see as an extended downtime. While having these feelings, you may sometimes still want the pandemic to end. This is fine and normal to feel.
8. Feeling bad for not being productive enough
Some people are making great use of their time during this pandemic. They are learning languages, taking courses, and mastering their finances. Some are binging on Netflix and just not able to be productive. Most of us belong to the latter type. But again this is normal. Much of our focus is on simply surviving this pandemic and we can be as productive as we want once we come out alive.
9. The resurgence of unrelated past trauma
We might find ourselves obsessively or excessively pondering over past experiences and that might scare us. But this is a normal function of your brain. It draws from past experiences to warn about a possible danger. So if you are feeling constantly preoccupied with something that happened years ago, just remember that it is okay for things to flood back into your awareness now and then begin to treat yourself with compassion.
10. Being surprisingly calm
Some people are better trained to deal with feelings of stress because of past experiences and exposure. If you are one of these types of people and find yourself calm and collected, do not wonder if there’s something wrong with you. It is normal to react (or not react) in such a way. It just means you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Not panicking is a skill.
11. Worries about not catching up with your pre-COVID pace
Some of us might have just started a fitness routine before COVID-19 happened. Some others might be just killing it in studies or at work. And then COVID-19 struck and we lost pace. Some people are worried about not getting back to previous versions of themselves. It is totally fine to feel that way. Again surviving this pandemic is the priority now. Maybe some fresh doses of motivation and we will be running top gear again!