These last few weeks have been long and tumultuous.
As we move forward collectively we will go through some phases in our journey. In the beginning, there’s a dawning realization, awareness, and information gathering that happens. We begin resourcing and preparing and responding—however we each respond.
For many, you’ll shift into shock, numbness, buffering, or avoidance—whatever your stress response looks like. Pay attention to how you respond to stress and fear, it’s useful information for yourself.
From there, we’ll each begin to move into the next phases, which often look like adjusting, planning, adapting, pivoting. Whatever movement looks like in our lives, we’ll begin to take it (although within the confines of social isolation, of course).
As we move through each of these areas, it’s important to stay mindful that this is a long game, and keep our wits as we go through this.
For now, what this means is sleep, however you can.
As the anxiety and worry waves start to wear down on you and your nervous system, it’s likely that you all will be hit by waves of exhaustion.
You’re working double and triple shifts right now as you navigate children at home, caretaking, designing new strategies, going into overdrive with your businesses, taking care of employees, sprinting on strategies, and more. It’s likely that you’re going to find yourself completely and utterly zonked and exhausted in the coming days (if you don’t already feel it yet).
If you can, lean on your partners if possible and go to bed by 7pm if you need to. If you don’t have partners around, lean on television and toys and games and cutting corners.
For those with spouses or parents or other caregivers at home, ask to swap sleep-in days on the weekends. Rotate out working during children’s nap times for sleeping yourself.
Remember, sleeping is itself a form of productivity and stress-release, so if you can, do it. Resting is productive. If you’re completely incapacitated and feel like crying, sometimes I watch a sad movie or a rom-com just to spark tears so I can get a cleansing feeling that comes from crying. Maybe a hot bath, or an outdoor walk.
Thinking of all of you, and the zombie stage won’t be forever, but it is one of the phases that happens during big moments like these, so if you feel it or it hits you, you’re not insane—you’re human. And humans need sleep.