Isolation is a con-man and not a very good one
He promises independence but fumbles his sleight of hand to give us something else. The sad thing is, most people fall for it every time.
Everyone has experienced isolation in the past two years. I know I have. In fact, I am just on the tail end of quarantine from having Covid. It’s hard to explain the emotional roller coaster that comes with having it. Last night I watched Grahm Stephan’s video talking about having it. The thing that I found most interesting and the thing that we had most in common was mental fatigue.
That was the element that I was least expecting to be a problem, but it ended up being my biggest problem. So much so, that making this is extremely taxing. Graham and I both had this feeling that can best be described as a lack of mental motivation. I am usually a high-producing individual, meaning that I enjoy working. I work hard and I work fast to accomplish manageable tasks. Each task accomplished gives me some kind of endorphin rush and fuels me to tackle the next looming task.
This can be a blessing and a curse because if I get stuck on a task, I will spend way too much time on it and end my day in frustration because I was ultimately unproductive. However, if I can accomplish a lot of tasks in the day, I will certainly be tired at the close of my workday, but I will feel incredibly fulfilled in my work. This is amplified by the fact that I work in ministry, so a lot of the tasks that I have on my plate translate to better spiritual health for me or the people in my congregation.
Enter COVID, and all of that just stopped. Not only am I stopped from accomplishing nothing by my physical state, but my mental attitude toward work and finding fulfillment took a major hit. When I first began to feel bad, I just took it easy. I compartmentalized the feeling that I wouldn’t get anything done because of the promise that Omichron was a wimpy version of the virus and I would get better soon, leaving me to pursue creative endeavors from my home while I waited for my quarantine to end. But that is not what happened. My quarantine ends tomorrow and I am just NOW feeling up to pursuing creative endeavors.
Isolation is a con-man and not a very good one. My isolation was supposed to give me the independence of space away from my office with tons of room for mental clarity and creativity. Instead, I just got metal mashed potatoes for 10 days and a feeling that I am starting the new year already behind.
So what is the antidote? There are three things that I am currently doing to bring my mind and my unwilling body out of the fog as all of the symptoms begin to subside.
- I am Canceling all of my Pity Parties.
Feeling sorry for myself is not helping anyone. Getting off of my keister and playing with my kids until I am out of energy every day has helped me to see signs that my overall energy level is returning. Keeping complaining to a minimum is the greater challenge, and you will have to ask my wife after a couple of days if I am doing any better at that one.
- I am Creating Something
I still don’t feel like being creative, but sometimes it can be the best medicine for a foggy brain. The old songwriting adage comes to mind: “Don’t write only when you are inspired, write until it is inspired.” This is a real-life example of me trying my best to live our this principle.
- Kick Isolation Out
Family doesn’t count as social interaction. There are a number of psychologists who would agree, and I have found that no one, even my wife, Emily, the poster child for people who feel most fulfilled at home, can agree that we all need out every now and then. When I was at my lowest yesterday, she kicked me out of the house for a few hours. That helped. What helped, even more, was waking up, doing the work to not look like a bum, going to the office, and having conversations with other grown-ups. Nothing prepares you for the hardship of life more than knowing you are not alone.
I hope that you don’t have covid. More than that, I hope that you will not allow the dangers of isolation to bring you down. For more tools to fight isolation, check out my 31 Day Community BootCamp. My family is doing the Bootcamp together starting Saturday. I would love for you to join us in this challenge. Let’s create some community and kick isolation in his dumb face.
Join the Bootcamp: https://mailchi.mp/fc002865ecd4/untitled-page