Lost Days – Lockdown Lethargy

I was chatting with friends in our WhatsApp group when I said how we are all having lost days now and again. We agreed it’s not something a lot of people are acknowledging in social media but is happening to many of us. While some are publically posting about their various projects, others are quietly having whole days either under the duvet or doing precisely nothing.

Sometimes I wake up and just feel down and/or lethargic and it stays with me all day. I don’t feel like working out, turning on the laptop or even getting dressed. This used to make me feel guilty which made me feel more depressed than I already was. Now I just put it down as a lost day and write it off, knowing that tomorrow is likely to be better (and it always is).

If you have empathy, it’s very hard to carry on in your own little bubble and not let what is happening around the world affect you. Sometimes it’s just too much, even though I’ve cut down on the news coverage. As for using this time to learn a new skill, that’s great if you feel up to it but this is not a sabbatical, it’s a global pandemic. Most of us are just in survival mode, living from day to day, coping the best way we can.

I experienced my first migraine preceded by an aura during my sixth week indoors. I suddenly found my vision was obscured with bright zig-zag patterns. A terrible headache followed around 20 minutes later. I concluded it was a combination of not sleeping well, anxiety and cabin fever. I’m immunosuppressed so am having to ‘shield’ myself inside for 12 weeks. I was bound to hit a wall. It’s nothing compared to actually having the virus or being on the frontline, but we are all affected in some way.

These lost days aren’t the norm though. Most are manageable and I do feel gratitude for the positive aspects of lockdown. I’m connecting even more with family than usual and I like working from home. It’s a chance to reflect on how I want things to be after this strange period comes to an end. As much as I miss my old life, it’s worth thinking about what I want to go back to and what I want to change. It’s rare that you get the opportunity to step back and assess the way you live for this long.

So, one day I’m over the moon that I can lay in the garden and enjoy the sunshine on a weekday, the next I’m down in the dumps even though nothing has changed. Life is a series of ups and downs and as we ride the ‘coronacoaster of uncertainty’ these emotional highs and lows are more pronounced than ever.

lost days

Are you experiencing highs and lows? Do you think about how you’re going to alter your life when we come out of this?

44 Comments

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44 responses to “Lost Days – Lockdown Lethargy

  1. Gina T.

    This is the best time of my life. I am so happy and low stress and simple and not running like an animal and exhausted all of the time.

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  2. So very true Tara! I just said to my friend the other day, when she asked how I was doing, that I have these ups and downs and don’t feel like I have control over it. I just try to do the best I can and not feel guilty over it and over having lost days because I have them myself.
    Take care of yourself, Tara! Hugs!

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    • That’s great, Ines. I think the more we talk about it, the easier it is to deal with. I don’t feel like I have any control over these feelings either.

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  3. Dear Tara, I’m so sorry you’re going through these phases: I hate it when I understand what’s happening and why I feel it one way or the other but cannot change it. I hope, with the warmer sunny weather you’ll have more “found” days.

    I don’t have anything like that (not my accomplishment, just circumstances and genetics), but I hit the personal “low” about a week ago because of the work issues (it’s extremely frustrating to have to work with people who do not have enough knowledge on the subject and do not want to hear/understand the explanation), but then I persuaded myself to take it … easier, so I’m back to my leveled position. If only I could make myself to do any exercises! 🙂

    I think it’s wise that you do not beat yourself up for not doing something that you don’t want to: keep going one day at a time. You’ll have enough opportunities in future to push yourself through obstacles – not necessarily related to the current situation (though, possible that as well). For now, just survive these times – until either you learn how to deal with the situation more efficiently or the situation resolves itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Undina.
      I’m sorry about your work issues. That must be so frustrating.
      I do think these lost days will lessen with time and the best way to deal with them in the meantime is just to roll with it. If they lasted for more than a day, that would be different.
      Don’t feel bad for not exercising! You have enough on your plate right now. I think we all get a free pass during this.

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  4. Great post, Tara. I can relate. Today I’m having one of the down days and resisting with all my might the temptation to go back to bed. If I am to believe social media, so many people seem to be learning new skills. There’s nothing wrong with being in survival mode at this time, but I have to remind myself regularly to be kind to myself too.

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  5. cassieflower

    Tara you’re only human. I think that nothing short of a robot would be unaffected by this whole situation. We have been suddenly thrust into what feels like a dystopian parallel universe. Of course we’re going to struggle at times. My first 4 or 5 weeks were spent busy busying around the house. Every week since then I have been winding down, doing less. Motivation is hard to rustle up some days. I certainly haven’t learned any new languages, skills or anything else, other than some wine appreciation 😉 But I’m not going to apologise for that. We all get through things in our own way. Hopefully there’s light at the end of this tunnel. Some businesses are back today in phase one of the reopening. Yippee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Much appreciated cassieflower.
      I can relate to the lack of motivation. It’s very hard when you don’t have the built-in accountability you normally would e.g. at the office. You also run out of projects around the home eventually! It’s difficult not to feel overwhelmed some days.
      Things will definitely gradually improve and it’s good to hear you have signs of that now.

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  6. Jillie

    You have expressed beautifully what I too feel. Everyone has said exactly what I would have written, so it just remains for me to send you – and them – very best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally relate to Gina. Whereas I dunno if I can say it was the best time of my life, it was absolutely great to slow down, not have to see anyone, have weekends for the first time in twenty years, actually watch Netflix, and take a bloody break. Sure it was weird sometimes, and I had a couple of meltdown moments, but they passed. What comes, goes.
    Had the lockdown affected my family in any immediate way I am sure it would have been different.
    I have never not wanted to get out of bed in my life.
    Had I had a headache like yours it would have turned into a 7 day anxiety attack. That sounds awful.
    Also, as I mentioned in some of my posts, how we are affected depends very much on where we live and the way that the lockdown is in that particular place.
    Apart from everyone wearing masks in the stores, things for me are back to normal. 8 weeks of no work was great but ——
    Restaurants open, and borders open soon. I will head down to Italy for a beach break just as soon as we are allowed.
    All of this will pass and we will move on with living with the recession it inevitably will cause.

    If certain politicians get knocked off of their perch because of Covid, then it will not have all been in vain.

    And for heaven’s sake do not beat yourself up for anything. You know when to push or not.

    Love ya. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are always my voice of reason.
      Most days are fine or even good like today as it’s 24 degrees. But you’re right, I need to trust that I know when it’s appropriate to push myself or not.
      I can well imagine how glorious it must have been to experience a proper break with weekends free too. I do agree it’s a mix of your nature, where you live and how you’re personally affected.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tara C

    I am having the same experience. There are days when all I can do is lie in bed and listen to youtube videos. I’ve had a headache for the last three days. Then I have really good days where I’m happy to be out in the sunshine riding my bike, baking, or doing a project at home.

    I’m getting overwhelmed with too much introspection I think. As an introvert, I’m prone to rumination, and I depended on my occasional social outings to get me out of my head. All that is gone now. It’s just me and my husband and we’re getting sick of each other (okay, I’m getting sick of him) 24/7.

    Thankfully the weather has finally improved and there is some greenery to look at. Theoretically the lockdown will be eased May 25 but I’m not overly optimistic as things are still bad here in Montréal and the date has been moved out three times. And anyway, my friends are still too afraid to go out.

    I was okay for the first 4-6 weeks but now the despair of the long-term consequences of this thing are starting to set in. Businesses are announcing definitive closures, certain things will not come back for a couple of years if ever, and going out to do anything is a major hassle. It will take me some time to mentally adjust.

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    • HI Tara C
      I’m sorry to hear you’re having these ups and downs but know that you are not alone. It’s easy to think we introverts are more suited to time indoors but as you say, we are also more prone to rumination which isn’t healthy if prolonged. We need others and activities to get us out of our heads.
      It must be tough when the goal posts keep moving so you can’t be sure when the restrictions will lift. I hope it really will be the 25th this time round.
      I totally agree that the time of year is helping. Things would seem even more bleak if it were winter.
      We will adjust in time though it may take us a little longer than others. Don’t feel you have to be on anyone else’s timeline.

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  9. I am an “essential worker” and have gone to work every day since the pandemic started. Weekends are now just another day as there is no place to go and no socializing, so they are lonely days for me when I was used to meeting up with friends, listening to live music and sharing a meal with them. Now I haven’t seen anyone for three months except for the few other co-workers that are at work (most of them are working from home). Life will never go back to the way it was, which makes me sad. But I am grateful that I am still going to work every week day.

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    • I do think those that are still working are generally fairing better. Even though I’m working from home it does help me structure my day and feel I’ve achieved something.

      At the start of all this I did believe things would go back to how they would but now it’s becoming clear that won’t be the case.

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  10. bonkersvanessa

    Great post, which will strike a chord with many. Self-acceptance is definitely the way to go. Like Cassieflower, I feel I was a lot more productive earlier in the lockdown, and these days replacing a drain cover as I did yesterday feels like quite enough of an achievement for one day, even though it only took a short walk to Screwfix and a 30 second swapover of old for new. I have been doing more cooking / reading / knitting / bird watching, but that feels more like escapism than worthy output of a ‘sabbatical’. I sometimes find myself lying awake at night, feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the global situation (both healthwise and economic), and lately have also started catastrophising about moles and old scars I can’t quite see because they are on an inaccessible spot on my back(!). I lost my Zoom cherry last night, and the friend I was chatting with tried to photograph one of these blemishes of concern on her phone, but it didn’t quite work, haha. I have definitely not relished being this much alone, and I love my own company as a rule, but am looking forward to my first official encounter with a friend in an outdoor setting, which is happening soon! Just heard that my RE teacher in Belfast has died of or with Coronavirus, but at least she must have been 80-something – she also had an UHC (if that isn’t an acronym, it is now).

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    • Hi V
      I’m so happy you came round to the idea of video chat! Needs must in this situation. You do get used to it.
      Also great news about the scheduled rendezvous. That will give you a huge boost.
      Sorry to hear about your RE teacher.
      UHC is definitely a thing these days along with so many other new words and phrases.

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  11. Lady Jane Grey

    Dear T.,
    exactly my feelings : some days are up, some down – and there are no facts causing that difference, so it must be something else than facts. Or it‘s just me not seeing that fact…
    Weeks 5&6 of the lock-down were my worst, I was totally apathic, not seeing the future. It‘s getting better though, borders will be opened mid June, I can travel to the office and to my clients again. Well, that‘s my life, I like it so. Not to mention traveling for holiday… I can escape the cage…
    And I‘m really missing hugging those I love.
    So I‘m sending a virtual one to you – stay safe, dear T. !

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    • It must be strange for someone like you M, who spends so much time travelling. Good to hear you will be able to do that again before long.
      I don’t think there is a reason for the highs and lows. Just the uncertainty of the situation.
      I hope you’ve at least got some reading done. I just finished City of Girls and loved it!
      Big virtual hug right back.

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  12. Asali

    Dear Tara, I know what you mean, but personally I feel opening up again is much harder to come to terms with. People behaving so differently. I do envy those who have just had “time off”, it seems to me those who kept working, have had to run extra fast. And then the worrying on top.
    Today was a big step in opening up as the cafes and restaurants can open, I’m sure with a lot of restrictions still. Looks like we’re on the mend…
    Take care

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    • You make a good point. I’ve been inside all this time so I haven’t seen all the changes in the outside world such as in supermarkets etc. It’s going to be a bit of a shock to the system when I re-enter the world. I hope to do it slowly though. I’m sorry it’s it been such a hectic, scary time for you.

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  13. Hi Tara
    How are you today?
    I totally understand the ups and downs of course!
    I have needed my time off work but not like this … gosh..not this pandemic…..for me being at home in the evenings and weekends oh I needed it…but not like this!!
    So I kind of feel guilty as many people and including two of my kids are working but with no way to let off steam IRL with friends & cousins. We all have different situations and all affected differently ..but thank God I personally don’t know anyone who has died from Covid 19….
    Here headed into winter and hoping the numbers don’t go up..
    Missing trivia on Sunday nights at the Bowling…
    Take care lots of love Tara ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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    • I’m doing really today thanks. 25 degrees helps! Don’t feel guilty. We are all affected differently like you say. Australia has been really lucky overall. We are close to 35000 deaths here. It’s still scary even though restrictions are easing.

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  14. Forgot to add.. I am still wearing perfume and lipstick every day..going through everything which I love. Gin and tonic🍸💖 Have started using retinol a couple times a week.🍑.having lots of baths with bubbles …so trying to make the most of it 🎶🍸💖

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  15. Hey there Tara,
    Sorry I’m so late to the party.
    GOSH! Lockdown has been wreaking havoc all over, hasn’t it? Sorry to read it’s been a bit shit for you but I kinda knew from our conversations that it wasn’t all rosy.
    Personally, I think you are doing brilliantly, all things considered. So many changes all at once is terrifying.
    That headache sounds flipping terrible too.

    We are muddling along merrily over here.
    Hugs and love all round.
    Portia xx

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    • OH, and pursuant to another convo: DUNE was so hard top read because it was shiny paper. I’m now rereading the Belgariad and the books are so old and reread that the paper is sheen-less. Reading is fine now. YAY!

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    • Thanks Portia. Generally things are fine even good, but those bad days are really tough and nothing works.
      Thank goodness you’ve done so well during this time.

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      • Jin has been key to lockdown success Tara. I’d still be fine without but he has definitely made the experience less traumatising in every way.
        I like the Belgariad because the women play really pivotal parts in a patriarchal world. It’s said more than once through the series that the woman is the brains or strength behind a relationship and through actions even more.
        BTW, did you ever get to read the HerLand series? After this I’;m going back to reread them. So good.
        Portia xx

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Hayley

    I had an early meltdown about the world changing just before we went into lockdown, resulting in high anxiety. I couldn’t watch the Boris announcement of lockdown at that point it was too much.
    I’m very tired a lot of the time, wake up tired, headaches. I can’t work out if it’s lockdown or not, when I worked full time I was exhausted a heck of a lot. I work part time now (furloughed) and maybe as I made that adjustment a while ago I’m more used to the time on my hands (??) I have been learning to paint and I’d been wanting to do that with a while. Other things have gone, I don’t want to go for walks I find it stressful dodging folk so I’d rather avoid.
    I would never judge anyone, I read somewhere it’s not a spa break so it’s whatever gets you through and adjusting.
    I’m very grateful though and fully aware I’m in a good situation, we are healthy, family, friends. The above all falls apart if something happens.
    Wishing you well Tara

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hayley, I couldn’t sleep after that first lockdown announcement. It’s sounds like you’ve done well to adjust early on. I’m sure painting is helping you to get through and deal with the situation. That’s great. It’s funny, I don’t seem to miss going out anymore. I hope you and yours remain fit and healthy.

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  17. Ana Maria

    Hmm, it was and is such a strange time for me in a way I find very hard to explain. Although we’re now in a protracted phased reopening, I’m still quite pessimistic about the whole situation. Somehow it’s like something broke forever inside myself, and outside in the world. Whatever autenthic, deeply humane interactions we had left in this modern, technology dominated world, to me it feels now like the core of our humanity has become obsolete. Also I miss certain people in my life very much indeed. And virtual interaction as far as I’m concerned doesn’t have the healing power that I seek when touching real skin and look inside someone’s eyes less than a half a metre away from me. So yes, even if I continued working, and I don’t mean a working from home set up, which helped in maintaining a modicum of routine and discipline, I hated and continue to hate every single second of this situation. I have this unshakeable, uneasy feeling at all times, and it’s difficult to disregard it. It’s as if I can’t truly enjoy anything anymore, there’s a shadow lurking at every corner, I can’t relax or lose myself in the things I used to love. Music feels strange, movies and books feel strange, dancing is downright impossible because how can one muster the insatiable joy one needs for it, perfume doesn’t move me, the little yoga I still manage to do doesn’t seep inside my brain, sex doesn’t elate me and so on. Hopefully this too shall pass, and I will manage to feel truly alive once again.

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    • Ana Maria, these feelings are totally understandable given the situation but they will ease. Many things will change after this but what will never change is our essential humanity. You will feel that again in time, I promise you, and you’ll find joy once more.

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