Lately, I have hardly been able to focus on anything; the kids, work, or other home tasks. All I want to do was sleep, read, or watch a show, mainly for the escape from the constant lists going through my head. That’s when I noticed I was starting to feel completely burnt out. When I tried to figure out when this all started I realized it was when I started working back in the office full time. I have been working from home from March 2020 until early June 2021 when I came back to the office part-time which I liked a lot. Due to unfortunate circumstances, I was called back to the office full-time a couple of weeks ago.
Now, pre-COVID I worked full time in the office for years. For a brief couple of years, I could work from home only on an as-needed basis when kids were sick. Being in the office again is making me have to exert more energy interacting with more people, being on the phone, and more outside stimuli and distractions. Also, my house is an absolute mess which totally messes with my sense of calm. Now I have home tasks running through my mind and instead of being able to pop in that load of laundry, I have just made a list that I have to do later.
Now how do I get out of this funk? That is the big question and honestly, I have no idea. I mean, I do but, do I have any motivation or energy to do so? Absolutely not, but something has to happen or a full-blown melt-down and depression spiral is bound to happen.
Here is what I am going to do:
1. Keep going on break-time walks.
This has been vital to keeping me from melting down so far. I am super lucky my office is close to a really awesome park which has tons of trees, a beautiful creek, and birds singing. Juneau has also been having gorgeous weather; highs in the mid-60s to mid-70s, sun, and a breeze.
2. Make manageable lists for evening tasks and ask for help.
First, asking for help is one of the hardest things for me. I literally have been going to therapy for YEARS and just now I’m able to ask for some help when I absolutely need it but it’s still really difficult. I am lucky that Daniel is still working from home, so I can ask for his help like getting the laundry started or pulling chicken out of the freezer and it’s been super helpful.
Have you ever just started to go down your to-do list and just keep adding and adding and adding? Yeah, that’s me too. That’s why I try to keep my list for evening tasks to only 3 to 4 extra items beyond the daily tasks of making dinner, making the kid’s lunches, and putting the kids to bed. Now, these tasks aren’t always my full duty. Daniel is a really hands-on dad and partner so, we share a lot of the household duties which is huge and I am grateful for it!
3. Remember everything is worse when you’re tired.
This is huge and one of the hardest ones for me. When I put too many things on my above-mentioned list I focus on getting the things done instead of going to bed. While in the short term I have gotten more done, but in the long term, I completely screwed myself for the next morning. And when I do this for too many days in a row I completely meltdown no matter how much I try not to or how many coping techniques I use. My goal is to be in bed by 10 pm and going to sleep by 10:30 every weeknight. It’s a little ironic as I sit here typing this at almost 10:30 pm… Anyway, I am putting it out there so let’s see what happens.
To wrap everything up, this is my experience. I am not a therapist or trained in any way, shape, or form. I am just a person who has lived through 30 years of trying to manage my anxiety and depression so I can live a full meaningful life. My biggest hope by putting this out there is that someone else knows they aren’t alone and things get better through hard work, determination, and therapy.
Until next time,
With love, Abi