Coping with the realities of living in COVID-19 Life

Rachel Swearingen

Lately, any time I log on to Facebook, a brief scroll through my newsfeed reveals a diverse smattering of coronavirus-related posts that range from being optimistic to politically dividing in nature. For the most part, I do appreciate the cheerful optimism and the hopes that things will get back to normal–but honestly, most days this entire thing is just completely overwhelming and there are really only so many funny Office memes to help me cope in this post-COVID-19 life.

I recognize I’m incredibly fortunate to still be a) working right now and b) working remotely. That said, combining my professional pursuits with trying to get my 5-year-old to do schoolwork while she emits sounds I previously only heard come from a wounded Demogorgon and refereeing my 11-year-old’s Fortnite fights with his friends is enough to drive anyone insane.

Does anyone else feel so fatigued that it seems like you’re running a marathon every day, or is it just me?

So How Do We Cope with Screaming Kids, Sharing Internet Bandwidth, Zoom Fatigue, & More?

Let me take you through a usual hour of my current life, thanks to COVID-19.

  • 8:00 am: Check for assignments for the day or start on assignments that didn’t get completed the day before.
  • 8:05 am: Have my train of thought interrupted by my 5-year-old asking questions or telling me that the hole in the wall of my room was obviously left by the previous renters because they were searching for treasure.
  • 8:10 am: Finally get her chased out of the room only to again be interrupted by my son asking about breakfast, so I head into the kitchen to make breakfast.
  • 8:30 am: With breakfast made, slip back into my office hoping for at least 15 minutes of relative quiet, but then the battle begins over what to watch on TV while they eat. Note: we have five different TVs in this house.
  • 8:40 am: After the fight over the TV is settled, it’s time to try to get back to work again. This time, I manage to get in an entire paragraph before my kindergartener needs me to walk her through her reading assignments.
  • 8:45 am: I realize my son is late for his scheduled Zoom meeting, so we scramble to get the computer set up and find his headphones so he can chat with his teachers. At least it helps to remind me that my daughter and I have one later that afternoon with her kindergarten teacher. Obviously, with everything else on my mind, I’ve completely forgotten about it. Does anyone else feel so fatigued that it seems like you’re running a marathon every day, or is it just me?
  • 9:00 am: Now we’re back to the computer, where I begin to understand why people have increased their day-drinking recently. It’s in this swivel chair that I start to feel waves of mommy guilt for feeling frustrated with my two little bundles of joy.

Each hour is some variation of this, with countless interruptions to my workflow and ALL the impediments to getting my work done. Where’s a Scrum master when I need one? Of course, when you’re working with a 5th grader and a kindergartener, trying to implement a schedule is about as easy as trying to swim through concrete.

After this is over, can I please never hear the word “bandwidth” again?

Oh, and then there’s the fun issue of our WiFi feeling the burden as I hear my son’s daily frustration over how Fortnite is lagging or my fiance saying his Zoom meetings are cutting in and out. After this is over, can I please never hear the word “bandwidth” again?

I Never Thought I’d Miss My Daily Commute, But That’s Where We Are

Here in the Tampa Bay area, it’s no secret that our traffic sucks. During normal times, it’s literally impossible to quickly get from Point A to Point B during rush hour. Usually, I hate my daily commute and I hate the traffic. Lately, I’ve come to realize that it was my quiet time and also served as my ME time. I got to listen to music and sing the Hamilton soundtrack at the top of my lungs without anyone listening. It was utterly and honestly grand. (Yes, I can rap all of “Guns and Ships”. I’m a cool mom.)

Now that I don’t have that commute (for the time being), I’m finding that it’s difficult to be able to regroup and to find my new normal. The reality is, none of us know how long this is going to last. So we all need to find our new normal and ways to cope with feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.

This is true whether your stress comes from work, Zoom fatigue, homeschooling, general fear of the virus, or if you’re like me, a combination of all the above. If you need a break from the stress of our new daily lives, I definitely recommend checking out Lunchpool. We have some great virtual events you can join, such as bar trivia, happy hours, or networking to find new connections.

Need help finding your new normal? We all do! Let us know how we can help.

At Lunchpool, we definitely feel the stress of COVID-19 and that’s why we can effectively help you with finding your new normal. We get how you are feeling. Our crew has created some great virtual events so you can work on connecting with others and figuring out how to get around your feelings of stress or being overwhelmed.

Email [email protected] for more information because we would love to talk to you about attending our virtual events or even helping your organization plan one of your own!

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