During the pandemic, we have seen people around us take early retirement. We have seen people quit their jobs, pack up, sell their house, and move closer to their children so they could help out with the grandchildren, either babysitting or homeschooling. We have seen people become roommates or buy a house together as going alone through a pandemic, is not ideal.
Aside from this, the job market changed. Remote working, meetings online versus crowded conference rooms, working from home, these job aspects will stay and will be key negotiating factors in job interviews. But so is mental health.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am staying away from the screen and keyboard for a while to take care of me. That was exactly a week ago today. Here’s what I noticed so far.
1: The first two days, I checked regularly whether anyone had noticed that there was suddenly radio silence from my otherwise active SM account. I confess that I was slightly disappointed to encounter the same radio silence. But it showed me that I was right to take a break. With the humongous number of tweets it is almost impossible for an ordinary person to be seen.
Unless someone actively searches for you, your message gets snowed under. Unless you spend hours tweeting, you don’t get seen.
People often complain about the algorithm preventing small accounts from gaining any visibility. I have an account of 21K+ followers and I am in that same boat. But then I realized that I didn’t care.
So what if I slipped away for a week!
In that week, I rediscovered some Agatha Christie books, read Pierre Bayard’s take on ‘Who killed Roger Ackroyd‘ and firmly disagree with the analyses but not necessarily with the outcome, and am now reading ‘The Harvest Man’ by Alex Grecian. I got back into daily journaling, cleaned up my playlists, listened to new music, tried out new recipes, purchased the famous stamp ‘Russian warship, go %^&* yourself‘ and now eagerly await its arrival, and I saw some of my girlfriends.
After those first two days, I didn’t check anymore. I scroll once a day while I keep a good book right next to my mobile. Scroll, done, read. And I am going to keep it like this a while longer.
2: With being less online also came less exposure to news. Reading the new is good, crucial, but too much news drives you nuts and can aggravate anxiety. It also temps you to scroll some more, find counterarguments, and then of course, enter the discussion.
I am now less up to speed with current events as I also cut down on watching the news but it is so much quieter in my head. Before this week, I was too restless to listen to a new album in one sitting. I listened to Jon Batiste’s ‘We Are‘ and I love it. I am less anxious too with fewer dark thoughts.
The downside of this week off is of course, that work awaits me. There are cases to explore, newspaper archives to plow through, reports to compare, and let’s not forget the email inbox. Yeah, I know some people are used to a prompt reply and a quick turnaround with editing, etc. However, getting quiet in your head matters.
Mental health, strength, resilience, matters.
You will just have to wait a little longer for that new blog post, that email reply, or report.