‘Surge Capacity’ Depletion: Why You Feel Awful
A recent medium.com article entitled “Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful” by Tara Haelle (see link at end), validated for me why this pandemic is so difficult for us, and I reflected on what I am hearing from you, my clients:
• I’m tired of this pandemic and weary of Zoom meetings.
• My butt and back hurt from sitting too much.
• I’m stressed, I wish this were over, and I need a vacation.
Hurricane Laura in Louisiana had a short-term disaster period followed by a long recovery. The Covid-19 pandemic is different because the disaster stretches on indefinitely. In my healing practice, I see clients with acute and chronic conditions. For chronic conditions like this pandemic, a different style of managing and coping is needed. In March, April and May 2020, we relied on our ‘surge capacity’ to adapt in the acute, initial phase. But by now, our surge ‘gas tank’ is depleted and we must switch to the long haul ‘gas tank’.
How do we adjust to a constantly changing situation where the new normal is unknown and uncertain? While she acknowledges there is no guidebook for navigating through a pandemic, author Haelle outlines seven areas of wisdom for us:
- Accept that life is different right now
- Expect less from yourself
- Recognize the different aspects of grief
- Experiment with “both-and” thinking
- Look for activities, new and old, that continue to fulfill you
- Focus on maintaining and strengthening important relationships
- Begin slowly building your resilience bank account
Personally, I’ve switched to my long-haul ‘gas tank’ by adjusting my perception of this pandemic because I know I cannot change it. When I start my day, I try to remember that how I THINK about my upcoming day has much to do with how it unfolds. I’ve taken on projects: a creative one (weaving on a small loom) and a necessary mundane one (defrosting my little office refrigerator). They give me a sense of accomplishment.
I encourage you to read Haelle’s entire article here.