Lately I find myself dealing with two conflicting impulses. Sometimes I feel like, “We’re facing an health and economic crisis on a scale I never could have imagined, who cares about web development!” (Web development is largely what I focus on for work.) Then on the other hand I feel like, “We need to keep on with our normal lives inasmuch as we can, so running that webinar on web development or online conference or writing that blog post can really help, both myself and others.”
Most of my time I spend with the latter impulse - forging ahead with projects and plans that predated the current crisis, but this creates a sort of constant cognitive dissonance that can, at times, be distracting and even demotivating. Add to that additional stresses and distractions (ex. the kids are home and not in school) and the inability to do many of the things that normally to relax and destress.
In situations like these, the mind has a natural tendency to extrapolate out the current circumstances into the future. We imagine a future filled where nothing returns to normal and this crisis has no end. That sense of hopelessness, even when one is consciously aware that it is somewhat irrational, can compound the stress.
So, on the one hand, I try to be grateful that I have not yet been impacted workwise by this crisis but, while work remains largely unchanged, all of these additional stressers - the cognitive dissonance and conflicting impulses, the out of the ordinary distractions of kids and family, the inability to partake in activities that help destress, a compulsive need to keep up with the latest info about the crisis, the feeling that maybe the things I am doing are pointless and possibly even unhelpful - can sometimes feel debilitating.
I don’t have any good solutions to these feelings. Perhaps the only solution is for this crisis to pass. But expressing them does help me process them.
If you are facing similar feelings or even entirely different circumstances, please share your thoughts. This site is open for contributions.