Getting stuck in a funk is a common occurrence. Feeling off your game and disconnected from the world can impact your life, work, and school. So, how do you get out of a funk and back into life?
After two weeks of feeling the worst I’ve felt in a long time due to COVID-19 and almost another two weeks of trying to feel like a normal person again, I’m close to losing my drive to finish out the quarter. One benefit of the University of Washington’s program is that it’s structured to take three years for those in the online program. Those who have families and work full time may find this program easier to fit into an already busy life. This pacing was working perfectly for me; but after losing part of my summer break to take an amazing class, it seems like this final year is never going to end. Coupled with prolonged symptoms from COVID-19 that make it impossible to focus for more than an hour, this next month is going to require everything I have to survive the quarter. Here are a few things I’m trying to help me out of this funk and a few others I’ve been reading about:
Start small. When I first started experiencing symptoms, I thought I would be able to work from home every day while trying to keep up with classes. This definitely wasn’t the case. After being released from isolation and returning to work, I realized diving right back into classes was too much. I started by making a list of everything that needed to get done and slowly checked off the small ones that would give me the motivation to keep going. I also prioritized group projects and discussions so that others weren’t affected by my slower than usual pace. Some overdue assignments are still on that list unfortunately, but one thing at a time makes all the difference.
Sleep. If there’s one thing I learned in undergrad, it’s that I’m worthless when I’ve slept for less than six hours. Unfortunately, COVID-19 kicked this up to twelve hours with multiple naps in the day. After working a full day, I can barely keep my eyes open and need a nap before I feel well enough to open my laptop. Unless you have an assignment due that’s nowhere near being done and you can’t get an extension, let your body heal.
Find something good or funny in the LIS field to keep your focus or remind you of why you decided to go to library school. I opted to flip through Librarian Tales: Dispatches from the Stacks by William Ottens for some quick laughs or internal groans when the tale hits too close to home. Perusing the Emerging Leaders list from ALA is also a way to see the innovation, leadership, and cool projects happening in libraries.
Connect with people. The pandemic has certainly thrown a wrench into the social aspect of our culture, and if you’re still working from home, you may be getting a little stir-crazy. Technology has made this easier, but getting “Zoomed out” is suddenly something that happens to all of us. Old fashioned phone calls and texts can be a lifesaver when you miss human connection, but don’t feel like making yourself look presentable.
Eat healthy meals. I noticed this while feeling terrible in isolation and am doing my best to keep it going. Stopping for fast food on the way home is so easy, but it doesn’t meet the nutritional value you would get from a home-cooked meal. Last week, my library sent small groups of staff to a team building activity that allowed us to prep various freezer meals. The future stress of trying to figure out what to eat is already gone. For those with busy schedules, check out this post with tips and recipes for cooking when you’re short on time.
Eventually, the struggle bus that is 2020 will end and we’ll hopefully leave these unprecedented times and library school behind us. How is everyone holding up right now? Do you have any tips to share for others who may be stuck in a funk? Share them in the comments, as I’m looking for all the help I can get!
Conrrado is an online MLIS student at the University of Washington iSchool and an Adult Services Specialist at the Natrona County Library.