DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Is Covid anger a thing or is it just me?

January 24th, 2021 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

It’s a given that everyone’s hanging on by a thread at this stage. There’s no need to pretend otherwise. Boost your spirits, though, with thoughts of the vaccine, and spend less energy-sapping time online.

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It’s Week 45 and I’ve decided to drastically lower my life expectations for the next while and am already feeling way less stressed about everything

• MAYBE it’s just me but I feel morale in the camps has taken a bit of dip. I know I was talking about ‘fortitude’ a few columns back, but this week I feel it’s more like ‘f*** that … and everything else too.’ I’ve diagnosed myself with Covid anger (of course it could be hormones, or just my personality) but everything is bugging me this week, including a black hair on my chin that was there for god knows how long that no one told me about (probably because they were afraid it would make me angrier), Ryanair emailing me to suggest I book a flight to Italy (would they ever just ….), and the fact that I’ve watched the last ever episode of Schitt’s Creek (will I ever know such hilarity again?). Anyway not that there’s any shortage of ‘helpful’ articles written to get us through these ‘strange days’, here’s my survival guide for the week ahead (please note I have no medical or psychological qualifications so readers should follow at their own risk):

• Let’s start by lowering our expectations drastically, and then another bit again, and I think that’s a good starting point for us all. None of us have a clue how things are going to pan out over the next few weeks but I think we can be pretty sure that we’re not working towards a February 1st deadline for schools re-opening. Assume we’re in this for the long haul and anything else will be a bonus.

• See, you’re feeling a little less stressy already now you’re no longer trying to calculate how many more days of home schooling torture you’ve left! Next, why not begin your day with a shot of diluted cider vinegar? In the spirit of honesty, I’ve started this to kick-start my metabolism. The results are meant to be good, but it tastes bloody awful and I just want everyone else to suffer along with me. If nothing else, it wakes you up nice and lively, even if it feels like your throat has suffered first degree burns.

• This one might be a bit of a stretch (get it?) but … start  wearing proper clothes. Now that we don’t even have school runs to deal with, there’s no necessity to get dressed but sure do it anyway. I’m not suggesting going full formal but at least opt for pants with buttons as opposed to strings.

• I never said my guide was going to be completely original so I have to include … getting outdoors. I know the thoughts of going for yet another walk is so deadly boring, and the time it takes kids to get their coats, hats and shoes on can make you want to lose the will to live, but do it anyway. I’ve started splashing about in the sea with a little more frequency as I read it speeds up the metabolism (spot a trend here?), although I should stop warming myself up after with a cup of hot chocolate, to give that theory a fair shot.

• Stop buying random things online, especially now that there’s the added fear of being hit with expensive tariffs on delivery. For this week try not to buy any more ‘stuff.’ In fact, why not clear out or tidy up some existing ‘stuff’ and you’ll realise you’ve plenty.

• Also unfollow all those people who annoy you on Instagram. There’s a lot of them and they’re probably the ones making you think you need the ‘stuff’. Why are you wasting your time even talking about them? Just one click – see doesn’t that feel better? But while you’re online, do take a moment to look at Schitt’s Creek memes. That’s always time well spent.

• Be prepared at all times for wildly unpredictable and erratic moods from members of your bubble, that includes kids and adults. It’s just a given right now that we’re all a bit ‘under pressure’ and if you’re prepared for someone to fly off the handle, you mightn’t take it so personally. And that’s not just my way of trying to excuse my moods either (well it is to be honest, soz everyone).

• But don’t be afraid to admit that you’re finding things tough, either. Us Irish are a funny lot – we could be carrying our head under our arm, or have tears rolling down our face and we’d still be insisting everything was ‘just grand.’ Obviously, know your audience before dumping on someone, say your bit, and then get back to accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.

• One way to keep sprits up is to keep an eye on that vaccine tracker which shows how many people have had their first dose. I’m also keeping a constant check on that calculator that allows you to see when it will be your turn. Right now I’m looking at early autumn, but who knows, they might decide to do the demented home workers a little earlier?

• Last one is to drink water. If nothing else it will give you lots of time to spend alone in the loo. Oh yes, I know I made quite the fuss about Dry January last week, so it’s only fair to share an update. Given the increased restrictions, my husband is spending more time working from home since last week. I think I probably said ‘welcome to my world’ around 386 times in two days so he cracked last Friday night and I cracked 10 minutes later. Cheers!

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