Surviving Groundhog Day Syndrome During Lockdown
I slowly awaken from a slumber as I enter another groundhog day.
I stretch my legs out before shuffling under my duvet and reach for my phone out of habit.
But this time, I don’t need to switch off an alarm.
This time I don’t have to check the time, or spring out of bed to get ready for work.
Instead, I have to check my phone to see what day it is.
I check the time even though it doesn’t really mean much.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a Bill Murray film.
It’s real life during the pandemic.
Motivation seems harder to find, even when it comes to changing out of those comfy shorts I’ve worn since Monday.
And there are days that for no reason whatsoever, it’s hard to feel any form positivity.
It feels like being in a rowboat with only one oar.
Casually paddling as you drift around in circles but not knowing when you will make it to the final destination.
The confinement, the lack of social interaction.
Having gone from chatting, meeting, and talking shite to 30+ people a day, I’m lucky to meet 1 or 2 now.
Those meaningful conversations have disappeared for now.
And I dearly miss the craic.
Life is strange right now.
Every day feels like a Sunday as we drift through what can easily feel like groundhog day.
It’s normal to feel anxious, worried and a little panicked.
We’ll all have good days, and we will have some bad ones too.
On my good ones, I’ll work away, feel content and just get shit done.
On the bad ones, I’ll dwell on all that I miss.
Making someone laugh or roll their eyes.
The simple things (and people) in life, like taking a stroll in the park or by the canal.
The clink of the coffee cups in the café as I wait for an Americano and slice of biscuit cake.
The sensational feeling that shudders through your body as that fresh head of a pint of Heineken hits your lips right before kick-off of a match.
The cool breeze on your sweaty face as you sit atop a mountain or hiking trail.
Finding curry sauce stains on the leg of your trousers the morning after only going in for 1 pint.
The childish excitement you feel inside when you get the dessert menu.
Or even going to the supermarket without being paranoid about checkpoints like you’re smuggling whiskey during prohibition.
But even though I miss all that, every morning I drag myself out of bed.
I have some coffee and read.
I walk those same 2km roads several times a day as I let music flow through my ears to remove me from reality for that little while.
And I’ll make sure to move my body as a means to stay sane and healthy.
I sit and write every single day.
I’ll find something positive or new thing to do, read or watch every day.
I watch endless amounts of The US Office every single night (or look up Tiger King memes).
During the good days, make the most of them.
During the bad days, do what’s needed to keep your head above water.
And don’t be afraid to lean on others for support.
This isn’t anything we’ve ever witnessed before.
And hopefully we never do again.
So, do what you need to do to get through this.
Every day is another day of appreciating the little things in life, and focusing on what we will appreciate more once we get through all of this.
Be kind, look out for those close to you, and check in with one another.
And I’ll see you out the other side.
Stay safe and sane and try avoid Groundhog Day Syndrome.
P.s. I’m not 100% sure but I think I started writing a book during lockdown too.
Will let you know if it ever develops further.