Not everyone can be Shakespeare.
Hear us out. In the 16th and 17th century England, plagues and pandemics were as common as Mumbai rains and Delhi heat waves. Social distancing and lockdowns bogged down everybody – just like they’re doing it today. But not the playwright named William. He had every sort of word and phrase in his dictionary (he literally invented so many of them!), but ‘exhausted’ wasn’t one of them.
In fact, William Shakespeare gave birth to some of his greatest hits under lockdown and in isolation, like King Lear. If he were to hear us crib about endless exhaustion, fatigue and lack of motivation thanks to the pandemic today, he would utter a sigh: ‘This generation doth protest too much, methinks!’
But guess what? He would have been wrong.
Not everyone can do a William Shakespeare and break free of the shackles of this unprecedented pandemic-induced mental pressure that has marked our lives for the past two years. And you know what? It’s absolutely okay.
After all, you and those you know have gone through a lot, haven’t you? You may have suffered many a loss. You may have been left stranded with yourself for the first time ever, not knowing how to cope up with everything by yourself. Missed graduations or college life. Missed birthdays and best friend weddings. Missed opportunities to indulge in your regular routines or hobbies that provided you real comfort. Worse yet, you have had to deal with Herculean pressure to stay afloat financially or emotionally, or find your work-life balance going for a toss, along with your mental health.
Anxiety, fear of the uncertain, sadness, depression, fatigue, procrastination, lack of control, unexpected changes...you have faced it all. And in the wake of this excruciating devastation, you, hustler, have emerged standing tall. We think that’s something to be proud of.
So, hey, stop asking yourself ‘Why do I feel exhausted?’ every day, because feeling that way is perfectly normal – and healthy. The next question you should be asking is: ‘Can it get better?’
Hell, yes! Take this little jab of ‘Anti-Pandemic-Exhaustion vaccine’ that the boAt squad has made for you (we swear, it works!). Here’s what it’s made up of:
You gotta acknowledge the burnout and accept that such a response is completely normal during difficult times. Only when you have this awareness will you move over to the next step: dealing with the pressure without any pressure!
Go, get your breath back! We’re not kidding. Finding some quiet, breathing in and out, and trying your hand at meditation can seriously wash you away with a much-needed soothing calmness. Stress/anxiety, who?
Yes, social media might have brought you closer to your loved ones while you are all away, but it also tends to bring home negativity. Give yourself a break from the screens and keep the negative, stressful stories and news away.
No, work-from-home or no travel doesn’t mean you have more time on your hands to do more. Don’t give in to that myth, friend. Adjust your expectations and allow yourself to slack, zone out, laze around or not meet your ‘goals’. You deserve it, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Nothing motivates us more than doing things that we love with people that we love. But if that has taken a backseat for you these days, turn your attention to the simplest things you can do for yourself: go for a walk, blast away that Spotify playlist in your Airdopes, air guitar like no one’s watching, sleep without alarms, or chalk out that Netflix watchlist you haven’t touched in years! The more you love yourself, the more you will heal.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to do the right thing, take out stressors from your life, or ask for help. If you’re not feeling it, don’t do it – be it at work or home. Unclutter your life and the pressure will go away in a flash!
Pause. Unpause. Inhale. Exhale. Take it easy. Take it slow. That’s all you need.
Remember, you are not alone in this great hustle. At the end of the day, the music might have paused for a little while, but the show must go on. And how can it not, when you are its very star?
Perhaps the great Shakespeare also thought the same way. Perhaps he too at first wilted under the pressure, like the world around him. And perhaps in recognising this great wilting together of the world – that everyone is in the same boAt as himself – he found his music!
Perhaps which is why he wrote: ‘Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.’ So that you and we would find the same inspiration in them centuries later.
Perhaps we all can be like Shakespeare, after all. And when you don’t rush, the good things come rushing to you!