Just another little weekend breather
I frequently ask my friends with the question: How do you cope with the pan- academic (pandemic x academic) stress? They would also ask me the same question, and my default answer is: enjoying medschool kahit online pero nakakapagod din pala kahit mahal mo ginagawa mo.
The pressure to be productive is here. Those days of being idle in the midst of the pandemic have gone — we must deliver and comply. I have even come to a place in my pandemic life where I did not care about naming my feelings and thoughts. Either I feel bad at time management, or I am just doing too much. For some of us, we feel like we do not cope well with the pandemic stress. Sometimes, we feel guilty for being less productive than others. But we feel guilty too for taking breaks. I understand the struggle many of us are going through. If I have experienced anything since the start of the lockdown and remote learning, it is living in a cycle of anxiety and self-doubts and self-care and celebrating small victories.
They say that there can be no dichotomy between work and rest. Interestingly, we talk vaguely about rest. And that’s the nature of rest — it is personally construed. It can be in the form of sleeping for eight hours, taking short breaks, doing plantito duties, Netflix for a night, late-night chichi with a friend, washing the dishes, yoga sessions, or walking around the village. Nothing is more appealing than going for a weeklong break! Yet, with our responsibilities and commitments (and aside from the travel restrictions), there is wisdom to spend a little weekend breather instead just to regain enough energy for another weeklong hustle.
Rest means creating a time and space to satisfy your need for internal stillness amidst the external chaos. So when we speak of taking a rest, we are not talking about being physically passive (you can feel rested while doing the house chores!). When opportunities present themselves, I take the chance to isolate and reconnect with myself and the people I love the most. In between overwhelming situations, I do breathing exercises. After every exam, I watch one or two episodes of Kdrama. When it is a busy week, I try to wake up early to enjoy my morning hot coffee while listening to my newly discovered playlist on Spotify. How do I wander in these trying times? By constantly adapting to the demands of the ever-changing circumstances. Reorienting myself and redesigning my systems are among my priorities.
It is normal that we get drained from working and even from doing the things we love and make us feel alive. Yet, especially with the current situation, we should not skip doing things that give us a sense of calm. Maybe that’s what we need every once in a while. When will we ever learn to accept that short breaks matter more in the long run?