In recent years we’ve started taking a week off publishing for spring break, so we can do general catch up behind the scenes. But this year, we’re midway through February, and it feels like we’ve lived a lifetime since New Years. (I mean we’re currently in the middle of an impeachment trial for an insurrection that happened THIS YEAR. Whirlwind upon whirlwind.) So we’re scheduling that spring break early, and we’re pausing publishing till February 22nd.
The truth is, our staff is hitting full pandemic burn out. When I read the HuffPost article about the fact that most of us have recently hit the pandemic wall, I felt better. (Still terrible, but less alone.) Because I truly feel like the adrenaline in my system has just… run out. And this absurd life of being stuck at home, trying to keep one business afloat and launch another business, while homeschooling my children, and oh yeah LIVING THROUGH A TERRIFYING PANDEMIC…. it’s just too much for too long. As the New York Times rightly wrote in an article, “This isn’t just about burnout, it’s about betrayal.” What’s being asked of mothers in particular right now is impossible.
And when I look around, my whole team is in the same condition. Hollow eyed, trying to stumble through. And we’re lucky enough to have jobs we like.
And the worst part, is there isn’t much any of us can do to fix it. The HuffPost article suggested, “first identify the things stressing them out the most … and make a plan to address them and set some healthy boundaries.” But since what’s stressing me out the most is having to homeschool my children because they can’t be in school, setting a healthy boundary is sadly not possible.
But what we are doing is taking a little more than a week off from publishing. I was lucky enough to have a friend loan us a cabin for a few days, where we’re holing up. I’m still teaching the kids homeschool, but we’re calling it “Forest School.” (I’m literally trying to teach two squabbling kids while I write this, which means it’s taking twice as long and is three times as exhausting, which is pretty much our life right now.) In the next week we’re going to spend time figuring out what content works, and what doesn’t, in these turbulent times. Because spending our work time in better, smarter ways is one tiny change we can make.
But before we go… how about you? Because I really want to hear other war stories, and that I’m not the only one hitting the wall.
How are you handling pandemic burnout? Are you managing? Are you hitting a wall? And has anyone come up with any solutions?