My own experience of adjusting to the new reality during the pandemic is fairly straightforward. I’ve been furloughed from my work for several months, and for the most part the extra time this has given me has been a definite plus. I’m conscious that this is not the case for many people; changes in income, job security, family relationships, can all lead to stress. People try to find different ways to adapt to the situation, starting new hobbies, and promising ourselves that we can use this time profitably. It hasn’t always work out that way though, and as time goes by without an end in sight, the initial optimism recedes and becomes a nagging dullness as we become resigned to a situation seemingly without end.
Sunshine optimism begins to fade as life starts to drag. Finances become tighter, and relationships begin to strain as we have to spend longer and longer in the same place, with little variation. Eventually a new reality kicks in and we can compromise between what we anticipated we could achieve and the realisation of our actual psychologies. Between the two poles we find a balance, a place where we can exist and adjust to realistic expectations of ourselves. What was initially an impetus driven by a perceived short-term situation becomes one requiring a different kind of stamina; it is now a marathon and not a sprint.