Your Weekly COVID-19 Update: April 5
I’m Not Feeling It
It’s currently 11:08 AM on Friday, April 3, 2020. I wrapped up DJing for Uplifter’s Friday workout. I got plenty of sleep last night. It’s my mom’s birthday! But I’m not feeling today. The weird thing is that I didn’t start feeling like this until maybe an hour ago. It could be a delayed reaction to the Stay At Home order issued by Governor DeSantis or the prolonged state of this new normal. Maybe I just miss how things were pre-coronavirus. I don’t know why but I do know that I’m not feeling it. The reason why this is notable is that I tend to be positive.
The surreal aspect of this pandemic is there is no point in time where coronavirus happened. It is HAPPENING in real-time. There lies the struggle: the grind of enduring. Enduring a heightened state is daunting. And the crazy thing is we’re not under an immediate threat from something visibly tangible. For me, it’s being aware that something might change again as it has throughout this pandemic. The thought of having to prepare to expend energy anticipating how we will have to adapt to something else. It almost feels like too much.
Times They Are A-Changing
Like I said last week, change is what you make of it. But this state of repeatedly having to adapt to new guidelines and executive orders is starting to feel overwhelming to me. And when I feel overwhelmed, I tend to shut down and not want to do anything. The bad thing about this tendency is that shutting down is permissible right now. However, if I shut down I know that I will remain shut down for longer than is healthy and beneficial for me.
In my first COVID-19 Letter, my second recommendation for responding to the pandemic was:
Keep a normal schedule.
Since I neither have an office that I work out of nor work traditional hours, this is immensely important. I’m especially prone to get lost in social media or other mobile games on my phone. With less regular things to take care of, that temptation becomes greater. Also, in terms of how I’m currently feeling, it keeps “moving” and dissipates my mental focus. I’m not just feeling blah. I now have something else to devote my energy to.
Keeping a normal schedule is important. Having that repetition gives you something you can control. This is especially important when, right now, there are so many things that are out of our control. It’s even more relevant since the duration of this pandemic appears to be increasing with each week that passes. Find your routine. It will help you cope with the ebbs and flows that come with constant change.
This is not to say that I should ignore my feelings. That’s unhealthy. However, allowing myself to be completely and utterly overtaken by them is arguably more unhealthy for me because it becomes a feedback loop where I sink lower and lower in them. My personality is fairly even-tempered so I don’t handle strong emotions very well. Self-awareness is also not my strongest trait. Sometimes it helps me to simply acknowledge how I feel. Then it’s easier to come to terms with those emotions and deal with them.
I say all this to share with you that if you are feeling down about what is going on, you are not alone. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out to someone you’re close to. If you don’t have anyone you can talk to, especially with how isolated we are currently and going to be for at least a month, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (or SAMHSA) hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). But, whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to suffer in isolation. For those who are feeling ok, reach out to people you may not have heard from a lot recently. They may need it more than you realize.
My Most Recent Podcast Interview
I talked to Tim from Phocus Photography on my most recent podcast recording and our conversation turned toward the COVID-19 pandemic. He talked about how we can still maintain normalcy in a time where things are definitely not normal.
COVID-19’s Impact On Weddings
DJ Josh: I think the hard thing is how much time, energy, and money goes into getting a wedding to where it is. You see dates starting to evaporate. So you have all that energy focused on the wedding date. And then they realize, “Oh, this isn’t happening anymore.” So they’re grieving the death of the pinnacle event in your life up to this point. This goes not only for the couple but the wedding event team that was preparing to create that pinnacle event for them and their guests.
Tim: It comes down to, not just in our industry or as professionals in general but, just as human beings: just being there for each other. Count your blessings and be grateful for them. Where you don’t have those blessings we get to hopefully fill in the gap for someone. Pull together and make the best of everything.
Adapting and Moving Forward
DJ Josh: With what all is happening, community is even more important. So, what are things you’ve added into your schedule that you may not have typically been doing? Or how has your schedule been impacted with the restriction on traveling and events being postponed?
Tim: We’re being forced to stay in which means I can’t give the excuse anymore of “I gotta run here and I gotta run there”. As a business owner, there’s a whole lot more that goes on behind the scenes than just showing up, doing your job, and going home. You have a lot of backend things like filing taxes, running your website, and keeping your social media current. All of those things keep on carrying on even if there is a crisis at hand. We’ve been forced into paying attention to those things that we probably should have been doing sooner anyway.
Continuing With Business As Usual
Tim: Outside of that we’re still really striving to keep our client experience at the same level as it is when things are normal if not even better. Things that would normally be taking place in person such as doing those album designs, chatting about their wedding details, or creating a timeline. All those things we usually like to get in person because you get to see their faces and grow the relationship.
A lot of people could probably just say, “Hey. We’re doing nothing until this gets cleared up. We’re refusing to do that and, instead, pushing forward to try and keep that experience up. We’ve moved a lot of things into online video chats, so we still get to enjoy being a part of their wedding journey even if they’re getting this giant interruption here.
Tim’s point about looking to the future is the right mindset to have. What we are experiencing is not going to normal forever. It’s temporary. Sure, there are so many things that we can feel down about. But the world doesn’t stop, and, now more than ever, we have to keep moving even if we are currently forced to stay at home. How have you been able to adapt your usual work within the context of the coronavirus? How are you continuing to foster community in a world where we are forced to remain isolated? Share in the comments below!