Feeling the pandemic blues

: on dealing with those feelings from the pandemic. A not funny comic.

HopeMail #119 | HopeMail is a newsletter about life lessons I’ve learnt or reflected upon recently. Plus my drawing, the occasional comic and poem. If a friend shared this with you, and you'd like to subscribe, c'mon in.

Previous issue: It’s ok not wanting to do anything for now (on creating white space, recognising the different rhythms in our life, a great article link on reducing Zoom fatigue, two questions on finding peace.)


Hi there,

Hope you are well where you are.

I’m suffering the pandemic blues. Throughout the pandemic, I have kept going, moving forward, looking outward to the needs of others, looking upward to God. I have kept mentally busy with my work, both in the creative sense and also the business side. 

But recently, these things are increasingly getting to me: loneliness from the severe lack of in-person human interactions with others, the confined boundaries, the sameness of every day, the bad news. Man, the bad news. COVID-19, climate change, Taliban, flood, drought, suicide, hunger, job loss, death. 

Then—there’s the guilt of comparing my situation with others. Yes, even though I know it’s ok to grieve for losses, big or small. I wrote about it here:

HopeMail
It’s ok to grieve for losses (yes, even the small ones)
HopeMail Issue #113…
Read more

There’s also the fight to find small wins in daily moments. And it is a fight. 

And then, there’s the stab of being offered well-intentioned but unsolicited advice. 

I’ve come to a point of accepting that there are not many safe spaces out in the wild (of mankind) to share my feelings—as is. That’s because apart from having a heart for others, it takes skill to listen. To just listen. And ask good questions. It’s not easy to do, but it’s a learnable skill.

One thing that perhaps anyone can learn to do in these times is to intentionally and regularly call or text the people in your contacts. Just touch base with a simple, “how are you doing?”

During the pandemic, I received four to five texts/calls from people just dipping in to ask how am I doing. One of the texts was from someone not in my regular contact. I remembered her kind gesture until today. I felt loved.

As these strange times are prolonged, I’m starting to let go of one of the things that I’ve used to keep me afloat—the “waiting to be vaccinated so a more normal life can begin” vague promise. 

Because—this is the very thing that is driving me quite insane. The situation changes, heck, the virus mutates, the country leaders…well, let’s not go there. 

I might have arrived at a point where I’m acknowledging and accepting that despite my stellar efforts in coping, the pandemic blues still come and will come.

Thankfully, unlike the virus, the blues will also go. 

And I’ll do my best to cope in whatever ways I need. Whether it’s remembering the sovereignty of God, prayer, doing something to distract my thoughts from spiralling down (silly dances at home is permissible), or appreciating moments of joy like looking out the window and gazing at the birds swooshing by. 

Speaking of birds, I saw a bird went gliding effortlessly past me. And I marvelled at the work of an engineering genius, our Maker. Did a sketch to capture that moment of joy and turned it into a GIF! #findjoyinordinarythings

How are you doing?

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🔗 You might be interested in this

~ What's happening in the world is out of your control. These 7 strategies will help you feel better.

~ Comic: This is what your unsolicited advice sounds like. From The New Yorker Daily Humor. (The Daily Humor is one of my sanity fixes.)


What I’m drawing

For the past week, I’ve been spending time looking out and up from my window to the trees surrounding our side of the condo—meditating in nature. Well, at least, near to nature. I noticed the pretty blooms on top of the trees a distance away. The details are captivating as I looked at them through the binoculars. These moments in meditation inspired a series of drawings for my new collection. I’ll share them with you once they are ready.


That’s all for now, folks. Till the next issue, take care. Stay sane, call someone. ❤️

Melinda


I’m a writer and an artist on a mission to create art that encourages and inspires people towards a kinder, gentler, happier, compassionate world. 

My artwork is often inspired by my reflections on life. I love drawing the traditional way and my line illustrations are hand-drawn with fine liner pens on paper. Sometimes, my poem and prose accompany the artwork.

Bring my art home.

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