16 May This Year Has Been A Battle…And We’re Still In It
It’s been more than a year of ever-changing Covid restrictions. I don’t know how you’re feeling right now, but I know that I’m feeling tired. Drained. Isolated.
These feelings are okay to have. Whatever it is you’re feeling right now, it’s okay to feel that way. And it’s okay to get help. It’s okay to admit that you need help. This year has been a battle, and no one knows when it will end.
In WWI, many soldiers were recruited under the promise that they would be home by Christmas. It was supposed to be a quick war, easy to win and a source of pride to have fought in it. Instead, it was a bloody battle that lasted 4 whole years. 4 years of war, of living in trenches, of crappy food, of losing friends and family.
And it wasn’t just a battle fought by soldiers, on the home front the changes were evident. Food was rationed, families were waiting in fear of lost loved ones. Industry was directed towards the war effort. Girls, who had never expected to work outside the home, were coming in droves to work in these factories. Children were growing up without their fathers. Young women were becoming widows. Boys were being recruited as soon as they were old enough.
In many ways, Covid is a lot like a war. The enemy is a virus, but the effects are felt in all areas of our lives. The frontline workers are the soldiers and the rest of us make up the home front. We are being called upon to do our part in the war effort. And it is exhausting, just like it was in 1916, when the war had already gone on so much longer than expected.
The casualties were rising, the battle of the Somme saw over a million dead in a matter of months. Morale was low, both in the trenches and back at home. One of the major efforts to boost morale was to remind people that their contribution mattered, that they were making a difference. That their country, their people, needed them. Their family and friends needed them.
This is just as true now as it was in 1916/1917, when morale was at its lowest. We are making a difference by taking precautions and by getting vaccinated. Even though it doesn’t always feel like it.
Yet maybe the best way to boost morale today might be more easily achieved by looking outwards. It is incredibly difficult to pull yourself out of a funk, it’s almost impossible. But it is much easier help someone else get out of their funk. We all feel isolated right now and a great way to fix that is to remind the people that you care about that you love them, that you’re there for them if and when they need you.
Maybe that looks different right now than it would have before. But a phone call or video call can do wonders. Mix it up and send a letter. Even an email. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but take that step to connect with others. You’ll be helping them feel better and, in the process, you just might feel better too. At the very least, it’s a reminder that you aren’t alone. We are stronger together.