• Barbara Clayton Price


Day 55 and 56.

I started to write in my blog yesterday but I was too tired to do it. I've been getting more and more tired everyday. I've had trouble following through with things, and the impetus to do anything had vanished. I haven't wanted to oil paint and that is one of my passions. There isn't much to do in my garden, but I doubt I would want to do anything out there anyway. I know this situation didn't happen over night. No, actually it's been growing for the last fifty-six days. What is this cloud of apathy that hangs over me? It is mild depression.

Depression can come with a sudden onset, it may be a life long issue for some people or it may be situational. The depression I've been experiencing is because I haven't done much, but sit on the couch, since being sequestered in my home. Oh, I've done a few things, but actually very little and it finally caught up with me, emotionally, mentally and physically.

I woke up this morning at 7:30 to an excruciating pain in my back. I could barely walk to the bathroom. I'd been noticing that I had some lower back pain for the last week or so, but I didn't pay much attention to it. I felt some pain when I stood up from the couch, and a little nagging pain when I stood for any length of time.

I had a spinal fusion many years ago and my doctor said that I was a poster child for recovery. I had two knee replacements about three years ago, and once again, I had incredibly great results. I felt young and could do almost anything physically, once again. So, why, now is my back hurting, and also one of my knees for that matter? It became very obvious to me this morning, when I could barely move. I have become a coronavirus couch potato.

Most of us have heard that saying, "use it or lose it". I've always known that, but here I am. I've been so lethargic and mildly depressed, that I've allowed my body to freeze up. So, beginning today I'm starting to move. I realize that the lack of movement has caused the pain in my body, but also contributed to a mild depression. I'm like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, but instead of an oil can remedy, I just need to begin to move my body.

It's not that I was athletic before, but in retrospect this morning, I realized how much I moved and lifted, before I assumed the position on my sofa. I went to work three days a week and walked into my office from the parking lot. I stopped by the grocery store about five times a week after work, and then carried in heavy bags into the house. I carried heavy things into my office, food for the day, books etc. I lifted a very heavy water bottle replacement, onto the drinking water machine. On my days off, I ran errands most of the days or cleaned the house. I rarely sat down at home until evening. I haven't done any of that for fifty-five days, and it just caught up with me.

We have to be careful to not become so sedentary, that we freeze up like the

Tin Man. It's too easy when we become even mildly depressed to just sit. I'm going to improve my mood and get my body back in shape starting today. I will start a little slowly and increase everyday. I feel my mood is already improved, just realizing what has happened and having a plan to rectify it. It all just crept up on me. I was doing great, but little by little, I was slipping into apathy, caused by feeling depressed. All the new changes and stress with Covid-19 all around me, was slowly bringing me down. Now, I feel so much better, because I understand what's been going on with me. I always say to my clients, that we feel better after we've named the monster. Understanding the reason for our actions or feelings, helps us to heal.

If you've been sitting too much, and feeling that everything is too big a job to handle, you may have become mildly depressed. My suggestion is to start moving and not be a coronavirus couch potato. Pick one task to complete today and finish it. Get outside and walk. Lift some weighted bags a few times, dance, do yoga or Tai Chi, whatever you can to get your body moving. Your mood will improve and your body will be happier.

Be safe and remember that this will not last forever.

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