March officially marks one year of the pandemic. Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a country that took the danger seriously at the beginning, that means you, like me, have spent most of the past year in isolation. Visits with friends and family, classes outside of the house, restaurant patios, all of these things are dangerous and, in many cases, illegal.
I, like many writers, am pretty introverted. Before the pandemic, I went out to socialize a couple of times per month at most. I also already worked from home. My day-to-day life didn’t change much when we went into lockdown. For a while, my mental health didn’t either.
But introversion does not equal immunity from isolation. After a year without seeing most of my friends or family, of the few visits we had requiring distance and lacking hugs, of not being able to go out for breakfast or to a bar or basically anywhere that isn’t my apartment, I’m exhausted. I miss hugs, I miss my friends, hell I’m even starting to miss random crowds and *shudder* small talk.
I took a couple of weeks off to recover. I had intended to only take one week, because this pandemic has been hard on my household financially, but when I reached the end of my first week off I knew I needed another. The idea of getting back to work, even on projects I love like the Author Marketing Club, was daunting in a way it hasn’t been since my 2019 illness.
The lesson here is one I have to re-learn every few years, one that is all too easy to forget when you’re trying to survive capitalism, especially the North American variant. Time off is important to your business. Writing for publication is a job, and like any job, you need breaks from it to do your best. This is particularly important when you’re surviving a trauma, like, say, living through a pandemic and watching your government gamble with millions of human lives.
So today, I give you permission to rest. Take a day, a week, even a month if you need it. Refill your creative well by reading books, playing video games, and watching great shows or movies. Sleep for 18 hours a day. Whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. If you don’t take that time now, you’ll pay for it later.
Our regularly scheduled marketing prompts will return in two weeks. In the meantime, get some rest and be kind to yourself!