How to survive uncertain times (or how to stop being grumpy)

This week I’ve been tired and grumpy. It feels as though there are too many things requiring my attention and not enough things filling my cup back up. I’m running on empty and I seem to have forgotten how to replenish my energy. I’m sure I’m not the only person feeling like this at the moment. I’m in Melbourne, where we are deep into our fifth lockdown for COVID, and while I’m thankful I live in a state where locking down early means that we can avoid some of the catastrophic situations that are being seen around the world or in other states, I’m tired. Is it just the current situation that is making me tired or is it the increased medication for my migraines?

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that I have a job that isn’t shrouded with uncertainty and my family are safe. I know many others who are struggling deeply. What I’m feeling is something that is much harder to put my finger on. I’ve been going into my workplace (school library) to work on cleaning up the library collection and supervise any students who need to come to school to study and by the time I get home, I have nothing left to give. Is it the silence of my workplace that is disconcerting?

Last year when Melbourne was in that really long lockdown, I managed okay. I woke at my usual time, wrote, went for a ride, worked, did my yoga then congregated with the other two in my household for dinner. It was okay. We had a quiet rhythm that breathed gently on us as we danced around each other. This time it doesn’t feel so smooth.

When I come home from work now, I flop on the couch with nothing left in me. My body aches, my mind aches. It’s as though everything is too much. I’m juggling my health, work, writing life, renovation plans and emails, housing for one son, housing for ourselves and I’m at the point where I’m snapping at the people I love.

Maybe I run out of spoons (What is the Spoon Theory). I’ve resisted calling myself a Spoonie as I often think that I don’t have it too bad, but my reality is that I do have chronic health conditions that impact my every day life and how I interact with the world even if I don’t look or sound sick. I forget that some others don’t have to navigate life with a filter to protect their health, that there are things they can do that I just can’t, that external things can send my body into a spin.

Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem on

So, how do I pull myself from the fug I’m in and fill up my cup again?


Stick to routine. It worked last time, it will work again. Keep up the writing, exercise and work. Add in self care and laughter.

Self Care

I’m not doing any. I remember my psychologist talking to me about this years ago. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to me for many reasons. I had to come up with a bunch of things that looked like self care, then I had to make sure I was doing at least one each day. I’m not doing any at the moment and it shows in my body aches, my migraines, my tiredness and my lack of positivity. So, time for a list of things that I can do each day to release the pressure. Things like: a bath, day naps. I can’t see the phsyio who would help iron out the pain in my back and neck, but I can do my exercises.


We all know it helps but when it’s cold and you have to force it to happen, it’s hard. I have been walking and riding to work, but I suspect it’s not enough for times like these. Usually, I go to the gym a few times a week, but I haven’t replaced that with anything for the last week. Today, I’m going to do my exercises for my knee rehab and my shoulder and neck injury. I’m also going to do a yoga session. I know I’ll feel better afterwards.


Time to watch some comedy. I miss my improv classes that were guaranteed to make me laugh for most of the three hours. I need an injection of laughter. Any suggestions are welcome.

How are you coping? Are you tired and grumpy like me? Has this latest wave of COVID that’s rippling through the country sent you into a hermit-style spin? What are your strategies for surviving? Please tell me that it’s not only me who has hit a flat and grumpy state.

2 thoughts on “How to survive uncertain times (or how to stop being grumpy)”

  1. You are not alone.
    Even on the Sunny Coast, it’s been (relatively, no sniggering please) cold with the weather not so inspiring.
    But we are not, and haven’t been, in serious lockdown since the beginning – masks & social distancing for those listening.
    We picked a sweet spot and travelled through three states in May. Lucky us.
    Our hearts o out to our fellow Australians who have been much less fortunate, Stay well, stay safe, stay sane!

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