Y’all, I’m so, so tired

Hi, friends–

I’ve been unbelievably busy at work and with home life stuff, and in normal times, that can be exhausting enough.

But these are not normal times and I’m experiencing an utter exhaustion of the psyche. Of the very soul. It’s deeper than the physical weight of fatigue because it’s tied to the crushing weight of utter chaos and the desolation of multiple layers of grief as hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans have succumbed to a devastating pandemic.

I carry around a constant knot in my stomach and it’s almost impossible to watch what passes for news. I’m probably doing myself no favors, but I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction about authoritarian governments and their attendant lackies: unbridled nationalism; theocratic nationalism; corruption; constant turmoil from “leadership”…these are all classic signs and symptoms and I try not to get sucked into the chaos because it’s designed to break you down and become compliant.

Exhaustion can make people compliant, whether by choice or through the simple paralysis of being overwhelmed.

I’ve taken to wishing the internet would collapse for a couple of years, because then it would be much harder to spread poison and disinformation. And let’s face it, without a platform, propagandists aren’t able to flourish as readily.

So with that in mind, what makes you happy offline? What simple things do you do to combat the chaos and the exhaustion?

Share the luv in the comments and take care of yourselves and each otheer.


  1. I knit. It might sound silly, but the simple, repetitive, soothing action of knitting gives me something to focus on besides the lies, the stress, the stupidity and chaos. And I read. A lot. Fiction, writing-craft books…but not the news. It’s the only way I’ve stayed somewhat sane. And writing of course. It shields me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m right there with you, Andi. I try to avoid watching the news on tv during the daytime. Some online stuff that I enjoy are: One Day University streaming content as well as archived content, YouTube museums of the world virtual tours, jigsaw puzzles (jigsaw planet.com is terrific,) and Ancestry.com research. I’ve been reading more than I had pre-COVID. And I’ve been engaged in volunteer work for Biden-Harris. I’ve cleaned our house to a fair-thee-well, and Viv has had to restrain me from vacuuming the cats. Hang in there and give yourself permission to to grieve our nation’s lost lives. Please think about the wonderful opportunities you’ve given to your sister writers in accepting their voices here at Women and Words.

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  3. Andi….I’m exhausted too and when I look at my calendars from pre-March to now, I’m doing Nothing (hardly in comparison.) What i am doing is spending a lot of time with my loaner cat, cuddling and playing with her, and cleaning my house. I’ve been sorting boxes I haven’t looked at etc. I’m wishing you the best and rest.

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  4. I appreciate you sharing this. I think it is all very normal to feel this way right now. I too try to balance news intake and engage in daily activities (other than work). I have re-engaged in yoga and have done a lot of reading, writing, and restructuring in my yard. It does help during these unsettling times. I really do appreciate
    your post. It is a good reminder of how universal and normative these feelings are and a gentle reminder to find that needed balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you checked in. These seem to be universal feelings, and I try to check in with people as I can but I’ve been so overwhelmed my own self that I’ve kind of turned inward and focused on myself (self-care is never a bad thing) these past few weeks so I’m all, IS ANYBODY ELSE FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW and it’s comforting to know that bunches of us are and I feel a community in that kind of discussion. Thanks for checking in.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for this post Andi. I agree with what Renee Bess said about allowing yourself to grieve, but it can be about any kind of loss in your life no matter it is (doesn’t always have to be a person or animal when it comes to loss and grieving). I’ve been reading lots of fiction and make sure to continue to have a lighter fiction book on the go to read even while reading the non-fiction stuff about heavy topics like mass manipulation, propaganda etc.
    I can tell you from experience that it’s possible to be overinformed when it comes to trying to keep up with the news and that trying to power thru feelings of exhaustion, stress, anger, etc don’t work. Instead I do whatever brings me any amount of relief whether that’s looking out the window at the dogs being walked on the pathway, going outside to watch the antics of ducks and other birds on a pond, singing or humming along with music to vocalize in a positive and good feeling way, or giving myself to have a nap or go to bed early. It’s all small stuff but it all helps me on the day I need it but also on the days when I can bank it so it’s reserve goodness for another day I need it more. Hope that helps. Take care and stay safe and well.

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  6. I wrote a blog post [different place, different name] months ago entitled ‘of course we’re tired’ because there was just so much wear and tear on everyone’s heart, and it was only through tenacity and maybe connection that people were staying upright. Just your title hurts my heart in the same way, because what is going on seems unsustainable, yet it continues unceasing. As to your question, before I go offline, I have found that if I ‘force’ an imbalance [2 positive links to 1 that enrages] with what I view online I can shake some of the oppressive and toxic sludge that tends to linger more or less uninvited in my brain and spirit; even if I am doing research to support my righteous intentions or suspicious thoughts, I have to be careful, because, as you mentioned, what this stuff bodes is paralyzing and insidious. My wife is a high school teacher in a district that requires simultaneous face-to-face and online instruction in a raging pandemic [because Florida] and subsequently, I have been writing tons of letters everywhere. This is a bit of a mixed bag, because while it feels like bringing a golf pencil to a Jabberwock fight, there is integrity in the effort. I try to collect a few things to share that are funny for when she comes home, just to bleed off some of the stress [such as boredpanda stuff, or that cat lady from Omaha’s tiktok ‘humpty dumpty McAssHat’] because we have found humor to be a tremendous gift. Every day. Because we are late to all the cool kid parties, we have only just discovered the Great British baking show, and that’s diverting. Otherwise, books, music, movement [not particular, and more would be better, of course 🙂 ] and writing all help. Concern for loved ones and the world is a heavy thing, when largely we are given to witness more than actively effect change, but having that capacity to feel is how we negotiate the hurt and shadows. I look at what is coming out of the mouths of some people, and I cannot imagine them even comprehending love or compassion–so, tiny steps from that void–person, social structure, institution, andddd here we are again. Bless your heart, Andi, since you have the history background to drive this understanding to exponential levels, and bless your soul for once again bringing such invitation to community through this blog. I hope everyone can stay safe and be gentle with themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am also a high school teacher with expectations of simultaneous virtual and in-person teaching. My district has been very.good about planning and executing Covid safety protocols. It is encouraging, and has prevented outbreaks. There is a problem with a shortage of substitutes when teachers are quarantined for ten school days. But, we are pitching in because no one wants any one to get sick. It is tiring even though less than half the students are present. Changes to the entire system!
      On the positive side, sports teams and competitions are on! And, most are live broadcast on youtube. I so enjoy watching and then interacting with the student athletes. It provides live action distraction.
      I have been avoiding my twitter and sruggle to find the balance between being aware of events and being depressed by events. It is ongoing. I also have been reading quite a bit. Again, for the distraction.


  7. I love putzing in my yard. Been working outside quite a bit. I have been watching the news, yes it is depressing but I live in Texas so not a lot of truth in the news. I try to watch Rachel just to hear truth. Waiting for some cooler tempts. So I can take my girls for walks we all enjoy that.

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  8. I like to shut my phone off. I also like to play games like solitaire and freeCell, as well as, put puzzles together. Concentration and organization. I feel you – being overwhelmed is a hard thing to go through. I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to shut down. And sometimes you just have to sit, but if you can, scream like you’ve just seen a zombie. 🙂


  9. I’m from Hungary and I’ve seen for nearly twenty years from another, more democratic country what a despot is making of my home.

    My way of coping is distraction, reading stories with happy ending or at least hope, photography and yoga – concentrating on my own well being. While still trying to be the best possible person, a reliable friend, an understanding mother and a good worker. And find joy in small things.


  10. Andi, I’ve been spending an exorbitant amount of time learning. Learn everything I can. Self-help books, programming tutorials, excel spreadsheet fundamentals, guitar lessons, Spanish (lots and lots of Spanish), Then there’s the online audibles, Instructables, kindle, Mentorbox, the Great Courses, podcasts, LinkedIn learning, blogs, vlogs, youtube. Topics from fixing it yourself to building it yourself, learning Scrivener, Plotter, reading about tools to self-publish, how to get a publisher, Patreons, writing articles to post on my website about topics I find interesting to research for LGBT, more reading of self-help books, more writers books. And then I turn to exercise to work out stuff. My handy-dandy jump rope and I have a love/hate (mostly hate and whip my legs) relationship. I walk my dogs A LOT. My new app that has a daily workout that you can extend to keep working out forever. I put on a 20-30 minute motivational speech from youtube and let it run in my headphones while I work out. Heres a quote for you. “Measures of desperation call for someone with moments of time to whip out a tape measure. Screw that. I use my time more wisely.” JLNicky


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