Lately, I’ve been feeling frustrated a lot more frequently than I like to be, and it’s all because of the seemingly never ending pandemic. I’m frustrated that so many people seem to care so little about how their actions affect everyone else. I’m frustrated with people who refuse to get vaccinated, refuse to wear masks, or worse, deny that Covid is real. I’m frustrated that if it wasn’t for that, we could be so much further along in being done with this virus that has turned all our lives upside down for the past 17 months and counting.
Of course things are better than they were this time last year. I’ve been fully vaccinated since the end of May, and I’ve resumed a lot of activities I hadn’t been comfortable with before then. I’ve been getting together with friends I haven’t seen in a very long time, and it’s been glorious. I’m back to eating in restaurants outside. I’m caught up on all the home repairs I’d been putting off because I wasn’t comfortable having someone in my home. But there are still so many things I want to do again that just don’t feel safe yet. Crowds still make me queasy, but I want to go to concerts so badly. I want to travel again. I just want things to go back to what they were in the before times!
Yes, I’m “pangry.” I wish I could take credit for the term, but I found it in an article about pandemic frustration on the website of the American Medical Association.
Frustrated and angry is not a normal state of being for me, so the above quote couldn’t have come at a better time to help me realize that it’s up to me to short circuit this awful feeling. Yes, it’s important to acknowledge the anger, but it’s not healthy to stay stuck in that energy. Frustration and happiness are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and I’d rather spend my time on the happiness end.
I find that for me, the most important remedy against pandemic frustration is to limit my news intake drastically. I’ve been less disciplined about it for the past couple of months because for a while, the news kept getting better. Now that we’re headed in the wrong direction, I’m cutting myself off again as much as possible while still staying informed.
And of course, all the usual self care activies – eating healthy meals, exercising, spending time in nature, meditation – all help, too. As does spending time with our cats!
Do you feel “pangry?” How do you cope?