In the COVID-19 lockdown, let us slump

woman lying face down in bed. Words:nothing nothing nothing, the great Sunday lockdown slump

A COVID-19 lockdown slump shows a healthy respect for reality.

Lockdown is a trial by fire for all of us and who knows what sort of people we will be this time next year? We are finding out day by day what we “should” do and mostly we do it, but our inner selves are struggling with this new world in their own way. We’re busy busy busy—and bewildered.

You have probably been sent this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education a dozen times by now, but just in case you missed it:

Yesterday was Saturday, or so I believe. I got a peek at sluggish Rachel when “I” (I think it was I, but not the usual one) decided to do absolutely nothing all day except read a Jack Reacher book in the sun. This wilful slump was a strange, spacey, other-worldly experience. By 5 pm I was itching to run a marathon or clean the drains or write a 4-volume novel, but I resisted. I wanted to reclaim the concept of a weekend.

For years we have encouraged our extraordinary selves to flourish. Now we may need to get acquainted with our ordinary selves, and pamper them. These strangers of low motivation may come to the fore in coronavirus year, and they are also lovable. In the COVID-19 lockdown, let us slump.

Here is Nick Cave’s response to fans who give him advice about  how to “fill the time” of the coronavirus pandemic — thanks, Myra.

9 thoughts on “In the COVID-19 lockdown, let us slump

  1. myrak says:

    Nick Cave on a similar theme…”‘What are your plans for the corona pandemic? What do you intend to do to fill the time? A solo performance from home on the piano?
    [Rachel-Editor: I’ll put a link to Nick Cave’s response in the blog post.]

  2. cedar51 says:

    There were a couple of points that Nigel Latta had to say when talking (I guess via Zoom) with Jacinda Ardern…basically “it’s okay to slump, it’s okay to play on any device…then said schoolwork isn’t VIP, do it if you wish but that our brains are wired so we won’t fall behind. Don’t try to think about the date, the day or the calendar…and don’t beat yourself up if you feel you’ve not doing whatever…

    I’ve only read a bit of your link…can’t read much just now. *

    I personally changed a whole lot of my life when I first entered Level 2 – and that was all this talk of being more creative, more active, spring clean, be part of challenges, paint the house and similar stuff. Never mind the fact, I’m home alone in my bubble.

    What happened is I have fallen down the rabbit hole, I have 3 major health issues – 2 have mainstream medication but my primary issue doesn’t, it’s self-management & I usually manage that well. It was last Wednesday when a symptom that shows up – * that must “cut back…” So now have reverted 90% back to usual stance – not sure if it’s working, still dealing with …

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Good. Work or rather non-work, to cut back to a manageable level. But the flurry of activity at first served a useful purpose on many levels, I’m sure.

  3. “These strangers of low motivation…” I understand all too well! Where did I go? Why am I sitting around so much? Why is so little on t.v. of any interest? Not a single book pleases me. Pay bills? Gah! Take a walk? Are you kidding? Awake at 4 a.m. and napping at 10, 2, and 5. On an on it went. Two days ago, I broke through. Now…for how long? I didn’t care for that stranger!! I’m not likely to go overboard, though, either. Mmm, I do have to work on my taxes…what a motivator!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You just showed us a movie that is close to home. Taxes? Gah!

  4. anne leueen says:

    Well it is interesting this CV19 journey. I thought I would have a lot more time on my hands and planned to read more and do an online course I paid for months ago but did not have time to even start. And yet my days are full. I do take the time to daydream from time to time. I have some things to organize in preparation for my horse coming back to Canada and me not being able to visit or see him due to the State of Emergency closing stables to the public. So I have to pack up things he will need and take them to the barn on Monday and drop them off at the gate. It seems very strange. Also on Monday I will be going out for groceries. This is a first as we have been in self isolation for 14 days and could not go out at all other than for walks. So Monday will be a big day. I may be quite tired with all the excitement of doing things I used to take for granted and now have become adventures!

  5. I’ve fully embraced the idea of slumping during this pandemic. Thanks for the post, Rachel.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I think that the constant low level anxiety of living under the threat of death saps all of our strength. I need longer naps and find that my mind simply isn’t as sharp as usual. Slumping seems very appropriate. Just getting by takes a lot of energy these days.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s true, just getting by is a triumph. Hang in there

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