3 years into the pandemic, COVID finally caught me at the start of this year.
Fortunately, my actual “sick time” wasn’t too bad. I didn’t have a fever. I had energy to move my body. Instead of going to the gym, I went for a walk in nature and practiced yoga at home for a few days.
Then I went away for 4 days with my entire family: my parents, siblings, and their partners and children. We typically are all together only for as long as a holiday meal. This was 4 days living in the same house, with every meal together and various group activities.
My nervous system was in hyper vigilance the entire time. This isn’t ideal under the best of circumstances, let alone when recovering from an illness.
This type of stress can wreak havoc on the nervous system, especially when it’s in recovery mode.
Since returning from the trip, I’ve been experiencing increased fatigue and brain fog. Typical post-COVID symptoms.
I had already been suffering from brain fog for the past couple of years — a collision of late 40s hormonal changes and ADHD that has challenged my cognitive abilities and my focus.
These new symptoms have compounded the experience, making it worse. I have had moments when I cannot formulate words, let alone sentences.
I’ve been here before. In January 2015, a fainting spell in the middle of the night gave me a brain injury. In the months of recovery that followed I struggled with cognitive tasks. I also had to limit my screen time to no more than 45 minutes at a time, with several hours off in between.
It was a drastic reduction that changed my relationship with screens, social media, and time spent online in general.
That period forced me to impose significant restraints on my workflow processes, completely overhaul my then-existing habits and create new ways of working.
And so it is again.
To be clear, it’s extremely frustrating.
And also, it’s an opportunity to innovate new systems, structures, and practices for how I create and work.
Rather than looking at these conditions as a hinderance to my creativity, I can choose to see it as a facilitator of my creativity.
Creativity thrives in constraints. These new constraints will force me to get more precise with my techniques and use my available resources more efficiently.