If you read my blog post “Covid 19 and Mental Health”, then the title explains it all. Finally! I was able to get back to my babies in my early childhood development program on June 15th. Not working for a total of three months really drove me into a deep depression, well at least that was my experience. See i had adapted to my day to day routine. Wake up, go to work, get off work, run errands, go home, relax, eat, shower, bed. Once my state ordered a mandatory quarentine, my routine became non existent. For people who struggle with Anxiety and panic disorder (Raising my hand) we tend to go over the edge if our routine is broken. Our senses are very heightened, our brian is already in fight or flight mode, but for something to come in and and cause mass hysteria like Covid 19? Forget about it. All the tools that I learned to manage my anxiety went right out the damn window. Breathing techniques, logical thoughts, girl bye!
Little did I know, hope was coming over the horizon. Finally I would be returning to work, I was going to see my babies (pre school students) again. Of course my job wouldn’t be the same as it was before the pandemic. Classroom Ratios were cut in half, masks were mandatory, temperature checks were done daily for teachers and children before we were able to clock in,or be signed in. Most learning toys has to be put away in storage, there were so many changes! but this wasn’t a shock or surprise, I still felt anxious about returning after being away from my babies for so long.
So Boom! I start working again, i pick out my clothes the night before (felt like a kid on the first day of school i would have slept in my clothes but it was too damn hot and I’m too old to even go there) I begin to get into a rhythm of a “routine, my life started to seem normal again. I noticed that the more tasks I took on, the feelings of sadness and anxiety disappeared. All the thoughts and flashbacks I had during quarantine seemed pointless and to put it quite frank, dumb as hell. See all I needed was some normalcy, I needed to keep busy, have you ever felt like that? just bored out of your mind, creating scenarios in your head because you have absolutely nothing to do to replace those thoughts, just being in your head? Working ensured that my thoughts and worry would be no more, because im thinking of tasks that need to be accomplished. My mood was also completely altered. I no longer slouched, I no longer appeared sad or down. I started to feel like myself again, like Teacher Cesi again. Now I did have a difficult time physically. Hey, can you blame me? I think we all sat, ate, slept, ate, and ate some more. Yes, I could have eaten healthier and turned on youtube exercise videos, but Instead I caught up with my favorite shows and worked my damn lips like it was no one’s business. This was a time to rest, reflect and relax. I literally became a lazy sac, which in turn turned out to be a challenge once I went back to work. Being a early childhood educator is much more than conducting engaging circle times, and “playing” with children all day, it’s a Job, Job. I am constantly moving, constantly on alert, always ensuring the health and safety of my babies, so when I began getting back into my role as an educator, I realized I was completely out of shape (I will later discuss my KETO journey).
As the weeks went by things started to become easier. I was determined to loose weight and become more active. So far I’ve lost 10 lbs and I’m mighty proud. I notice a big difference! I have more energy, I’m not out breath when I walk around the classroom. Even though things look different for everyone I can say i was blessed to be able to return to do the work I love. I acknowledge that many did not have the luxury of staying employed. God came through in the clutch like he always does and made sure I would be able to be there for my kids and their families.
Featured Photo: Essence
Did the pandemic change your life and routine? Share Below i would love to hear from you😊