Ironically, we are all in a marathon of sorts here with the pandemic, and there is a phenomenon in the marathon world that might be worthwhile to take note of during this time . . . it’s called hitting the wall.
In layman’s terms it means to experience sudden fatigue and loss of energy because the energy stores in the body are depleted. It usually happens in the last third of the race. The result? Weakness, headaches, dizziness, along with other symptoms. Some racers give up at that point, but the more experienced have learned how to run through it and even how to prepare in advance to avoid it.
I don’t know where we are in this pandemic (I doubt it is the final third), but I think we all have or will “hit our wall.” Whatever novelty to the shutdown that was there in the early days is long gone. The house has shrunk, the hair is unmanageable, the internet needs are crashing into each other, the bills are increasing, the stressors multiplying. Our energy stores are wiped out. We are experiencing all kinds of unhealthy side effects. Even as the world begins to open back up, restrictions still remain, and we want to quit. We want normal life back.
Unlike marathon runners, we didn’t have a chance to prepare, and though I am in no way a psychologist, I think we might be able to glean a couple of useful tips from those marathoners to make it to our own finish line.
Though the marathon is a race, the two main suggestions to survive the wall are to . . . walk and eat. In our lingo––rest and nourish.
If possible, give yourself a break . . . any kind of break . . . for whatever length of time you can generate––mind and body. Break from responsibility, from expectations, from walls. Walk. Figuratively and literally.
Second, eat––feed body, mind, spirit. Sometimes that means taking "food" in . . . and sometimes that means giving "food" to others. Both are nourishing.
Finally, always, always, always realize that we are NOT in this alone.
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.