The 6 month mark in any sustained crisis is always difficult. We have all adjusted to this "new normal", but might now feel like we're running out of steam. Yet, at best, we are only 1/3 the way through this marathon. How can we keep going? THREAD /x
First, in my experience, this is a very normal time to struggle or slump. I *always* hit a wall 6 months into a tough assignment in a disaster zone. The desire to "get away" or "make it stop" is intense. I've done this many times, and at 6 months, it's like clockwork. /2
This time, our crisis is global and there is nowhere to run. That's OK. I've had to power through that 6 month hump before and there is life on the other side. Right now, it feels like we looking ahead at long, dark wintery tunnel. But it's not going to be like that. /3
Rather, this is our next major adaptation phase. We've already re-learned how to do groceries, host meetings, and even teach classes. And we have found new ways to be happy and have fun. But as the days get shorter and colder, we need to be ready to innovate again. /4
This is my first pandemic, but not my first 6 month wall. So, what can I share to help you? First, the wall is real and normal. And frankly, it's not productive to try to ram your head through it. It will break naturally in about 4-6 weeks if you ride it out. /5
Of course, there are things we have to do. Work. Teach. Cook. Exercise. But just don't expect to be sparklingly happy or wildly creative in the middle of your wall. Right now, if you can meet you obligations and be kind to your loved ones, you get an A+. /6
Also, don't be afraid that your happiness & creativity are gone for the rest of this marathon. Not true. I assure you that it will soon break & you will hit a new stride. But today, roll with it. Clear away less challenging projects. Read a novel. Download that meditation app. /7
Frankly, even though we cannot physically leave this disaster zone, try to give yourself a mental or figurative "shore leave". Short mental escapes can offer respite and distance from the everyday struggle. Take more mental "leave" until you clear the wall. /8
In my experience, this 6 month wall both arrives and dissipates like clockwork. So I don't fight it anymore. I don't beat myself up over it. I just know that it will happen & trust that the dip will pass. In the meantime, I try to support my mental & emotional health. /9
Take heart. We have navigated a harrowing global disaster for 6 months, with resourcefulness & courage. We have already found new ways to live, love, and be happy under these rough conditions. A miracle & a marvel. This is hard proof that we have what it takes to keep going. /10
So, dear friends, do not despair of the 6 month wall. It's not permanent, nor will it define you in this period of adversity. Trust that the magic that helped you through the first phase is still there. Take a breath & a pause. You'll be on the other side in no time. /end ❤️🙏🏽

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More from @ProfAishaAhmad

17 Oct
Hello lovely folks! Most of us are now deep in lockdown 2.0. Since writing about the six-month wall, many people asked me about how to take a “mental shore leave”. Here’s my plan, which might help you think creatively about yours. Good luck! 😊🙏🏽❤️ THREAD
Most of us cannot take an actual leave from our pandemic-stressed work and family lives. But to get through this six-month wall & emerge happy, it is imperative to take a break. So, how am I going create a psychic retreat for the next 4 weeks to recharge my batteries? /1
Well, I have come up with 2 parallel mental shore leave strategies: daily reprieves & weekly retreats. First, I need more rest & quiet time each DAY. Second, I need a full day off once a WEEK. In my crazy busy life, this sounds impossible. But here’s how I am doing it. /2
Read 16 tweets
9 Oct
To the brides & grooms who have to adapt their weddings for lockdown 2.0: Take heart! We did it in June on a lawn. Be courageous in your love. 💖💪🏽 Mini-thread.
First, I admit that I ugly cried trying to learn how to do my own hair & makeup, especially given that I’m more of a bookworm than a pretty girl. I’m so grateful to @ProfAgard & @RTVLaw for listening to me cry on the phone & reassuring me it would be ok. It was.
Second, I also did not get to wear my big beautiful wedding dress with the train. It couldn’t be hemmed under lockdown, so I ordered a white dress off the Internet, doing my best with the sizing chart. Arrived on time, with a trusty zipper in the back.
Read 10 tweets
30 Aug
My dept has advertised this job. Please apply. But, as a Brown Muslim woman in this dept, I also have to some truth to share. Real talk. ❤️🙏🏽 THREAD.
First, for the record, I am a tenured Assoc Prof in this dept and have served on half a dozen EDI initiatives at the university. I am also a multiple award-winning researcher & lecturer. I have 2 teaching prizes AND 3 distinguished research prizes. /1
Bad news up front. You can tell from the job ad, this approach to EDI hiring is problematic. My friend and colleague Dr. Rinaldo Walcott highlighted the problems with the ad with this simple tweet. /2
Read 14 tweets
13 Apr
This is an important issue, especially as we increase restrictions on parks. Access to green space is crucial for mental health. But we need to share. THREAD. /1
Importantly, we are all still allowed to go for a walk, either alone or with members of our households. Keep your distance, but walk around your neighbourhood. The restrictions are on park amenities, not getting fresh air outdoors. /2
Confinement is a very, very serious source of psychological stress. It is one of the hardest parts of living in a disaster. The fact that this refugee family from Syria is having a hard time keeping children indoors should give you some context. /3
Read 7 tweets
1 Apr
Hey Toronto! 😊❤️ Are you distressed at the prospect of 12 weeks of lock down? Take heart! First, I promise that your feelings will shift & that you can be happy & well during this period. We are going to do this together, & it's going to be awesome. /1
To start, know that your feelings today are not going to last all summer. It's just a transition period. Right now, it feels like your whole world has been taken away, but that's just because you haven't hit your creative adaptation phase yet. Trust the process. /2
It's upsetting when our expectations & plans are overturned. Give yourself a moment to grieve. 🙏🏽 But don't let your grief trick you into thinking you're going to suffer every day. That's not happening. Your mind & body will adjust. Joy & freedom are still on the table. /3
Read 12 tweets
26 Mar
Friends: our country is at critical juncture. We must act now, as a team, or it will be like a war. Most of you have never been in a war zone. It is soul-destroying. Your discomfort today will feel like a picnic. But we can stop it. Here is what you must do right now. /1
1. Quit the denial. This global pandemic is a world-changing event, of equal magnitude to a war. It is in motion now. Yes, that is scary. Yes, it is normal to want to deny this is happening. But if you deny or dismiss it, you will likely act in ways that will make it worse. /2
2. Maintain total compliance with the Public Health guidelines. These emergency measures are to prevent a war-like disaster from sweeping our cities. Non-compliance is like being a wartime traitor. Don't betray our country. Don't collaborate with COVID-19. /3
Read 9 tweets

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