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

Mar 23
Dear colleagues. Some of you are very emotional about the war in Ukraine. I get it. When your loved ones are in danger, international security no longer feels like a job. It’s your life. Your heart. But now, more than ever, you need emotional discipline. Thread.
If this is the first time a war feels closer, more personal, you are going to have a tsunami of emotions. While your feelings are valid, those emotions will also bias your analysis. You will have a harder time sticking to the facts. You will be ineffective. /1
One of the harder lessons in war is learning how to control your emotions – your justifiable rage – in the face of atrocities & injustice. But practicing emotional discipline is the correct & effective way to care about people on the ground. /2
Read 16 tweets
Apr 12, 2021
This is a very serious allegation. Vaccines in Ontario are a desperately needed *scarce resource* that are unevenly distributed. That’s already a conflict risk. Even the slightest *perception* of political partisanship makes things very volatile. /A Security Prof Thread
The scholarship shows that resource scarcity can provoke & inflame conflict. Perceptions of unfairness also activate protest. While provincial govts don’t think about civil strife often, they should tread carefully here. /1
Plenty of Ontarians have lost lives, jobs, health & homes this past year. These factors already put societies at risk of conflict. As docile as you may think our province is, it dangerous to add a partisanship bias perception to this mix. /2
Read 17 tweets
Feb 4, 2021
Last week, my university advertised a "pandemic productivity" seminar. Today, I got the "due to unforeseen circumstances" cancellation message.

Unforeseen? Really? This little example shows why we need to change the narrative about productivity amid crisis. 🙏🏽 /Thread
For the record, I've been a very "productive" in my academic work during the pandemic. I am not against productivity. But, this has absolutely nothing to do with my merit. It has to do with my luck. /1
We are living in an uncertainty vortex with a thousand moving variables that affect what we can and cannot do each day. I don't control 90% of those variables, and so what I can and cannot do each day isn't decided by me. /2
Read 14 tweets
Feb 2, 2021
Today is my beloved husband Simon’s birthday. 💝 My heart is very squeezed for this person. So, here are a few wonderful things about my bestie that just have to be said. /A Birthday Thread 🎉🎁🎀🎂🍰
First, my Simon is an emergency worker & this has been a very hard year… but never once has he complained or passed the buck. No matter how tough the challenge, he has shown up with excellence & good character. /1
A key reason Simon is so stalwart is because he spent 12 years in the @CanadianForces. His uniform made him strong & humble. His dad once told me, “you have to understand, Simon is a soldier. And he was a soldier before he was a soldier.” Real talk. So much respect. /2
Read 16 tweets
Dec 31, 2020
Hey lovely people! 😊🙏🏽 So here we are, ending 2020 with soaring COVID cases, crushing lockdowns, & corrupt politicians. Folks, this is rock bottom. So... how can start 2021 with hope & joy? Take heart. We're going to get through this winter valley together. 💪🏽❤️ /THREAD.
Nine months in, we are now around halfway through the crisis phase of COVID. That might seem scary, but have faith. Once we make it through this “rock bottom” period, the rest of part 2 will be brighter & easier. /1
The toughest period is the winter valley… the darkest, coldest months, highest infection rates, harshest lockdowns. Vaccines coming, but not here. This is a hands-down the toughest stretch, but it is not forever. By April-May 2021, we will be back in the light. /2
Read 15 tweets
Dec 31, 2020
"Tolerated again"?? I'm sorry, but the correct response was "You're fired". I could not be more disgusted at this shameful and corrupt conduct. It makes a mockery of the sacrifices emergency workers and their families have made over the past 9 months.
And I just want to add, a government that lacks legitimacy - indeed moral authority - is incapable of governing and leading people in a crisis. No one will sacrifice for them. No one will trust the process. And that political disaster hurts everyone.
Everything about our countries and democracies is at some level imaginary. They work only because we all collectively believe in them. When that belief is compromised, it can quickly fall apart. Corruption is not a side issue, especially in the middle of a disaster.
Read 4 tweets

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