While playing this game of life the quarantine and social distancing has been a serious glitch. My depression began to take over and I couldn’t stop it; I was certainly not leveling up. There were many times it felt like it should just be game over for 2020. However, the “do you want to continue,” choice was, and is, a definite “yes.”
I don’t need to wait till 2021 to Level Up; I have already begun the process. I faced a decision to take a year sabbatical from teaching or continuing on. This decision was based on how best to help protect myself from being at more risk as a Type 1 Diabetic amidst the pandemic. Taking the year off would have been the worst choice I could have made; the depression would have gained too much power over me. I leveled up by getting myself back into living life as safely as possible, using masks and distancing as much as I am able to.
I have learned that I am driven by having some sort of purpose, as I imagine most people are, given that we tend to thrive when we know we are needed and appreciated. As humans we are resilient, we can adapt, and we have the tools to survive and make it to the next level. I did this for myself by getting back into a routine and getting back to work. I was leveling up by continuing to move forward, even though I have much anxiety over catching the virus. Everyday that I can keep this momentum up is a small win towards battling my depression.
Keeping a positive outlook while leveling up is a challenge in itself. There is more to it than just showing up everyday, even though that is an important aspect. Something that I cannot lose sight of is making sure to take care of “me” throughout this timeframe. I can and will be working on leveling up with more SELF-ish Sundays and beyond. I have to be intentional about getting exercise and not just landing on the couch after work. I have to keep my weekends open for life outside of school and teaching, leaving the grading for when I can fit it in during the week. I need to lean on my friends when I need support and help, just as I put myself out there as support for them.
As the world keeps spinning, our game keeps playing. Getting to a point of leveling up takes work, but work well worth doing so that we push ourselves to feel better about who we are and what we do. It is not easy by any means, but it’s a challenge worth facing. For the past two months I have been working hard to reach a point of leveling up and feeling good. The positive change is noticeable, but there is plenty of work left to do.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Create Change or its affiliates.