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  • Shawna Bruce

Is COVID making you cranky? You're not alone.

Last night I turned into "Miss Cranky Pants" with my husband sharing my discontent over something trivial. I think I am just tired. Tired of sitting in front of my computer, bored with my limited social interactions, grumpy about wearing a mask and not smiling and engaging with people, I am, frankly, just tired of COVID19. And I know I'm not alone.



I miss engaging with people on a personal level – friends, family, strangers – anyone! I miss the social interaction of a smile or a simple “hello.” I found myself chatting with the cashier at London Drugs yesterday for about 5 minutes longer than was likely socially acceptable because I was enjoying the personal interaction so much. I am thinking of going back there today to buy more shampoo or something.



I'm a Leo – the Sun sign - and astrologers suggest that the "Sun sign is capable of uniting different groups of people and leading them as one towards a shared cause, and their healthy sense of humour makes collaboration with other people even easier." I find this collaboration more difficult in our new virtual reality. I am suffering from "virtual fatigue." I am also starting to lose my sense of humour. So I took three deep breaths, and sat down today and wrote out a list of everything that was bothering me about COVID-19. Here is what I landed on (in no particular order):


  1. The guilt of not keeping up with all of the available professional development webinars.

  2. Wearing a mask and having my glasses fog up continually.

  3. Navigating the grocery store with arrows – and having others ignore them.

  4. The anxiety of not pivoting my core business fast enough to meet new opportunities.

  5. Increased headaches due to screen time on the computer.

  6. Being unsure if common allergy or cold symptoms are signs of something far worse.

  7. Missing my mother's 80th Surprise Birthday and feeling guilty that others have lost their loved ones as a result of the pandemic.

  8. Worrying about my family out in their respective workplaces every day.

  9. Frustrated that we can't seem to get the COVID19 communications right.

  10. Thinking I should be doing more to help #9, but not being sure what that looks like.



Then I thought about all the things I am grateful for:

  1. My family is healthy and employed.

  2. I have two black labs who make me laugh (and walk) every day.

  3. I have great friends who check in routinely to whine with wine.

  4. I discovered Spotify and can actually use it in the house AND the car now.

  5. I love my consulting work and my clients.

  6. I have Shrek and Fiona costumes and masks for my husband and me for Halloween.

  7. I have some upcoming speaking engagements.

  8. I am reading more and watching Netflix less.

  9. My health has become more of a priority, and I am feeling better as a result.

  10. I know I am not alone – and that we're in this COVID19 pandemic together.


Reviewing the second list has helped me write out a new set of priorities. Some of those from the top list actually have made it in here too. I feel more energized and less grumpy, but it took some thoughtful reflection to remind myself everyone feels the same way. We all want to get back to our old routines, and we’re tired of living the “new normal for now…and the foreseeable future” but we are managing as best we can and it's okay to feel a bit grumpy.


So, if you need a chat, a brainstorm, or just someone to listen, please reach out. I would be happy to help you develop your own list of priorities to get you through these next several months. We are, after all, in this together.


#mentalhealth #communications #loneliness #people #VirtualFatigue


For more information on Crisis Communications, Emergency Public Information, Public Engagement and Media Training visit our website or connect with us at bruceandassociatesltd@gmail.com.

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