"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

On the effects of long term but minor stresses

File-20180824-149490-xk7xk7I posted this on The Facebook a few days ago. I got some good feedback, so I thought I'd expand it a bit. Instead of packing boxes ;-)
I've had some new stressors lately, and was surprised at how much they affected me. 
Ten years ago I decided to sell my house, downsize, and move to the Wellington West area. I found a nice two bedroom place, got rid of a lot of stuff, and moved. Seven years ago my landlord announced his daughter wanted my apartment, so I found a place, packed up again, and moved. I don't recall either event being that stressful or traumatic.
This summer my landlord announced he wanted my apartment for himself, so I had to find a place and coordinate a move. I found this more stressful than it really should have been, given my history and abilities.
Yes, rentals in this area seem harder to find, especially in a house, but I decided to trade the space and other perks of living in a house with the stability of a high-rise. And in a one-bedroom - more stuff to get rid of but no big deal, right? 
So, I've found a new place, have disposed of the critical items, lost of things already packed, have booked a mover, and even have an overlap of a few days between places. Why my increased anxiety this time? I've had some personal issues too, but should not have had this big an impact.
My symptoms are a feeling of anxiousness, poor sleeping, inability to make decisions, way too much procrastination. 
Yes, I'm older, but I think it's The Covid.
Six months or so of continuous worry and stress over something mostly out of our control has got to boost our cortisol levels long term, which impacts our health, plus our decision making and tolerance for uncertainty. We can be vigilant and minimize our own risk, but we are dependant on all the Covidiots out there, gathering without masks and spreading infections. Government responses are mixed too, and there is no shortage of conflicting information online. 
Identifying the cause of my new reaction to stress doesn't make my concerns go away, but maybe I can manage them. 
I have several weeks still before the movers come, and I have my gaming and books as distractions, so I think I need to fall back on the comfort of structure and lists and schedules.
I'll do Moving Plan - what to do, how long, when, etc. Maybe just a checklist in Evernote, Maybe get fancy with something like Todoist??
And what's next for us? Nobody really knows, of course. We are seeing evidence of a 'second wave' that we were warned about, a sudden increase in numbers. Be aware that this increase is not due to something in the virus, it hasn't called in reinforcements or undergone a sudden mutation. Nope, this increase is our fault, due to changes in our behaviour. People relaxed over the summer, had some parties Labour Day weekend, went to some rallies, University students met up again, bars and restaurants opened up more, public schools are in session, with all those crowded buses, cool weather pushes us off the patios, etc. Flu season is starting (get your shot!) which may complicate the health picture. Plus, and the winter blahs are just around the corner. Yes, we started this in winter, but that was last March, with the days getting longer and warmer, and the assumption this would all be over soon.
Now the days are shortening, frost warnings have started, and we are resigned to at least six months more of this. But, all is not lost. We will adapt and cope - again.
I have lots to do once I move in a few weeks, unpacking and sorting things, plus I have my gaming and a podcasting projects. My new place lacks windows on four sides, but does have a balcony and windows with a 9th floor view of the east - of the city, Gatineau Hills, and sunrises. There are lots of parks and paths to explore outside my door, including a short walk to the river. And a medium walk to the hustle and bustle of Wellington Street.
I have family to visit and lots of online friends, so alone for me will not mean lonely.  


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