I have always been a fan of routines because they put structure to my days and help me feel organized and in control. Pre-COVID pandemic, only two things were constant in my day—work and working out with my workmates. Needless to say, the offices and workout studios closing down because of the lockdown restrictions completely disrupted my routine. The losses felt so real to me that it took a toll on my mental health. The feeling of isolation and loss of control over a lot of things caused overwhelming stress that I did not know how to manage, which in turn affected how I deal with work.
During the early days of the pandemic, part of my work was to facilitate sponsorships and donations of medical supplies, food, fuel, and toll fees to government agencies, LGUs, and hospitals. Thinking that work would be a welcome distraction from everything that was going on, I hustled 24/7, overextending myself to the point of burnout. By week two of the lockdown, I was already drowning in memo requests and summary reports.