Well, here we are. Just you and me, the daily hygiene routine you’re using as a means of escape at this totally inappropriate hour of the day. I’m your 5 PM depression shower and I’m here to say, Suck it, seasonal affective disorder. It’s quarantine time!
I know you were looking forward to being rid of me for a while. As soon as the sun stops setting at 4 PM, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to start your bedtime routine at the same time as your two-year-old niece. The sun may be out later now, sweetie, but you’ve got nowhere to go. There’s simply no good reason not to sit down in the shower for 45 minutes in the middle of the afternoon.
Sure, sure, wake up and go about that morning routine you created to give yourself a sense of control. Make your oatmeal, nod along during that video conference, take a little walk outside as a special treat. I’ll wait. Because all those things won’t take nearly as long as you want them to here in this immersive, unending episode of the Twilight Zone.
As soon as the clock strikes 5 PM, to hell with it. The cleaning chamber awaits. Shed your day-clothes but allow yourself to think that perhaps you’ll put them back on when you get out of the shower and realize it’s only 5:45 PM. Yes, of course, your pajamas will be waiting for you right where you left them at 11 AM. But “you won’t put them on yet.”
Remember, the most important thing you can do once you get into the shower is to start thinking of all the reasons why it’s not really necessary for you to leave the shower. If you’re having a hard time with that, well, CONGRATULATIONS? Somebody’s still producing a healthy amount of serotonin. Brag about this!
Allow me to explain how this works. First of all — and this is big — it is warm in here. Second? Easy. No clothes. Third? You’ve got a lot of time to fill, buddy, and I’ve seen your to-do list. There’s simply nothing going on after “feed sourdough starter.” Shower time looks a little more appealing now, huh?
Don’t get me wrong, there are other things you can do in here besides stare into the void and shrivel up like a little prune. You could shave your legs “for yourself.” You could do a deep conditioning hair mask so that you look your absolute best while talking to your grandmother over the phone tomorrow. You could come up with a really big idea for a creative project that you’ll never feel motivated to work on outside of this exact instant.
The options are endless but don’t feel pressured to be productive in there. The tried and true method of plopping your naked butt down on the ground for a while is sure to win your heart. As you try to recall the last time you actually scrubbed the shower, feel free to curl up into a ball and stop worrying about it because, yikes, it’s probably been a while.
Let your mind wander to the more important things, like how much worse the news has probably gotten just since the minute you set foot in the bathroom. Sit there and ponder the fact that there is no evidence any of this will be over soon. Wonder how many people who lost their jobs because of this will get them back. Consider whether or not this could have been avoided if we’d all acted faster or if it was young people who were dying.
And, hey maybe, just maybe, if you stay in here long enough, the world will be back to normal by the time you get out.