Let us collectively take a moment to pause and reflect on how rapidly the world has changed.
Our entire life has been placed on pause.
This is a scary unknown chapter in the world right now, dear Clearly Alive Family. I wish I could tell you when it would end and when we would be allowed to return to some resemblance of normalcy. But I cannot.
This is a sobering reality, and one that I do not share with you lightly.
How should we respond?
Below are three tips that I personally am actively practicing as an attempt to remain calm during this COVID-19 Pandemic. May they benefit you as well.
Acknowledge the New Reality.
A good deal of frustration is generated when our expectations do not match our reality. This mismatch causes a great deal of emotional stress. As someone with Primary Adrenal Insufficiency, I purposefully seek to eliminate all unnecessary sources of stress.
So let us take another moment together to acknowledge our new reality.
- COVID-19 is not “just a flu.”
- We are going to see the number of cases rise and rise rapidly. This is due to greater access to testing, not necessarily that COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly. It has always been spreading, we just are gaining better visibility into it now.
- Personal freedoms that we have grown accustomed to will be placed temporarily on pause in order to protect the vulnerable.
- We are unsure how long this is going to last, but it will not be over quickly.
- At the end of this journey, the world is going to look very different.
Now again, pause with me.
Repeat after me: “It will be okay.”
I do not want to spread the “doom and gloom” message. However, I do want to encourage you to take action NOW to help mitigate this pandemic. Self-isolating, sheltering in place, and social distancing are all actions you can take RIGHT NOW to make our future better.
Create your Sanctuary.
The dictionary defines sanctuary as “a place of refuge and protection.” What does your sanctuary look like within the confines of this new reality? The inside of my home is my sanctuary. It is my refuge and my place of protection. Within the walls, there is safety. Outside of these walls, there is so much unknown.
I want you to create a list of at least three hobbies or items that bring you joy. Write them down. I have included my list below for reference.
- My Herb Garden
One of the last things that I did before I went into self-isolation was go to a local hardware store and purchase items needed in order to restart my herb garden for the spring. This garden provides me with a sense of peace and a little taste of normalcy.
If I water my plants, they will grow. I can watch them grow, knowing that I can harvest them in order to make amazing dishes. When I am feeling particularly anxious or overwhelmed, all I need to is step outside and observe my garden. It provides me with a sense of calm and peace.
Clearly Alive Family, what does this look like for you? It doesn’t have to be a garden. Perhaps it is a pretty picture or a certain candle. But whatever it is, use it to create your sanctuary.
Lean into your Community.
This is a counter-intuitive message as we are told to stay home and cancel all social interactions. However, involvement with a community need not be physical. Let me remind you of the beauty of technology. Call, text, Face-time, video chat with others.
I am a staunch advocate of the power and necessity of community. But community does not necessarily mean in-person interaction. My friends are scattered all over the globe, and our friendships are beautiful. I have been especially appreciative of how we have been checking in on one another.
There is no denying that this is a time of high anxiety for all. May we show empathy and compassion towards our fellow humans. We are united against a common enemy.
Send that quick text of “Hey, I’ve just been thinking about you.” Be brave enough to ask, “How’s your mental health right now given all of this uncertainty?”
It’s okay if you don’t have the answers. One of the most important things that being chronically ill has taught me is that my favorite people are not the ones that have a “solution” for every problem. Rather, my favorite people are the ones that are available to listen.
Check in with your tribe, dear Clearly Alive Family.
And through community, we shall weather this storm together. I am not sure how, or when it will end. But I do know that eventually this chapter in the world shall close. And I shall cling onto that hope.
With much love,