Coronavirus and Me
What the heck happened to 2020?
There are two universal truths right now: 1) This is hard. 2) We are all in this together.
I don't know about you, but something that has been verrrrry difficult for me to let go is the fact that I cannot help everyone. I can't keep every business open. I can't feed all my friends. I can't comfort every lonely person.
Control is a big thing in my world. Losing control hits me hard and deep. Stress takes over, anxiety makes me sick, depression keeps me at a standstill. The grieving process in this situation is unfamiliar and difficult to move through in isolation. However, I have some things I'd like to share that might help you find some peace in these uncertain times.
You must prioritize your safety and health first.
You need to lean into the fact that every person, business owner, and family is taking care of themselves. It is not your responsibility to make sure everyone else is thriving and comfortable. Yes, you can and should call/text/FaceTime your loved ones and check on them. Yes, it's devastating that businesses are closing up (temporarily or otherwise), but they're doing it to care for themselves and their families in the best way they know how. This is not comfortable, and you can't control that. But you can keep clean clothes on your family, tasty food on the table, light a candle, pray, meditate, and drink some tea or water. Take care of yourself, that's what everyone else is doing too.
Make the choice each and every morning to stay home.
I don't mean this like "do not for any circumstance leave your house." Of course if you need food, fresh air, medication, or repairs to keep your home in order, do these things. What I mean is, don't let this feel like something imposed on you and your life. Don't let yourself feel that your days have been stolen. Make the conscious choice to stay home, and you will have taken control of your day again. You have the power to stay home, protect your health and your community, and get creative with how you fill your day.
It's okay to turn off the news.
I had to do this for myself by stepping away from social media. I was talking to my brother in San Diego (who by the way has a new baby daughter I will likely not meet until she is crawling or later...wow) and I told him, "it's one thing if someone were to come up to you and say, 'this is bad, get prepared, it'll be worse before it gets better.' It's another thing when they follow you around all day reminding you." It is not a comfort to know that everyone is suffering, in many cases, it adds to the weight and sadness of this situation. If you're staying home, cooking your own meals, caring for yourself or your family, it's highly unlikely that the news is going to change the course of your day. It's okay to unplug from the constant stream of information and focus on the day and/or people in front of you.
You are not part of the problem if you're doing the best you can manage.
It's really popular right now for people to share posts in frustration with a small part of the population who is pretending everything is fine right now. The posts will say things like "Stop going to drive thrus! Stop going to the store! Lock down now for 2 weeks or you're making this problem last longer!" While it's important that we work together for the good of the community, the BEST way that you can help do that is to give your best effort. Mind yourself and your family, and let go of your expectations of other people. If you need groceries because you didn't get paid until today, shoot for a slow time, and get yourself some groceries. If your mental health is suffering and you need to get out for a walk but don't have gas to try a dozen places, keep your distance from others and take that walk. Above all else though, if you are nervous and you need help, ask for help. There are community members near you who want to make sure you are healthy and safe. If you need eggs, I bet someone you know has some to spare. Same for TP, bread, meat, rice. If ever there was a time to speak up when you need help, it's now.
There is beauty in this moment.
I hope some of this encourages you in this time of isolation, social distancing, sheltering in place, and lock down. Connect with the people you have nearby, whether they are in your home, on your phone, or on your computer screen. Share a skill you don't often get to show off. Connect with someone that the chaos of life has pulled you away from. Be quick to forgive, generous with your talents, and willing to slow down and breathe deep. Different doesn't mean bad, and how fortunate are we to have technology that keeps us connected even from miles apart. It's okay to be sad, angry, scared...but don't forget to shake it off and find your reasons to keep smiling and moving forward.
We've got this.