Part 1 of a Series
It’s hard to grasp the multitude of changes that have occurred in the first three months of 2020. For those of us in the United States, the month of March brought on new policies for social isolation, closures at jobs, and a decrease in monetary income for many of us. Children are all out of school. Our partners are in the house with us, every single minute of the day. We may not be able to see our parents and grandparents, wanting to protect them from COVID 19. Travel plans have been canceled. Graduations and proms are canceled. Even the beach is closed.
I refuse to talk about toilet paper in this article. But you know!
You know some of us are grateful to have more time with our family members. For those who were not accustomed to working remotely, they may be feeling some relief at their new lax schedules. Others are stressed. Trying to figure out how to make up for lost wages with no childcare can seem daunting. Navigating Zoom meetings with family in the house is distracting. Going to the grocery store could send some into a panic. Figuring out how to pay the bills that are due brings on anxiety for a lot of us.
Let’s review some of the changes and come up with ways to not only cope but to thrive in the new policies of life that we have been given. Please share your tips for thriving in the comment section.
Talk to people! Just because it’s harder to meet up for social engagements doesn’t mean you should shut yourself off from the outside world. Phone calls are making a comeback. Video calls with friends for virtual happy hours are a common thing now. If you want to see a friend in person and they are close to where you shop, drive by their house and talk at a distance. Sit in a friend’s yard, while they sit on their screened-in porch.
Every one of us is dealing with some scary stuff with our finances, job security, and worrying about our health and the health of others. Don’t keep it all in because it will come out in negative ways eventually. Talk about it with friends and journal if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Some people don’t want to reach out to those who love them the most when they are deeply depressed. They sit in silence hoping they will feel better. Shame and embarrassment keep some holding in pain, hurt, and sadness. If you are not coping well, consider scheduling a virtual appointment with a mental health counselor. There are free and reduced-rate services out there. Sit in your pajamas with your messy hair and open up to someone who is trained to be of service. If you have considered suicide, make a call to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800)273-8255. You can get help right away, from your living room. Call someone. Don’t suffer alone when we have people who are trained to help.
Some of you are loving this! The sense of freedom is exhilarating and you can’t imagine going back to the office. For others, you are having a hard time staying focused. You are distracted by household chores. You have other people who are loud and who interrupt while you are on conference calls. Constant distractions while you are trying to write up a report make you feel like you are losing your mind. If only you could go to a coffee shop like all of those people you have envied in the past. But alas, that is not an option anymore.
Consider setting up your work station on the porch, if the weather is inviting. Bring your computer to a big closet with good lighting and a comfy chair. I know parents who work in the bathroom. No judgments here! We do what we have to do for a little bit of privacy. Use a whiteboard to keep daily lists of projects, calls, and meetings. Create a schedule for your day with breaks every hour. Find a rhythm that you love to keep you on task. Remember You Are The Boss in your home!
You sent your kids to school because you chose to not homeschool. Either because you have to work, you have no interest in being a teacher, or you wanted a different type of education for them filled with an active social life. Now your kid(s) are home all day and you don’t know what to do with them!
Finding online educational videos and lessons can seem overwhelming. Consider planning a Zoom call with friends that are parents to share resources. You can even start an online network of teachers by inviting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends to all take 30 to 60 -minute blocks of time to teach the kids. We all have skills and talents that we can share.
If touch is your love language, you may not be feeling fulfilled these days. Maybe the people in your house are not huggers. Or maybe you don’t want to hug them. Perhaps you live alone. Virtual hugs are not the same. Joining online LIVE classes such as meditation and yoga can give comfort that feels similar to a hug. When I see other people on the screen doing what I am doing, it feels like I am there. When I do yoga, stretching and moving my body, I feel hugged. Hugging my pre-teen isn’t as lovely as it used to be. I try but she doesn’t always want to hug me as deep and for as long as I would like. So, I have to find other ways to satisfy my desire for touch. And you will too.
Adding a tea ritual to your days and nights can soothe the soul and calm your nerves. Meditative State of Mind has beneficial herbs for your health and your sanity. Order yours on Amazon to try this delicious blend. Read our article about this lovely tea.
Do you want to know more about echinacea? Read last weeks article on building and maintaining a strong immune system with echinacea. Read about ginger and how this spicy flavor is incredibly good for you. Discover more about tea rituals around the world. Create amazing tea combinations. Make your own craft mocktails and drink to your health. Cheers!
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden
Freelance writer and editor in Gainesville, Florida