As the world faces the Corona Virus COVID-19 pandemic we are witnessing the entire global shutdown as the world tries to slow the disease spread by restarting our world machine so to speak practicing social distancing and sheltering in place. This leaves many of us at home feeling uncertain about the future as each day passes as a dreamlike fast forward slow motion repeat movie blurring in to the next day. We watch the world hit pause and hope for the best in this difficult strange unprecedented situation that is affecting all of us.
How can we pass time at home in ways that can keep our minds healthy? How can we stay balanced and on the positive side to make it through when other fears of financial stability and our distant loved ones fill our thoughts with worry. How can we show kindness and compassion toward others during this sequestered time?
I find there are some things that have been helpful to me that brought a sense of comfort or normalcy to my days. I’ll share mine and please share yours. Together is how we can get through this.
Having a schedule and doing my best to stick to it because let’s be real there will be days you just sleep in because it happens. During these days be extra forgiving to yourselves we need all the comfort we can get. Back to the idea of creating daily life patterns, for myself I visit or spend times in certain rooms or areas of my house so it breaks up the day. I have a space for my creative work, a place for rest, my lunchroom kitchen space and so on. I also limit the amount of news I take in so I don’t overload on feelings of helplessness and depression.
Gardening if you have access and supplies can provide great comfort and exercise during this time. For those with outdoor yard access what better time to start a garden with the beginning of spring and all the time at home we can really tend to our gardens. There are even ways to grow a windowsill garden too if you don’t have outdoor access. Seeds can be bought at most supermarkets typically found in the produce section. I find watching a seed grow in to a plant then blossom and fruit is a magical process to help nudge along and at the end the gift is a yummy fruit, herb or vegetable to cook with.
Leaning on creativity. As a visual artist I spend time in my sketchbooks daily as well as pushing my projects along. That second one gets tricky I know during these times because it feels like none of this matters at moments when the world feels so dark and heavy and it can really halt progress. But our shared connections and conversations do matter and what we share can really be helpful or harmful depending on which path we choose. So even though it can be a tricky time allow the pause to happen but do get back to it and realize what you make is part of who you are and that matters. We are the light in the darkness we can help comfort each other and guide our way out of this darkness. We just have to do it virtually and find outlets or platforms that work for us to be able to connect. Also art is very therapeutic paint your fears and anxiety as a way to release them!
Video FaceTime calls, live video feeds are being embraced by friends family and coworkers. Because during this time of social distancing it can feel pretty isolating so being able to see a familiar face is a definite welcome. I am not one who leaned on video calls in the past but during these days it has provided some relief and smiles seeing those I know and care about. We are alone together in this.
Giving Thanks. And to wrap this long post up — A great debt of gratitude to all of you essential workers like my mom who works in a grocery store and to all the Garbage men, Nurses, Doctors , pet food store workers and all essential front line people thank you! I hope people are grateful and kind to these folks. My mom has shared some unfortunate stories with people being unnerved and not so kind during this time. Let’s do our best and know we are all in this.
Stay safe, keep your distance and know you are not alone, we are separate but together and we will get through this ❤️😷Big love to all of you!
Additionally here is are some links that may provide some emotional support during this difficult time.
5 Emotional Precautions to Take During the Coronavirus Pandemic - https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2020/03/5-emotional-precautions-to-take-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
This mini episode of the One You Feed has a couple of really great breathing exercises to help calm a worried troubled mind. My favorite was the straw breathing technique ( breath in count to 4, hold for 8, exhale for 12 seconds — slow breaths like you are drinking through a straw). Take 15 minutes and give this show a listen I found it very soothing and it brought me comfort and relief: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-one-you-feed/id792555885?i=1000468429730