It’s getting a bit tense. I saw you in yoga this morning, brows furrowed even as you reluctantly allowed yourself an hour of peace. I passed you in the grocery with your shoulders near to your ears, chewing on your lip because you can’t touch your face. I got your text, and what it said, and more importantly what it didn’t say, what was in between the words.
I wish I could hug you right now, but I’m supposed to keep my distance.
Hey, I get it. The world is a shaky, unstable place with no consistent rhyme or reason. All of our plans are up in the air. Depending on the source, the coronavirus epidemic is either being blown out of proportion or it’s the beginning of the end. There’s less and less in between these days, isn’t there?
I wish I could hug you right now, but my foundation is struggling, too.
I’m not going to argue where we are or whether decisions being made are the right ones. I’m not even going to bring them up. What’s the point? This is like Katrina again, like another hurricane, but with power. It may be a Cat 1 or a Cat 5, it may last days or weeks, we are watching the projections. But they may shift.
So we are left focusing on what we can control, afraid of what we cannot. Our businesses are suffering. Events we worked toward or looked forward to are being cancelled. We are losing money. We may be in quarantine with our kids. We are scared. We are angry. We are frustrated.
I wish I could hug you right now, but I need to wash my hands.
I don’t have a lot to offer, virtual hugs and a few pieces of advice I’m trying to follow myself, but please remember you are not alone. And you are strong. I can’t hug you right now, but here’s how I’m taking care of myself. I hope it helps you, too.
Maintain as much Normalcy as Possible
Keep your schedule, and your kids’ schedules, as regular as possible. If an event gets cancelled, find something to do as a family around the house. I have some organization projects in mind that, should we be stuck indoors, I plan to finally finish – and the kids are helping, too.
Take Care of Yourself
Hot baths, workouts (at home or in studio), healthy meals. If you made a plan for lent (for example I am currently abstaining from alcohol and coffee), keep that plan intact. There’s no sense feeling like a failure in light of everything that is happening. But if you feel like you want (or need) coffee every day, or the occasional glass of wine, then indulge without guilt.
Choose Your Sources Wisely (and Limit Exposure to Them)
Look for unbiased, expert information and check it on a routine that also maintains your sanity and anxiety levels. Try to avoid going down the social media rabbit hole. Don’t read the comments. Take personal commentary with a grain of salt. It’s amazing how many medical and environmental “experts” have suddenly popped up in your Facebook feed, right?
Talk to a Few Friends
Keeping your concerns bottled up compounds them, and will further feed that anxious feeling sitting in your stomach. Find a few rational, level-headed folks you can chat with – or your spouse – and keep an open line of communication. Let it out when you need to, without giving it control.
I wish I could hug you all, but I can’t. But “social isolation” is a heavy phrase, and it doesn’t sit well with me at all. So hug your spouse, hug your kids, and hug those trusted friends. You are not alone, we are all in this together. Take a deep breath, and go wash those hands.