Tomorrow will be the first Monday, in this part of the world, that our lives will feel like they have come to a halt, or at the least feel really out-of-the-ordinary. We have a choice; we get to decide, is this a challenge or is this an opportunity? Never in a million years could any of us have imagined living real-life that mimics a Hollywood doomsday movie scene, but here we are with our doctors, nurses, first responders, etc. fighting the good fight on levels most of us cannot fathom. However, I think we can all agree on a number of things: (1) no one knows how long social distancing will need to continue; (2) it’s okay to be a little anxious; and (3) we’re all going to have to adjust, plain and simple.
This post by no means is me trying to tell you to suck it up, keep your shit together, or continue life as normal as possible, but I do want to emphasize that your mindset will be the thing that CAN get you through this with a lot less stress if you’re proactive and purposeful in preventing and/or managing it. I agree with those saying this is a great time to slow down, disconnect a bit from technology, when work allows, and spend time with the ones you care for most. If those people don’t live with you, set up a time to connect with them through one of many online meeting options. This time very well could create some of the best memories in our lives if we let it.
Keep up with the media and what is happening, but only to an extent. Remember that not all media is unbiased; be careful and selective in your information sources. We are in it now and reading every article or watching literally every press conference will drain you and possibly become a rabbit hole. If you are already anxious about this or dealing with depression and this seems incredibly overwhelming, reach out, no one is going to judge you! If you don’t have anyone close, then, please, reach out to me. There are so many other things you CAN be doing: read a book or two during this time that has been sitting by your bed for months that you “never have time to”; create that piece of art you have envisioned in your head for so long; do something you love and you are able to do from the comfort of your distanced area; BE BORED for a little bit; turn off your phone and lay in a hammock. If you are a small business owner create create create! We are all figuring out new ways to run our businesses and for some the creating part is the best part. Write everything down and implement ideas now or have some ready for when you are up and running like normal again. Drop off some healthy meals to your doctor, nurse and first responder friends to help them keep their immune system boosted rather than them running on fumes, grabbing whatever they can on-the-go. Send a handwritten note to your kids’ teachers with a simple thank you. Refresh your soul as much as you can because this will eventually be over and most will go back to their overly busy lives. Take this as an opportunity to breathe.
This time, I’m not “challenging” you, this is a CALL-TO-ACTION! I want you to be purposeful in doing these four (4) things this week though no matter how far into the social distancing/quarantining cycle you are in. (1) Within 20 minutes of waking up, I want you to make your bed! I have talked about the power of this and posted the speech from Admiral William H. McRaven before. Now that you are at home more often, it’s going to be really easy to climb back into bed and eat ice cream and watch TV. Make your bed so it will be a little harder to do so. (2) Within one hour of you waking up, get dressed in something other than what you slept in! I get that although I am up and don’t need to ease into the day often, people need coffee and a moment (cough, cough Brian Nedab). (3) Move your body at least 4x this week. Whether your are live streaming a workout, going for a run, or playing with your kids, just get your endorphins flowing. (4) Open your curtains and let the natural light in! Maybe even open the windows and get fresh air through your living space. If it rains one day or is snowing where you are, get some light in anyways!
We are all in this together no matter how scared or calm anyone is right now. Be compassionate and don’t throw judgment at people because everyone is figuring this out in their own way, with their own resources. Focus on what you can control this week and go from there.