Life is different today. Here’s how we are going to get through this together.
Most events are canceled or postponed at this point. Those that can work from home are, and where the schools are closed, many more are now home with their kids wondering what’s next.
There’s a lot of information spreading out there and not all of it saying the same thing. There’s a very real challenge to make sense of what’s going on and in relation to the current situation, we ask ourselves, “what do we do next?”
This Covid19 virus has revealed to us many things we already knew but perhaps have forgotten in the normal business of life as it once was.
First, we are all connected. All of our lives are intertwined in so many ways through so many levels. This virus and its effects on what life now looks like is not just a local problem. This is not an issue with a few countries far away somewhere. What we are experiencing now will affect all of us and is the stark reminder of how connected we all are to one another. This is a good reminder because it is through working together and cooperation that we will all create the way forward.
Second, you are responsible for your own health and wellbeing. This again has always been true but now as we start to see our institutions stressed by the weight of this pandemic or our large formal governing bodies respond, or don’t, to what is needed, we are reminded that our own sovereignty is just that, our own.
So here we are, all connected, and in charge, but still stuck at home with the kids. So what do we do?
We start by YOU taking responsibility for YOU. You get to choose how you will respond and act in this situation. You are in charge of your health and can play a large part in the health of those closest to you. You are the one to lead your family and set the example for those around you.
STAY AT HOME
By now if you’ve been watching the news or been on social media, you’ve seen the posts about flattening the curve. This is THE BEST way to handle this situation right now and it is critical that you isolate you and your family RIGHT NOW. For those working on the front lines of healthcare or in positions where you cannot work from home, please take any and all precautions to keep you and your family safe during this time.
This is going to be hard. The rest of the world looks the same outside. The fear is not imminent or at your doorstep like a natural disaster. It’s very easy to dismiss it and say things like, “the media is blowing this out of proportion, or I probably won’t get it, and even if I do, I’ll be fine,” but as we were reminded, this is not just about you and you are connected to everyone else. The more we allow this to spread, the longer this lasts and the more people will get sick and die. It may not be you, but it may be someone in your family that you love. It will certainly be someone who has a family and they will be deeply impacted by the choices and actions you take right now. We are all in this together and we only get through this if we remember that and act accordingly. Stay inside. Avoid ANY and ALL unnecessary travel outside.
Social distancing is going to feel weird.
It’s unfamiliar. It's uncomfortable. Once you put in barriers of things we should not do, there is a very real side of us that wants to push back against those. This is where you remember that you are in charge and you are able to choose how you respond to this.
Choose to do what is right for you, your family and for the millions of people in your communities that are counting on everyone to play their part. Physically isolate yourself and your family as much as possible but remember to not stay socially isolated. Now more than ever it's important to reach out to your neighbors, friends, and loved ones around the world and check in on them and see how they are doing. We will need the connections, conversations and support of all those within our circles to get through this.
Conversations will not be canceled
Relationships will not be canceled
Love will not be canceled
Songs will not be canceled
Reading will not be canceled
Self-Care will not be canceled
Hope will not be canceled
Connect with those near you
Check-in on your elderly and disabled neighbors and ask how you can support them during this. Allow them to stay in their house and run errands for food and medication that they might need so they can stay home. Connect with neighbors on the Nextdoor app or other social channels and ask them what they need.
Stock up on what you need, but not more
Buy what you need but not more. Panic introduced on top of this situation is not helpful. Purchase what you need to stay at home, but do not panic-buy or hoard resources from those others in your neighborhood that also need them. Share what you have with those where you can.
Keep your system healthy
You are going to be inside for a while. Get good food and eat good food. If you stock up on junk food, you will eat junk food. If you normally do not cook meals at home, take this time to learn to and cook healthy meals for you and your family. Once again, YOU are in charge of this part of your life. Eating good healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, and getting sunlight and exercise will help keep your system healthy through this and will help reduce the stress this has no doubt created in your life.
Create a healthy schedule and routine
Create the best schedule for you right now. If you are going to work from home and have kids at the house, it's important to create a schedule for yourself. Set a time to work. Set a time to play with the kids and engage with them. Put the time in your calendar to exercise every day. This is going to be a stressful time for a lot of people. Make time each day to turn off the news, put down the social media and get outside for some sunlight and exercise. Still try to avoid groups of people as much as possible, but get out. Go for a walk. Go for a run. Hike a trail. There are a lot of activities you can do that still limit contact with others and this is going to be tremendously helpful for your mental and physical health.
Take care of your mental health.
It’s not just exercise you need. Start each day with a meditation and a look at what you want to create that day. Do not jump right into the news or social media. This will immediately get you into the sympathetic nervous system and set up your day for more stress. Make time each day to turn off the news and social media and just breathe. Make time to meditate and calm down your mind. Make time to connect with your loved ones and see how they are doing. Ask them how they are feeling with all of this. Support them in what they need to get through this. Just knowing there are others that are thinking about us goes a long way here.
Source: Greater Good
The MOST important thing you will teach your kids during this time
Having your kids in your house for the next 4-6 weeks is going to be a challenge. The good news is you have access to the internet and can find learning activities for all ages and groups to help keep them occupied and learning. Remember, the most important thing you will be teaching your kids is by showing them how you react to situations that come up in our life that will test us. How you chose to show up and respond during this time will be THE MOST IMPORTANT lesson your children will ever learn and will serve them well into their future.
This is going to shake things up. It already has. Life is going to be different for a little while. Things may get hard for a minute, but you are up for the challenge. We all are, if we work together.