So how are you doing?
This quarantine is pretty weird isn’t it?
I just found myself baking bread. BREAD. And I know I’m not alone.
People are doing all kinds of things they’ve never done before. This seems to be the ultimate in “I’ll do that someday.” Today is the new someday. I’ve seen friends picking up new habits, doing things they never had the time – or possibly the inclination – to do when we had our “regular” lives.
For some, this has been a somewhat stress-free time in which their regular schedule has given way to something a little more … relaxed. Others have had their stress multiplied by the loss of income, the care of children and other family members, by the Covid-19 virus itself. Someone said, and I believe it to be true – everyone is experiencing this time in different ways.
It’s interesting how it’s evolving, too. There was the initial wave of let’s-do-things-to-improve-ourselves-during-quarantine that seemed to characterize the beginning of the stay-at-home orders. That went on for a bit, and lots of people were learning new skills, doing really exciting and innovative things at home with their families, baking, cooking, learning new hobbies, videoing friends, and so on. Stores sold out of things like yeast and flour, not just the expected toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Some of those activities have continued, but the next phase seemed to be a it’s-ok-to-be-lazy-give-yourself-a-break time. People seemed to be repenting of their previous busyness and finding joy in doing nothing, binge-watching television or just sitting around in pyjamas and eating.
Now we seem to be in a more intense time – one characterized by a little bit of I’ve-had-it-with-quarantine. Some people
are actually protesting, in variance of the stay-at-home and social distancing directives. It’s understandable. This quarantine has been very hard on a very large group of people, and, while it seems to be effective at lessening the spread of the deadly virus, it sure has wreaked havoc with many people’s income. It makes sense that many would want to return to work, the quicker the better.
For others, the fear of the Covid-19 virus and it’s disastrous spread and consequences mean that it will be sometime before life returns to normal.
So, I repeat: How are you doing?
Here are some ideas to cope with this quarantine, no matter how short (or long) it is:
*If you are able, focus on family. Now is a wonderful time to build or strengthen bonds that may have been frayed by the busyness of our “normal” lives. Play together. Cook together. Take walks (observe social distancing rules from others). Do crafts or art. Binge-watch family friendly movies, shows or videos. The sky’s the limit.
*In that same vein, what about your relationship with the Creator of the Universe? Regardless of your previous relationship with God, He is waiting for you to turn to Him and renew, begin or refresh your friendship. Take time for Him now. Not only will that be an amazing thing moving forward but it will help you immeasurably to get through this crisis day by day. If you don’t know Him, please message me and I will help you find Him – He is waiting for you (you can find me at email@example.com).
Take time to do the regular things you always do. While it’s funny – and tempting – to stop showering, doing your hair or makeup or just walk around in sweat pants every day, that might not be the best thing to do. Many people find that when they follow their normal routines, they feel better. Dressing up for dinner sometimes is just fun.
Likewise, watch your sleep. Many of us are having disturbed sleep routines – whether it is sleeplessness or vivid dreams, it’s distressing. It helps to maintain some kind of ritual about bedtime: do the same things every night on your way to bed at the same approximate time. Sometimes it helps to have a hot caffeine-free drink at bedtime, to take a warm bath or shower, to limit screens for an hour beforehand, and to wind down with prayer or mediation.
Consider something you can do to record your thoughts and ideas at this time, because someday it WILL be over and you will NOT remember it the way you think you will. Journal. Blog (lol). Do arts or crafts that you will always have as memories of this time.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Obviously, it won’t be possible to learn skydiving at this moment, but what about scrapbooking? What about baking? What about … so many different things? With today’s plethora of information, it’s possible to learn almost anything at this time.
Watch what you put into your mind. There’s a lot of bad stuff out there too, and even stuff that might not be bad for everyone, but isn’t helpful for you. For instance, early in this crisis, I realized that watching the news wasn’t helpful for me. It’s not because I don’t believe it – I’m a news junkie and a former journalist, so I have respect for much of the news and I know most (of course not all) journalists are trying hard to report the news objectively and fairly. However, watching how many people across the world were dying and how we in America might be critically short of ventilators just did not help me. I am powerless to help any of that. I have begun to watch again, now that the news is not unrelentingly awful (thought it’s still bad enough). Know what you can handle with news sources and social media. Don’t be afraid to opt out for however long you need to.
There are as many ideas about how to survive and thrive in this Covid-19 crisis as there are writers, and my ideas are only scratching the surface. Find what makes you be ok, and do that as long as it is good and right to do.
If you struggle, and you need a helping hand, listening ear and loving heart, give us a call. We are 100% online and waiting to help you.
We help grieving individuals, distressed kids and teens and couples in conflict find peace, solutions and connection.
Sanctuary Christian Counseling