What a difference a few weeks can make! As with most people I know, the last month has been spent at home with my family as we self-isolate; our living space has become a workplace and school. We hope daily, like the rest of the world, for a return to normalcy, to routine, and to everything else we took for granted. Our weekdays and weekends have melded into one and weariness has set in. We miss human contact. We miss family and friends. We miss our freedom to come and go without thought, planning or a set of gloves in our pockets. We miss being able to go to a grocery store and not wait in line. We miss being able to walk next to someone without a mutual fear of catching a virus. There are days I feel like we are in the midst of an apocolypse. It is as if we are at war but our enemy is something we cannot see. And we worry. We worry about who we know who will fall ill. We worry about businesses that will not survive. We worry about the long term economic impact. How long will it take us to recover, as individuals and as a nation?
There is more uncertainty than I care to acknowledge right now, but I've come to realize that if we hope to function in this 'temporary new normal', we need to remove what we can't control from the equation.
We need to focus on what we can control and what we are grateful for. Each day, find one thing to be thankful for. Write it down. Say it out loud. Be grateful for the health of your loved ones, having people who love and care for and about you, the roof over your head and the food on your table. When it comes down to it, those are the only things that really matter.
Create a routine. Whatever that might be; something to give you a reason to get up in the morning and begin a new day different from the one before. Reach out to family and friends virtually. It's not quite the same as in person, but it does provide human interaction. Reach out to those in need. Look after your neighbour who needs help or groceries or a meal. Reach out to seniors in your life who are especially feeling isolated right now. Exercise. Read that book you have been wanting to read but never had time to. Try a new recipe or ten. Enjoy the outdoors when the weather is good. Spend time with those who are home with you; when this is over and everyone gets back to work and school and friends, you may long for that time when everyone ate a meal together. And remember, this too shall pass; one day, this experience will simply be a distant memory.
Stay safe, and stay home. #flattenthecurve.