Is one day merging into another? Are you thinking about if this will ever be over, not when? Does your dog give you the evil eye when you get the leash? Have you begun to reminisce about the good old days when you could go to a restaurant, grocery store, friend’s house without a mask, gloves nestled on your face and hands, and fear in your heart? Do you want to throw a rock through your computer so you don’t have to do one more Zoom call? Do you constantly wonder how the president can sleep at night with all that blood on his hands keeping him awake?
Mmmmm. I feel you.
So, what to do? How to greet the days with a hopeful smile and not a desire to pull up the covers for another round of Ground Hog Day.
Here are the things that have been getting me through this thing. Maybe they will help you. Maybe they won’t. Better than nothing and reading this will take up some of the too much time you have on your hands right now.
- Be seriously nice to yourself. I always find this stupid when I read it in an advice column, but you know what, this is a good thing to do, especially for the sensitive among us (who me? UH HUH). You don’t have to be the most productive. You don’t have to turn out gourmet meals for the fam every night or become Martha Stewart of the laundry room. You don’t have to best this thing. You just have to get through it and stay sane.I have lots of days where I’m just not accomplishing what I think I ought to be able to, but I’ve given up on chastising myself. Now If one day is productive, yay for me, if another is not, I don’t condemn myself to cleaning the toilet for the next two years.
- Connect with your people. Sometimes it can even feel hard to do this, but I’m going to get all parental and say,”Do it or go to your room.” Connection is the lifeblood of a good life. In the end it all comes down to those you love. While you might have to isolate physically, don’t isolate emotionally. A phone call is better than nothing. A socially distanced walk will do.
- Set goals. Hey, if you’re up for it, set a lofty one, but if not, how bout getting your tupperware situation under control? (I have too many bottoms and not enough tops and I don’t know where those tops are, but I imagine they are mingling with the orphan socks that go into the laundry, but mysteriously never come out). How about taking an online class, or learning another language (Duolingo is great). Give yourself a homemade facial, start a blog. Doing something that you might not be able to do because you more or less can’t do the things you normally would do can make you feel like this is an opportunity instead of a punishment.
- Make fun of the president. Nothing boosts your immune system like laughing and never has their been a president who does more stupid things in the history of the office. Follow Sarah Cooper. Your welcome!
- Do something nice for someone else. This always makes me feel better than the person I’m doing the thing for. When I was little I never understood the “It’s better to give than to receive” saying. But as an adult, I’ve learned it’s the money shot. It doesn’t even have to be a big thing. Ask a neighbor if they need anything at the store. Send a snail mail card to a friend (I have a friend who keeps mailing me the cutest cards and it really perks up my day). Call or text someone you haven’t been in touch with for a long time. And if you want to do something nice for the entire country, because you don’t like the current leadership (or total and complete lack thereof) do something with one of the many organizations that are out there, like Force Multiplier. Do something, anything to make someone else happy and you’ll get the mood boost.
- Think about what you’re grateful for every day, not just Tuesdays, or once a month. (What, like you’re reading the gratitudeathon, and you didn’t think I was going to tell you to get your gratitude in check?) This is a no-bullshit, free, accessible way to help yourself rise up. Set a time to do it. Sit your hiney down and think about the good in your life. Again, it doesn’t have to be a big thing, just something you can identify as positive. Focus on that thing. My son is home from California and will be here for at least another month. He could never be here like this if it weren’t for crazy Corona and the fact that his agency isn’t going back to the office until 2021. Booyah! Gratitude gone mad. I’m thankful every single day for this one.
Yeah, so that’s about it. This thing is hard. I know there are many people out there who aren’t doing well and it makes me terribly sad. And I will be honest and say that I’m not doing well every day. I have awful down days where I just want to scream at my husband (he seems to be the best target), stop being a responsible adult, abandon my work and run away with the dog. But I’m pretty sure this is normal under these abnormal times. So, whatever you’re feeling is acceptable (I mean, except if you’re can’t move from bed depressed, send out an S.O.S and get some professional help). Take care of yourself, whatever that means for you. This cannot last forever. It will probably last for a while and continue to change our lives for a good long time, but not forever. Nope, it can’t last forever. (and neither can Trump’s presidency either. Talk about gratitude!)