As we’re all too well aware, this is an incredibly trying time filled with fear and uncertainty. I can’t scroll past 2 posts on any social media site without getting bombarded with negativity… and as someone who both struggles with anxiety AND does social media for a living let me tell you, it’s not fun.
I get it, this is most certainly a negative situation we’re all in here. It’s uncharted territory and many of the things we used to use to help with our anxiousness are now unavailable. But here’s the deal: Just because we’re not physically showing up, doesn’t mean we can’t show up emotionally.
Let me get the biggest and most obvious part out of the way so we can move on: The biggest way we can show Love in the Time of Corona is to practice social-distancing. If you do decide to go out, make sure the place you’re going is doing all of the necessary spacing and sanitizing. Give others space! Hopefully, close-talkers should finally get the hint we’ve been trying to give them for a long time now. You’re not being brave by thinking you’re invincible, you’re being brave by putting others above yourself. Keeping a safe distance from or not showing up and possibly spreading infection to vulnerable people around you is an incredible act of love and selflessness. But you know all of this already, it’s all that anyone’s talking about!
Good! Now that we’re all practicing social-distancing, let’s all stare at our phones, circulate anxiety-inducing photos of empty store shelves, and incite arguments to make this global pandemic all about your discomfort about having to stay home!
No, but seriously.. If we’re going to be self-quarantining to keep our physical bodies healthy the least we can do is make sure we’re being kind to our mental and emotional health as well.
So, with all this time at home, I want to challenge us all to show Love in the Time of Corona. Here are a few ways I’ve been working on it and feel free to share your own ideas!
– When washing your hands for 20 seconds, you may be a little bored of singing Happy Birthday to yourself (twice). Life sure doesn’t feel like a birthday party right now. Instead, think of 10 things you’re grateful for. 10 people you love, 10 of your favorite places, 10 celebrity crushes. Whatever good thing pops in your head, this is an easy way to actively practice gratitude for the little things throughout your day.
– Buy a gift certificate to your favorite local businesses. Local restaurants and small businesses usually operate on a small margin. Their livelihood depends on guests and their employees depend on tips. By purchasing a gift card or getting takeout or delivery, you can help give our local businesses the support they need NOW. Then, redeem your gift cards and enjoy your favorite places again without a worry when this all blows over! Don’t forget: TIP WELL.
– Make a playlist of songs that make you happy. My Quarantunes consist of everything from Stevie Wonder to Lauren Daigle to Sublime.
– Donate to organizations that are making an impact by providing food and shelter for those without, or that are helping those who are struggling when many jobs are in limbo. Donating to a worthy cause that helps those who are affected most right now is a great way to be a part of the positive impact. Maybe even look into getting meals delivered to those working in healthcare who are on the frontlines.
– Remember that fun is not cancelled, especially if you’ve got kids at home. It just may look a little different. Seek out the things that you can easily access that distract from what’s going on for a little. If you need some ideas for kids at home, Click for the list of ideas I created last week.
– Check in. FaceTime or call your people. Especially for those who live alone, it’s important to stay connected to your community. Even a short FaceTime call or chat can help bring us together.
– I’ve seen a post going around encouraging families to send pictures and letters to those in nursing homes who can’t see visitors right now which is certainly a very sweet idea but… Let’s think about it a bit. They can’t see visitors because they’re quarantining so it doesn’t seem like the smartest idea to send potentially-germ-filled letters to them. So, look into emailing photos or cards to them that they can print out at the centers OR even send in a short video!
– Give words of affirmation. This is a very lonely time for all of us. Take a couple extra seconds to send a text or email to a friend or family member and let them know some things you appreciate about them.
– Dance. To get my body moving and admittedly, laugh at myself a little, I’ve been having fun doing Just Dance videos from YouTube . These, and so many other beginner-advanced fitness dance videos on the internet are a great way to get the jitters out, stay healthy, and forget about the bad things for a bit.
– Send some love to your friends who may be hurting. I know 4 separate couples who had to cancel or postpone their weddings this weekend alone. There are many more to come. My heart goes to them and everyone else who has had to cancel or radically change a very exciting time in their life: Weddings, Senior Year, Concerts, Sporting Events, Parties. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. But by doing so, they’re helping care for the people around them. Send some love to your friends who are incredibly disappointed right now: Venmo or send them money for their favorite take-out meal, have flowers delivered, or even just a thoughtful text. Let them know you appreciate their selflessness and can’t wait to celebrate with them at a better time.
– On the other end, think about your friends who work in the tourism/events industry. Who are bombarded with cancellations, disappointments, and unpredictability. Do what you can to support them, as well. Even just by sharing a post supporting their business or telling them that you see and love them.
– Watch a movie that makes you tap into unapologetic, unbridled joy. For me, that looks like musicals. Specifically, Singin’ In The Rain and The Sound of Music. For you, that could be something like your favorite Disney classic or your go-to slapstick comedy.
– Don’t buy enough toilet paper, water, and wipes, to last an entire year. Just, stop it.
– Write a diary or journal. Not only is this a healthy way to get all of your bottled up frustrations, nerves, and qualms out but it’s much better than angrily posting on Facebook all day. Not to mention, years from now, when this is all behind us: You’ll be able to look back and reflect on this unprecedented time.
– Thank people. Thank the grocery store employees who are doing the best with what they’ve been given, thank the healthcare workers who are working ridiculous hours and anticipating the worst, genuinely and kindly thank those whose jobs cannot stop solely for our own needs. They’re all pillars in a very unsteady time. Be extra kind, and thank them.
– Stay offline, unplug, do something good. I know it’s important to stay up-to-date with the news and to be aware of the latest developments, but it’s just as important to be aware of your “I need to step away” meter. There’s a lot of info out there, and a lot of negativity. When it seems a bit much to handle, log off. Unplug for a bit, turn off the news, close the apps. Open a book, go through your closet, take a nap. Whatever makes you feel centered, do it for yourself.
Spread goodness, not germs. Practice Love in the Time of Corona.
Photos from Unsplash.com