It was hard to know what to say my April 2020 newsletter, especially since this morning I brought in 1/2 of the groceries I ordered wearing a mask I usually reserve for spraying oven cleaner. As a person in a high-risk category, I haven’t dared go to a store in many weeks.
I have alternated between being scared, hopeful, and angry (to mention a few emotions). I’ve washed my hands so many times my knuckles are raw. I’ve done lots more virtual meetings. I’ve had my income affected. I’ve wondered about the future. I’ve dressed myself up, and I’ve sat around in PJ’s until 2 pm. I’ve crossed the street to avoid being too close to another person. I’ve realized just how many times a day I’m tempted to touch my face. I’ve reached out to friends. I’ve thought of many things I’m grateful for. Like you, I’m doing the best I can under the circumstances.
That said, I do have a few tips for you. These are based on my own experience as someone who continues to (successfully!) deal with chronic illness, anxiety, and depression:
- Stay “informed enough”. I found that what works for me is to catch up on news one day, and then take a day off. And be careful not to overdose on information the day you’re taking it in: perhaps limit how many sources or how much time.
- Do “the next thing”. Tasks (related to work, home, family, etc.) have become even more blurred. Make lists if it helps you, but I find that asking myself, “OK, what’s the ONE thing I will do now?” Listen to what comes up, and don’t argue with yourself or procrastinate. Just go do the thing. When it’s done, ask the question again. (Also, it’s OK if the answer is: watch a Netflix show!) You’ll intuitively “get” what you need to do for your own self-care.
- Move yourself. Physically moving your body (in a way that you enjoy!!) is absolutely necessary. It’s not just about getting exercise; it’s about processing all the energy that’s being thrown at your mind-body system. I found a kick-ass 3 mile walk the other day (and I do mean “kick-ass”–it’s mostly up-hill!).
Do you have tips for dealing with what’s currently happening? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below or send me a message. And while you’re here, check out some of my online programs. I hope they’ll help support your physical, mental, and emotional health in the upcoming weeks.
Be safe & be well,