It feels at this moment that chaos has arrived in our lives, like an unexpected and unwanted guest as COVID-19 circles the globe. Chaos invariably commingles with fear and anxiety and leaves us feeling unsettled.
Like you, we’re worried and anxious. We’re concerned for our family and friends scattered near and far and fearful about how this might jolt our community for which small businesses and tourism are the economic lifeblood. And of course, we’re troubled about how this pandemic might impact our business and team members.
The world feels out of our control which is unsettling. So, we’re calming ourselves with daily reminders to look for the beauty, potential, and love that’s invariably hidden in the chaos. We’re embracing positive mantras, and reminding ourselves that this too shall pass. Most of all, we’re trying to focus on what we can control, and what we are able to do to take care of ourselves and others in these trying times.
Here are some ideas we want to share with you.
Spread Love Not Fear
Share hopeful messages online whenever possible and resist the urge to spread shocking headlines. Social media posts in Italy and Spain of people singing and playing music on their balconies this last week reminded us that humans possess an indefatigable capacity for joy and a deep magnitude of resilience.
Stay Home If You Can
Take personal responsibility, to the best of your ability, for keeping everyone safe. It’s important that those of us who are less likely to suffer the most severe consequences of this pandemic consider the impact of our actions on those around us. We urge you to read and share this funny, yet serious, call to action on your social media.
Create Community & Stay Connected
Get creative about how we can create a community when we can’t physically be together. Connect with others via phone, chat or facetime. Reach out to friends you haven’t talked to in a while. Check-in on your neighbors. Start a virtual book club. Remind yourself and others that we’re not alone and that we’re loved.
Take Some Extra Time For Self-Care
Accept that this is a scary time and that it’s okay to feel your feelings, that they’re valid, shared and relevant. Think of self-care like putting on your airplane oxygen mask first so you don’t pass out while trying to help others who depend on you. Maybe start a journal or kick off a meditation practice.
There are many online resources available for calming minds. One of our favorites is an app called Ten Percent Happier: Meditation For Fidgety Skeptics. It offers a fun and accessible introductory course to daily meditation.
Find Silver Linings
There are always silver linings, even in the darkest of times. Did you know that William Shakespeare wrote King Lear while he was in quarantine? We don’t know how yet, but people will do things that transform the world for the better during this crisis. Maybe one of those people will be you?
So scavenge for bright spots and be a lighthouse for others. Ponder how you can intentionally cultivate goodness. After all, you might have extra time at your disposal, which is the most precious, non-renewable resource there is.
Unplug & Uplift
Block out the anxiety-inducing media hysteria. Find one or two reputable sources for information about the outbreak and then turn off the rest. You do need relevant and true information to protect yourself and your love ones, but you don’t need to be a COVID-19 expert or to stay abreast of every unpleasant detail.
Instead, consume entertainment that makes you feel good. Re-watch series you love with your family, like Gilmore Girls. Or, watch uplifting movies like A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood and bookmark YouTube videos that make you laugh.
Create, Play & Learn
Transmuting your stress and suffering into art is one of the most beautiful forms of alchemy.
Give yourself permission to pursue interests for their own sake, beyond any monetary value.
Rest & Nest
The world is closed until former notice so give yourself permission to hibernate. Take more bubble baths, naps and enjoy many cups of tea.
This time of forced cocooning is also the ideal moment to beautify your home or clear it of clutter. It’s the perfect time to create a gallery wall.
Nature is the ultimate healer. Outside where you don’t have to touch anything or come into contact with others, is the safest place. Hike, bike and swim. Explore parks, running trails and go to the beach. The roots, the dirt, the bees will remind you that the world is not in fact ending and that life will go on, just as it has for millions of years.
Be A Helper
Fred Rogers famously said that his mother would tell him to "always look for the helpers" when a catastrophe occurred. "There will always be helpers," he said, citing medical workers and others who come into a troubled situation. "Because if you look for the helpers, you'll know there's hope."
Look for and support the helpers. Send them a gift or a meal. Give extra-big smiles and tips to people working on the front lines in grocery stores, pharmacies, and food delivery services. Check-in on your neighbors.
Find ways to support people for whom the economic stresses associated with the pandemic are daunting. If you can afford to, send money or supplies to struggling friends and neighbors, donate to food banks or start a Go Fund Me.
Help the people who don’t have the option to take time off of work or work remotely, or who now find themselves out of work. Help people who don’t have the resources to stockpile food and buy only what you need.
Remember that we’re all in this together and that we are all connected by love.
Have a beauty-full day!
Don, Suzanne, Amy & The Cedar Mountaineers