Here in the south we are no strangers to the phenomenon of hurricanes and all that comes along with that. Hurricanes mean ambient anxiety, bottles of water, alarmist newscasts and spots of financial fear. In those times there are flashes of worst case scenario imagery and lots of phone calls to loved ones. Many texts. That’s in the best case scenario. The coronavirus situation is similar in many ways but its differences are rattling. How long will it last? Its as if there’s an invisible enemy lurking all around. That’s how this feels. We are being haunted in the night and day. If we aren’t careful we could kill our own loved ones indirectly. Haunted and booby trapped globally. Taken from us are many of the things that make us feel better: hugs, routine, fitness classes, support groups, drinking in public (well, that’s still happening to date but drunkenly slobbering and bumping into people will most certainly enrage the ghost). Its enough to unnerve the Pope.
I didn’t feel like I had a lot of helpful advice on this topic because its scary and big and makes everyone feel small but then the drive thru bank teller told me (unprovoked) that “the best thing to do is go outside”. She reminded me of the what I tell myself and people I work with all the time! Here is the easy to remember list of “ways to make yourself feel better”: 1) Move your body (lots of ways to do this – choose your own, appropriately distanced adventure) 2) Go outside (thank you bank lady! Good reminders can come from anywhere. Same distance thing applies) 3) Get around people – this one can be modified to talking on the phone or in virtual meetings (Zoom has really hit the jackpot with this pandemic). These activities just bring us back to who we are biologically and how we function best as physically active, social creatures of the Earth. Our body and mind are rewarded naturally when we plug back into who we are made to be.
The last thing I want to say is that it is normal to be scared/anxious. It is part of the emotional cycle of life during times like this. Fighting it will just help it to grow. Allow yourself to cry or scream or vent. Honor how you are feeling because its for a good, real reason. Allow the feelings to wash over you, even if just for a moment or two. Get curious about how they live in your body instead of the story your brain makes up about what it means about you. It doesn’t mean anything. It just means you’re paying attention. Then call someone and ask them how they are. Bake cookies. Dance. Sing. Draw. Know you’re not alone.
For reasonable and sane reporting on this and hurricanes see: http://www.enkiops.org/blog/