My son sent me a text with a pic attached from his local Costco. He was standing in a long line that snaked all the way back to the meat section. He reported that people were buying incredible amounts of food and they were out of all their paper products and water. He thought it was comical that people were hoarding water since everyone has access and will continue to have access to fresh water.
Yet, when he got to the front of the line, the worker asked him if he wanted the available bottled water at the counter. Someone had decided against it and left it at the register. He excitedly accepted the water and felt accomplished that he had scored big.
Now, his sane mind told him that he didn’t need this water. However, emotions can apparently be strong motivators. Look around and you can see how this fear can become contagious. I’m sure you see it daily in the grocery stores. Yesterday, I saw people running through a Kroger to snag one of the last available toilet paper packs.
There is no denying that this is a scary time filled with uncertainty. You don’t know from day to day how things are going to change. And the truth is that human beings really don’t like change. Your patterns, routines and habits have all been upended. Kids are out of school, parents are working from home, and all your usual services and supports are closed. All of this combined can make you feel a complete loss of control.
So what can you do about it? Here’s a couple ideas to help you through this time.
Establish a schedule and new routines in your daily life. Getting exercise and going to the gym daily helps me stay sane. It makes me feel energized for the rest of the day. With the gyms closed, I knew that I needed to establish a new healthy routine. Two days this week I was able to go for a walk outside, and the others, I jumped on the treadmill. The exercise coupled with getting “out of the house”, helped me immensely.
Monitor the amount of time that you spend on Social Media and news. It’s important to stay informed, but too much information can make you feel overwhelmed and can heighten anxiety. I have noticed that when I overconsume news, I become distracted easily and have difficult focusing. When you feel that happening, walk away from your computer and become involved in a different task that’s pleasurable.
Reach out and connect with others
I crave interaction with others. Therefore, staying in my house can feel like a punishment. Make a point to reach out to friends and family as much as possible. Contact that friend you haven’t talked to forever. Check on your elderly neighbor that doesn’t have family in town. With so much technology that enables us to connect, there’s no excuse for not reaching out. Be creative, make a plan and take action.
Focus on doing good for others
Being isolated in the house can lead us to some extraordinary “overthinking”. It can take you back in time, looking at your failures, or worrying about things yet to happen. The best cure for this is to redirect that energy in helping others in need. How can you give back during this time of need? How can you use your talents to help people that are currently struggling?
It’s easy for us to get lost in the moment and feel like this time will last forever. Remind yourself that this is not forever, and this is just a moment in time. If you have too, say this out loud to yourself, when you are having a low moment.
We will all this through this time together.