The thing about being an introvert and being told to hunker down is that it’s almost like being told, “Hey, just be yourself.” Finally! You mean I can just stay home and binge read, watch TV, clean my apartment, go for a walk in the park, go down to the beach, drink some wine, make some soup and chili and I don’t have to feel guilty about not doing SOMETHING Instagram worthy?
It would seem the most important thing to control during this pandemic, as is true every single day, is our own thoughts.
A friend told me that she heard this cool thing. The word Pandemic can be broken down with the middle syllable “dem” — which originates from Greek and means “people” — and when you take out the people or “dem” in Pandemic whaddya got? Panic! Pan-DEM-ic! Very clever! And accurate.
Here’s a few suggested diversions to lower the panic, you dems you!
- In B.C., keep up to date on what’s happening in your community by listening to Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, on the local news as they report out daily, often at 3:00 p.m. or on the Government of BC Facebook page.
- Then again, be aware of how much time you’re spending getting freaked out by broadcast and social media.
- Watch the emotional eating and ramp up the self-care. If you’re scarfing down cupcakes and other crap like I was on Friday night like you’re the winner of a zombie apocalypse emotional eating contest, you might decide that now is a good time to focus on extreme self-care.
- Forget the toilet paper, buy some greens and avocados and get your guerrilla Dr. Gundry warfare on. Take your Vitamin C and organic spirulina.
- Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Look at the flowers, take photographs which requires your mind to focus on the present and on only what’s in front of you.
- Don’t go to a big box store or stand in a long line-up for food surrounded by all those people who have not kept their panic at bay.
- Try to practice the 2 metre rule of distancing yourself from people – that’s 6 feet.
- If you’re feeling super anxious, start doing boxed breathing.
- If you’ve meditated in the past but stopped, this seems like a good time to breathe in, breathe out, stay focused on your breath.
- Read a book – Check in on some Canadian authors at Canada Reads.
- Make some soup from scratch and freeze it.
- Write in a journal knowing you’re documenting an historic event in human history.
- Seems like a good time to get back to the practice of the gratitude journal or just take time each evening to think of three things you’re grateful for – apparently just the process of seeking out those three things is good for your brain and can help you focus on your “wealth.”
- Think about what arts organizations really need your support through this and purchase a ticket or give a donation.
- Listen to public radio – CBC, NPR in the States.
- Take an afternoon nap if you can, alone, or even better, with company.
- Watch a movie, preferably a comedy, not Contagion.
- Listen to some great jazz or blues or whatever you like best, maybe one of those “poor me” country tunes.
- Find some podcasts that you’d like to start following.
- Do your taxes (Yuk for sure, but it is that time of year).
- Clean your house in a way you never get around to.
- Do that chore at home you’ve been putting off for months.
- Kondo your closet.
- Play a board game or throw a baseball back and forth in a nearby park with your kids or your dog.
- Call your friends or family who live elsewhere using whatever technology you can.
- Make a Femo monster of the virus and smash it afterwards. Okay. A little weird, but could be fun. And the video is hilarious (to me)!
- Yesterday, I was speaking over video chat with my 96 year old friend who I now feel, because of her vulnerability to the virus, I shouldn’t go visit. While we haven’t quite perfected our use of the technology, we’ll get there. And as she so succinctly said, “What am I supposed to do, dig a hole, take some food and jump in?” The answer? “No. Don’t do that! Not yet, anyway. You’ve excelled at aging. Hang in there!”
- Research where you want to go when we get past this, even if it takes months.
- Mostly, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, follow the recommendations and for now, remind yourself that in this moment you are safe. Focus on how well you are right in this moment and focus on the facts, not forecasting the worst. And carry on.
If you insist, here’s a few links to be over-informed by:
BC Centre for Disease Control:
Infection Prevention and Control – Canada
How it spreads: (If you have high anxiety, don’t read this link).