I know many people right now are working through ways to adapt to the new world of social distancing, working from home and, in some places, shelter in home. These words often seem frightful or can be anxiety inducing. Our instinct is to press the “pause button” on our lives as they were before COVID-19.
We have had to stop seeing our friends and family, going to school, eating out, going to the movie or even grocery shopping. I know my first thoughts were, “I just need to pause my life for a little while then I can go back to normal when this is over.”
What I’ve come to realize is that we cannot pause life in good times or bad times (including during COVID-19). I have heard phrases like “wait it out,” “stay home until this date,” and “we’ll get back to our lives soon.” This creates an unhealthy expectation that we can resume life as normal once COVID-19 ends.
Unfortunately, we can never go back in our lives to the time before COVID-19. This is not meant to scare anyone, but to be open about our inability to travel backwards. Life is always marching forward and we, sometimes, are caught trying to keep up with it. After COVID-19 we will likely see some lasting social, emotional, and national changes. We will not forget this time and the feelings we felt. Things may look similar, but we will forever be changed.
Taking a “pause” in life implies that you can press “play” once this is over. This may set people up for more hardship after COVID-19. There is no way to pick back up right where we left off. Instead, don’t pause. Keep going and engaging in this current way of life. Here is a short list of ways to continue to live and thrive despite the ongoing limitations and chaos associated with this virus.
Wear a (fun) mask.
Wearing cloth masks has been recommended by the CDC as the virus can travel when speaking with others. We do not have to have boring masks though. Let’s get some masks we can draw on, use a funky fabric, tie dye, or even add some sequins.
Spend time outside.
This can be literally anywhere you can get some fresh air and sunshine. It is healthy for us to get outside every day for a minimum of 10 minutes. Allow yourself that time to avoid getting cabin fever.
Go for a (socially-distanced) walk.
This one is especially great for families. Walks are a great place to exercise your creativity. Take some chalk and create hearts for the #HeartHunter or your neighborhood. Take a nature walk with a scavenger hunt, try to identify different plants, find different types or rocks or leaves.
This is one of the best times to try out a new hobby or revisit an old one. Watch Youtube for some lessons in drawing, painting, or crafting. Learn to sew or cross stitch, learn some Tik Tok dances. Have fun and let your imagination run wild.
This goes without saying, and it’s been said many times before. I have been challenging others to come up with as many ways to connect with others at as distance as they possible could. I have heard of watching Netflix while Skyping, sending paper airplanes, mailing artwork or projects back and forth, or a collaborative project with people between homes.
At the end of the day, we cannot pause life or go back to a time before COVID-19. Yet, WE CAN learn to adapt to our situation. WE CAN see this as a challenge to use creativity to design new and exciting ways to interact in our lives. When COVID-19 ends, we will still remember our innovations. We will also be stronger for not just living but thriving.
If you are having an especially hard time adjusting to life during COVID-19, reach out to our team. We will be here for you.
Additionally, if you are interested in our self-guided courses, visit selfhelp.strengthenu.com.