Coping in a crisis

These are truly unprecedented times (sound familiar? probably because it’s how every corporation you’ve ever given your email to has started their email to you about this same topic). But you know what they say about cliches? They are repeatedly used because they are indubitably applicable.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the societal and structural responses that have come along with this pandemic have impacted almost everyone.

The gym that I work at has closed. There have been tens of thousands of applications for unemployment in my state of CT, in just the past few days.

Shopping centers a bare, public and private establishments are shutting down.

Life as I knew it has changed dramatically.

But of course I feel these minuscule changes to my daily life are not merely even a drop in the bucket compared to the larger scale crises happening all around me.

I am grateful for so many things in this moment. Studying public health has taught me not to take outbreaks, epidemics, pandemics etc. lightly. So, a few weeks ago I started to take precautions and anticipating schedule changes.

This was around the time that everyone was a bit skeptical of just how severe the spread of COVID-19 actually is, or was going to be. Not that I saw any of this coming, but I definitely DID heed the warnings from experts within the fields of public health and medicine.

I don’t want to drone on about how my life has changed, because I have it pretty good. I also don’t want to pretend I can even begin to imagine how daily life will continue to be impacted by the spread of this virus. I can’t describe how others may be experiencing this same event.

However, I DO want to extend my condolences and sympathies to all the people of the world in this time of hardship.

I don’t have a cure-all for anxiety about the drastic alterations that have been taking place. But, I wanted to share how I have, personally, been coping with the changes in my daily life.

For starters, I have made myself a strict schedule. I write time frames where I will be doing even simple things like showering or preparing for the day and household chores. I wake up and go to bed at roughly the same time every night and stick to my usual rituals.

I begin every morning with a workout, because that is what I am used to. Of course I don’t have a wide variety of equipment but it actually doesn’t bother me all that much. I’ve been trying to expand my horizons and get back into at-home workouts anyway.

I schedule when I will reach out to friends, when I will journal, my meals, etc. I have time allotted for work, school, and my blog. Even though I am spending nearly all of my time in my house I am treating sticking to my schedule as though it were my full-time job. Because, for now, it is!

I have time sectioned out for keeping up with the news. I plan to stay informed. But, I do not want to be checking the news at all times of the day as I do not feel it is good for my mental health.

I’m sure the world as we knew it will never be the same. Because, with each hardship and challenge that we face, we learn and we grow. We know this is true on an individual level.

Look at your own life for example, and think of a time that you thought was the worst in your life. Then recall how that experience changed you and shaped you.

Now imagine that happening, collectively, to every person and every society on the planet. Try to envision how that may shape the world as a whole.

In the toughest of times we discover our immense capacity for resilience. This resilience calls on the darkest, most desolate parts of ourselves to illuminate so that we may emerge from catastrophe with a deeper sense of gratitude, with a more intense urgency to love, and a more profound understanding of what it means to be human.

I’m not trying to diminish the suffering of others, or to say that this is all part of some larger plan or greater good.

I’m simply suggesting that maybe, just maybe, we can and we will manage to get through this. And when we do, we will have, at the very least, not just learned, but actually understood what it means to be human. Thus calling on societal leaders to prioritize humanity, and the Earth on which it exists—above all else.

And that is the blog for today folks. Amen.

Be well xx.

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