Staying Sane During the Coronavirus

2 Things I’m doing during the Coronavirus “situation”:

  1. Being present
  2. Being present

Explanation to follow.

Let me preface by saying that I am not perfect at this, not even close, but I’m trying and this is what it looks like. I get swept up in the “what ifs” and the fears about toilet paper and right now I can’t find a godforsaken egg anywhere.

I do find that when I focus so much on the future, the panic sets in. What if my business tanks? What will I do for childcare? How much money are we looking at losing? Will someone I love get sick? Don’t get me wrong. We have to pay attention and be smart about our livelihood, but I think we can all agree that it can cross a line into unproductive panic. So, the question becomes is there any common-sense-smart-thing that I can do in this moment, and what can I do to make a conscious choice to set to the side until I know more?

So, what do we do in the meantime? I wish there was a magic cure to take away the worries of the “set aside” stuff, but sadly those aren’t legal and what is legal will probably give you a wicked hangover, sooooo

  • I’ve been trying to meditate. I go in and out of this, so I’m not an expert, but what helps a perfectionist like me is to start small. Do something guided. Don’t go into your closet and try to sit there in silence for 45 minutes. You’ll go insane. Set yourself up for success. Do a guided one for 5 minutes.

Here’s a suggestion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pBUi-sfLRg and if you want to work up to an unguided meditation, do some research, something like this https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/. Or use an app like Insight Timer. I think what I like about meditation is that it shows me that I can control my thoughts and I don’t have to get swept away with panic.

  • How can I use this time? Some people are jumping into homeschooling their kids, and more power to you! It’s never my place to judge someone else on how they parent or use their time –way above my pay grade, but for me it’s figuring out how we get through the day. Will there be screen time? Of course, we aren’t animals here, but I’m also trying to make a list of some other things we can do to take advantage of a slower schedule. And let’s face it, how often during the school year do we get a chance to slow down from dance lessons, rehearsals, competitions, games? How often are we actually secretly wishing for it??

Maybe I can work on teaching them to cook. Maybe I can make a list of house projects and get them involved – don’t kids love scrubbing mildew off of fences? No? Okay, moving on. Maybe my youngest can do typing club because God knows she’s going to need better skills in middle school next year. Maybe we could actually read. Maybe we could take advantage of some of these online lessons which everyone and their brother (thankfully!) is offering.

  • We are going to go outside. It’s scientific. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/70548/11-scientific-benefits-being-outdoors You can’t argue with science. I get that we have to stay away from groups of larger than 10, but I’m talking about going for a walk. Sitting outside for a few minutes. Throwing a ball around. Walking your dog. Borrowing your neighbor’s dog to walk (They will thank you!) I’m no scientist, but even when we aren’t in a nationwide panic, I just feel BETTER after going for a walk. The world is less scary. My perspective is – dare I say it – grounded.

I’m not saying this is the cure all for the pandemic that seems to be taking over everyone’s thoughts. There are a million other things I didn’t mention – prayer, helping others, and many, many more. These are just a few things helping me right now. I’m sending love and positivity out to you right now. You do the same and we might just keep each other sane.

~Sarah Pippin, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

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