We are now almost four months into living with various stages of COVID-19 restrictions. It’s been hard, and we’re doing it. Sometimes with grace, and sometimes it’s not pretty. I can confess to a few episodes of “I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!” along with some stamping of feet.
One of the ways that I’ve been able to cope during the last few months is through the wisdom of friends. Three of these wonderful people have been willing to share their thoughts and methods about continuing during this time with you. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
So, take a moment, breathe, and see if their wisdom resonates with you…
Anita Woodard, Woodard Administration
“Dealing with the world of an ongoing pandemic is a balancing act. It’s acknowledging that the future is extremely unknown and that regardless of my desire for it to be otherwise, I can’t guarantee anything. How am I coping? I am lucky enough to be able to manage my time so that when I cannot deal with a specific element of the world, be that people, the news, or even just work, I take time for myself to do something I know will recharge my mental batteries. I make time to see loved ones, virtually, so that I maintain that connection. And finally? I remember history. This is not the first pandemic that humanity has dealt with, nor will it be the last. Living through history is rarely easy but in the long run, things will work out. Eventually.”
- “Walking or yoga….every day…..especially if there has been something that is upsetting.
- Doing normal things at a social distance with friends such as campfires and kayaking and painting over Zoom with my painting instructor.
- Attending church services where my experience gets validated and supported by my spiritual community.”
MaryIris Reibling, M.S.W., R.S.W.
(Individual, Couple, Family Therapy; P.T.S.D., Trauma, E.M.D.R., Consultation)
“Today’s date is the last day of school before the “summer holidays” begin.
The end of the school year picnics have been replaced with porch visits by teachers presenting students with their works of the past year ending abruptly at March Break.
Surviving Covid-19 has meant many things.
It has meant being/feeling isolated; physically/socially distanced; buying supplies of disinfectant sprays, wipes and sanitizers; wearing masks and the washing of hands continually for the past three months (seems so much longer). It has meant being strategic in our practical lives as we shop less and buy in bulk.
It has meant being caught by surprise and having to acknowledge the unexpected and the uncertainty in our lives.
It has meant trying to make sense of our new reality, being fearful of getting sick, losing loved ones and losing our security and control.
It has meant dealing with feelings of powerlessness and helpless in a time of mixed messaging and chaos as we work through surviving Covid-19.
It has meant fighting an invisible enemy by not engaging with others, staying home.
For many Covid-19 has meant feeling very alone in the world together with everyone else in the world. “Together apart” is the poignant catch-phrase describing our new world order.
The first two to three weeks of the new “normal” were spent in denying and minimizing the threat of Covid-19 in an attempt to feel the illusion of “control”. Paperwork was caught up and bags of shredded paper appeared on the curb on numerous garbage days.
The importance of routine and schedules took on significant importance as the rules for work and everyday life changed from moment to moment. Morning radio took on an important role of reminding the world of it uncertainty and losses, while reassuring us.
Limiting the news of the day helped put some distance between the reality of Covid-19 and surviving emotionally and mentally.
Everyday walks were implemented in the beginning of April in spite of the coldness of the strange spring. It seemed that Covid-19 had slowed the coming of spring. The sun shone, but trees, shrub branches remained brown and bare. The sounds of the streets and roads were quiet as staying at home meant safety for everyone.
Attempts were made to connect with others some successful, some not, as everyone tried to find their own way through the confusion and disbelief. The learning curves of technology and video visits were overwhelming at times. Support systems and routines were implemented dinners with family, baking birthday cakes together, sharing breakfasts, reading bedtime stories — all virtual.
Talk of Victory gardens after the impact of World Wars inspired the planting of a vegetable garden in the spring to regain a sense control and survival. The creation of a large berm in the yard has provided a sense of pain-staking purpose, a place to plant the bushes of beauty next spring providing hope and a future beyond Covid-19.
The many unfinished tasks at home have become projects of gratitude in this time.
The perspective is now different, it is a process, not a task. The pace is much more manageable.
Letter writing has had a resurgence — connecting with family and friends in a meaningful way.
Surviving Covid-19, music, dance and movement of the body, have become sources of joy as we become reacquainted with ourselves and our lives during this time as we look forward to the future in September with renewed hope.
Stay Safe, Be Kind, Seek Joy…”