After a little reflection this morning and a chat with my always-wise dad, I realized that when faced with the unknown—like many of us currently are in the wake of COVID-19—you have a choice to make: You can either be anxious, afraid, and stressed or you can choose to focus on the things you can control.
Here are some ways you can choose to find the positive in this uncertain time and guide your thoughts to a better and more productive place.
Practice Healthy Habits
I'm not necessarily referring to good hygiene—I think we all have that down pat by now. I'm referring more to choosing things that make you feel better overall. Whether that's a visit to a spa (many are offering specials!), an extra-long hot shower or a glass of wine with a friend, taking time to practice self-care can go a long way. Speaking of wine ... I've seen lots of people joke about drinking. Let's remember that alcohol is a depressant and during times of great stress, people are more prone to developing a dependency.
How fortunate are we that this hit us at the time when we are most eager to dig ourselves out of the winter months? The other day I was walking my dog and noted that typically, this would feel like a rather ugly time of year. But the fresh air, hearing the birds chirp—and knowing I was in a place where no germs were lurking—felt liberating.
Tackle a Home Project
It's likely there's something you've been thinking about starting (or finishing) around your house. It's also the time of year when yard work is calling your name. Getting it done now will allow you to enjoy more of the summer once this blows over. That sense of accomplishment when completing something on your own is empowering!
The other day, I worked from home and was sucked into the negative news of everything transpiring. I felt isolated and scared. The next day, despite the news having grown more negative, I was surrounded by my co-workers. We shared concerns, but we also laughed at how I had to "steal" TP from work since I was down to one roll for my family of five. Focus on your people and connect with them as much as possible, even if it's from afar.
Check Your Privilege
How great would it be if every day we each asked ourselves, "How can I help someone who is facing greater challenges than me?" I don't think we're talking nearly enough about how this will affect our less secure populations and their access to healthcare, housing, and food. Many local organizations and nonprofits are sharing ways you can help—please choose to!
Support Local and Plan Vacations
What if we also asked ourselves daily, "How can I support local businesses?" We know that this time for small businesses is potentially devastating. Consider purchasing gift cards online if you're able to lend support in that way. This scare is also crippling the travel industry. Use this time to research and make plans for future adventures. You'll probably find some incredible deals—check out the fares to Alaska right now! Make sure you check cancellation policies and buy trip insurance.
The bottom line? Control what you can. Take care of yourself.
And take care of each other.
Written by Jill Carroll, Marketing Manager for West Michigan Woman.