Love in the Time of a Pandemic
A tiny virus about 1/50 the size of a red blood cell and containing a short little strand of RNA has rocked our world. According to Kelly Clark, the COVID virus “…is just an inexplicable, purposeless mutation” hoisted upon us, like it or not. It has maimed or killed hundreds of thousands around the world with brutal efficiency. We now live in an entirely new reality that is changing every day. Once again, we’re taught that we’re really not in control of much on this good earth.
A simple handshake, a comforting hug, a peck on the cheek — all rendered obsolete until further notice. Being intimate and together, both germane to our existence, now disrupted by distance, death and isolation. What force have we as humans that can possibly defeat this gargantuan demon? How about love? It’s that eternal glue that binds all humanity. “Because love never really changes much; that’s the great thing about it. It will remain as glorious and confounding as always.” And what love does so brilliantly is to cast out fear, as fear is what weakens and paralyzes us in life.
10 Ways to Stay Sane
So how do we survive and thrive as social creatures in this historical pandemic?
- Reach out to friends and loved ones. Face things together. Stay in touch. Air your worries. Listen to others as their stories may speak to you.
- Turn off fear. Don’t click on that juicy headline; avoid reading the posts and tweets of the fearful. Instead, listen to inspiring music, connect with those you love, give to those who need, and read of love, courage and hope.
- Understand your stress. Be honest: How much is there? How do you handle it?
- Realize the stress of others. We all cope with stress differently. Some tune in and others tune out. Although our coping mechanisms may differ, we all need respect and honor as no response is more valid than another.
- Separate work from home space. Stuffed indoors, feel free to draw lines and define spaces for work and play, even if it’s just a corner or a table. Recreate those boundaries that you knew and loved before. Order your universe.
- Postpone big decisions. Big choices require sound decision-making. Sound decisions are best made when circumstances are stable and predictable. Nothing now is either stable or predictable.
- Stay grounded. Pause before you enter an argument. Cool down and stay calm. Exercise. Self-soothe. Breathe.
- Show kindness. Thank others for the little things that matter so much.
- Keep a schedule. Yes, there’s not much that you can control right now, but control the things that you can.
- Express yourself. Paint, write, dance, sing. You can’t imagine how good you’ll feel by simply letting inner creativity take over — even for a moment.
It has often been said that when life gets blurry, the best response is to adjust your focus. And add a little love to the mix. Sage words in our new topsy-turvy world.