By Thamar Jones
I am writing this article from bed, listening to the sweet sounds of Chronixx in the back ground, playing on low volume on the sound system in my living room. I’m spending my morning at home… alone. Not interacting physically with any other human beings.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), I can’t be one hundred percent quarantined; I’ve got to work. I’ve got the news to anchor this evening. Except for going to work for a few hours daily, and to the grocery store once every week or two, I remain confined.
While I’m not loving quarantine, I am following recommended protocols from MOH and staying home as much as possible. But as a socialite, I miss going out to dinners and going dancing and hookah smoking and boating and shopping… I miss people.
I have declined invitations to get together and am heartened to see that people are taking seriously, the need for social physical distance. As a consummate hugger, it has been challenging to be hands off. Instead, I offer smiles, I blow kisses and even air hugged a friend once. No germs shared that way. The paradox is that in the midst of world events, beyond the health crisis, we need connection with each other more than ever.
Since the coronavirus erupted, many of my friends have been anxious, stressed and some even depressed. I advise them to use anxiety reducing strategies. I suggest that they read/watch/listen to reputable sources, not panic inducing pieces. I recommend that they follow the hygiene protocol including coughing or sneezing into their elbow, hand washing thoroughly and using hand sanitizer when a sink and soap are not available.
Although I wash my hands scrupulously anyway, having techniques reinforced during these times help. I imagine you have seen memes about hand washing; a memorable one tells us to wash our hands as if we had just eaten jalapeno peppers and about to put in contact lenses.
More ideas to wend your way through this crisis: Call friends- Facetime, Skype and Zoom are the next best thing to being there. Interact on social media. Send letters and e- cards.
Use affirmations that reinforce your health. “I am healed, whole and healthy.” “Wellness is my birthright.” “I am resilient and can sustain health.” Create your own.
Write in your journal.
Make a gratitude list.
Watch healing videos.
Play the kinds of games with your family members that you loved as a child. Monopoly, pick up sticks, jacks, marbles, cards and checkers beat electronics hands down.
Create Vision boards with imagery that highlight health and wellbeing.
Be compassionate with yourself and others in the midst of this time.
Know that it will eventually subside. If we know that there is an end point in sight, stressors are easier to handle.
Check on health compromised neighbors and family members. If you are well, run errands for those who can’t do so for themselves.
Don’t hoard-shop. Panic buying will prevent those who need staple items to purchase them.
Watch fun, light-hearted movies, videos and television shows.
Contact friends or family you haven’t spoken with in a while.
Take virtual tours of works of art.
Re-decorate your space.
Clean and purge your home, car or office.
Get outside in nature when you can. Sunshine is a mood lifter.
Exercise as able. Walk, bicycle, run, dance, practice yoga.
Cook and bake treats for yourself and family.
Support local businesses, since they may be strongly impacted.
Attend spiritual services on-line as many faith communities are offering them.
Eat nourishing meals that boost your immune system.
Greet people with elbow bumps, air hugs, virtual hugs, foot taps, bows, eye contact, winks, smiles, waves.
We humans are a resilient bunch and throughout history have survived war, famine, epidemics, trauma and tragedy of all sorts. If there are takeaway lessons from this challenge they are that disease knows no international boundaries, love is stronger than fear, a “we and not just me” attitude serves everyone, and we need each other to survive.
By Thamar Jones