No one has ever been through what we are experiencing now. It’s normal to feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster or to have periodic dips of anxiety and depression. It’s also a time to step up, take control of your activity and marshal your very best self for the good of the country and the world.
There are silver linings in times like these. I am going to lay some of those out below. But, before I do, let me make a major pitch for you to take care of yourself. The two most important assets you have in these unprecedented times are your health and your mindset. Get serious about your self-care. It’s the best way to be there for yourself, your loved ones, and all who depend on you.
I am doing a zoom call later today on this very topic, Monday, March 23, at 4 pm – it’s called Thriving in Unprecedented Times – it’s free and you are invited. Here’s the link.
My wife, the inimitable Laura Baron, and I put together a 4-point plan for getting through shelter-in-place. As soon as we did my spirits lifted. I want to share it with you. If you have ideas yourself, please reply to this email and let me know what they are!
1. Self Care
Do what keeps you in good shape mentally and physically. Here is some of what we do: listen to inspiring talks and watch inspiring video, read together, meditate, go for walks, Laura does Zumba on Facebook with her instructor, get dressed even when you don’t have to just to feel better, eat healthily, massage (self-massage is great if you are alone; healing touch is important, a little bit goes a long way)
2. Social Outreach
Call your friends and family. Use Zoom (the free version works fine for this). Find colleagues that you enjoy hanging out with and do a call just to check-in. You can even share drinks together over the Internet! Keep a social calendar for friends and family, even though it won’t be face-to-face. Start a book or movie club. And if you are in a home with other members of your family, now is a time to have some special conversations. Engage in storytelling like our ancestors did – yes, you can read fairy tales to each other, but I am talking about another kind of storytelling – ask each other to tell stories from great times in your life, what were high points? how did you get through tough times in the past? discover those other people you share your home with…
3. Retool Your Business
We are all working from home now. Get really good at it. Learn what works. If you are self-employed like me, you will have to change what you are doing. Make it a project. Find others who are doing it. Share best practices. If you are employed, study up on how to work at home. There are some great articles in every major paper.
4. Have some Fun!
Without the daily joys, it’s easy to lose your energy. Laura and I will be watching documentaries of two of our favorite crooners: Willie Nelson and Frank Sinatra. This is a great time to binge-watch some favorite shows. We are all staying home to flatten the curve, draw out the spread so our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed. If we do it right, it will feel like we are not doing anything. That means, watching Netflix counts as helping the country out! There’s also gardening and house cleaning – we are going to overhaul our whole house over the next few weeks, or at least we think we are and we are having fun planning it. And cooking, knot-tying (that’s my personal interest), journal writing, playing with your dog, reading the books you never have time for, opening a special bottle of wine…
One of the silver linings of times like these is that you can do things that normal life marginalizes, and some of those are things that will make you feel better about yourself, or bring real joy into your life. Now’s the time!
“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt