I was working with a client this morning and she was very anxious about everything happening around the world in light of COVID-19 and rightfully so. Many people are suffering with increased anxiety and fear over the virus that has infected over 200,000 people at this point in time.
The bombardment of information from politicians, media and experts is meant to inform us of what we need to be doing now. It is not intended to scare you, but to educate you. However, we are all afraid. This is a time of the unknown and when fear is the most prevalent. The time of the unknown is difficult, it pushes it out of our comfort zone. It is what provokes our anxiety and causes us to act irrationally. Like stocking up on toilet paper.
In my conversation with my client, I was able to redirect the purpose of this time. It is not a time happening to us, it is a time happening for us. And although people will die because of this virus, we need to put things back into perspective and trust that what is happening is for us. Many people become ill and die every day. The CDC estimates from October 1, 2019 through March 14, 2020, as many as 54 million Americans have had flu illnesses and between 23,000 to 59,000 flu deaths have occurred. In 2019, 55.3 million people died worldwide, about 151,600 people per day. Yet we are scared that people are dying. It may sound terrible to say this, but people die. Every 100 years there is a pandemic that takes a part of the living and sends them home. This is life.
For the millions of us that are going to survive this pandemic, I would like to offer you some perspective on how this is happening for you.
This is happening at time when we need to slow down, take heed of the things that we need to do that are most important. We spend most of our lives running around, busy, not having time for ourselves or our families. We spend time at work, staying long hours, living in stress, and have a lack of work life balance. We are either at a sporting event or out at the movies doing stuff with our families. We never truly rest and take time for ourselves when we are so busy.
This is a time to hit the RESET button. It is a time to slow down and re-prioritize what is important. That is taking care of ourselves and our families. Yes, it is important to be with our extended families and see other people, however what is most important is what happens inside the four walls of your home.
This is a time for doing things that we often say we don’t have the time to do. We see many postings online about things we can do to occupy ourselves right now and these are helpful but do the things that you have been putting off doing.
Do some Spring cleaning. This is a great time to empty the closets, create a pile of old clothes to either donate, or if you are worried, to use as toilet paper 😊. Organize your cabinets, straighten up your environment because you will need a clean space to keep a clear head.
As long as we can go outside, go for a run, bike ride, walk or do some virtual workouts on the TV or your Peloton. Exercise with your family. Do something where your endorphins will kick in so that you feel better. Even laugh together….do something to feel better. Do something that is going to keep you healthy. Choose healthy foods, you will need your body to be healthy in order to fight any disease.
Get to know each other again. Play games, start conversations that are meaningful. Start with thought provoking questions to have conversation to learn about other perspectives. Avoid binge watching things and eating junk food as these will lower your energy and expose you to negative energy.
Our culture as American people will change. We have seen this before, especially on 9/11, when the nation came together to support each other. We had lost sight of that. At the time of this outbreak, we were living in an America that cut people down instead of building others up. We were living with intense racism, sexism, bigotry and hatred. We had politicians attacking each other like children fight on a playground. We had leaders who exemplified poor leadership. It was time for this to change.
We have come together because of this virus. Everyone is sending words of support, encouragement from all over. We are stronger when we hear a celebrity or leader say from their humanity, “we will get through this together.” We are fighting for our survival together. Our country will never be the same, but hopefully we come out better than we were yesterday.
I wish to give you a vision for when this is all over. When this is over, the first night that we are allowed to refrain from the practice of social distance, the world will celebrate better than any St. Patrick’s Day. We will celebrate. The excitement will be like no other. You will encounter, hug, kiss people you don’t even know because you will be so excited to see each other. You will appreciate others just for being near you. We will have a better appreciation for the importance of loving our neighbor.
Be safe, listen to what we are told for our safety. Follow the guidance to reduce the transmission of this virus.