Opening up? Phasing in? Wearing masks? Staying home? Social distancing? Air travel? No! Yes! Maybe! What are we doing? What are we supposed to do?
As I write this article, governors and public health officials are determining what American towns will look like as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m guessing we will have 50 solutions to one universal virus. I’m not sure what happened to the United in the United States of America; it seems we have regressed to uncontrolled chaos. No matter what they decide, I want to address mental wellness and remind you that your mental wellness can be stable.
You, me, he, she, and they have the task of growing and maintaining a personal level of feeling emotionally steady.
A crisis surrounds all of us. Many have lost friends and family to the virus. Our best and brightest Americans go to work so we can stay home. People who need us most, like the ill and elderly, are at the highest risk. The situation is dire in many parts of our country and the world. “I am so scared,” is a sentiment often heard.
I’m not diminishing or embellishing what is happening; it is what it is. Each person is responsible for their thoughts, actions, and mental health. Thank goodness!
We should evaluate our stay-at-home experience during the past six or seven weeks and ask, “What did I most enjoy? How did I entertain myself and my family? Where did I find peace? What helped relieve stress? Who did I talk with for support? When did I have the most energy? What personal improvement did I notice?”
Answers to these questions will help you know what lights up your eyes, sparks your ignition, and soothes your soul. With that knowledge, you can follow the suggestion of Jay Woodman, poet and artist, “Be the calm eye of the storm….”
This temporary time of uncertainty challenges us as we try to maintain the serenity of mental wellness. Sheltering in place intended to keep us safe, but delivered a bonus as we learned more about ourselves and those with whom we share life. We now have better tools to create personal calm in this COVID-19 storm.
We all are curious, maybe even anxious, to learn what our immediate future holds. As our state mandates change, we will face new personal decisions. As businesses open again, we have choices; we can work toward life as it was, or capitalize on what we learned in self-isolation and shift to a more beneficial balance. We must remember we have a high level of control over our own conduct, even if the larger world flounders.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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