Here is exactly what you should be doing right now to get through this pandemic: keep breathing.
I keep receiving advice from (I'm assuming) well-intentioned people on what I should be doing during this unprecedented time to make sure I'm doing “everything right.” To keep my family safe. To protect my job, my finances, my community, my future. And all of it contradicts itself. Because no one knows. How could they?
We're all guessing. And we're all coming into this from different places – with different experiences, resources, needs, and risks. I've appreciated the advice that has been practical. Things like making sure I have enough food at my house so that I don't have to leave for an extended period of time.
We sheltered in place long before we were required to because it made sense for our family as we were living in the first hot zone in the US. We've been fortunate to have the option to be able to do what has made sense for us. And I am assuming you have done the same for yourself and your family.
I've found myself at times feeling sucked into the panic around me simply because there was panic, and not because I needed to. Like when I was at the grocery store and found the last roll of toilet paper on the shelf. I had more than enough at home (I always do) but because there has been a frenzy, I felt like I NEEDED to grab it – just in case. I had to consciously interrupt the pattern to recognize that our bathroom habits were safe so I could leave it for another family who actually did need it.
Or the realization that we can be having a really good time in the middle of all of the chaos right now. And can enjoy our families. And be laughing and dancing. And cracking jokes. And playing. And at the same time, hurting for the loss and pain in the world. And feeling the fear and uncertainty of what is now and what is next. And allowing it to come from minute to minute and day to day.
And it's okay to be okay. And it's okay to not be.
The only thing that we have to “get right” in this whole pandemic to get through it is to keep breathing. That's it. There's no pandemic playbook. And no one has the definitive answer that will work for everyone. We just have to do our best. And allow ourselves to be human.
Stay safe, friends. Until I can hug you all in person, I'm sending you all the warmest virtual hug!