This morning I woke up and realized I haven’t written a post in almost two weeks. And today I really wanted to create a post to share. I don’t have a set theme or topic. Let’s just see where this goes.
I must admit, it feels strange writing today. Perhaps this is because we live in a very different world thanks to Coronavirus. Perhaps (and more likely) it is because this is the first time I am writing at my new dining table in my new apartment. I haven’t really shared or wanted to share that my wife and I made the difficult decision to part ways, and I am now living on my own in an apartment. The timing couldn’t have been worse. But this will be better for all of us – for the kids, for her, for me.
I think this new living situation just serves to remind me that all of us are living in a new reality. Our schools are closed. Many workplaces are closed or people are working from home. We can’t spend time in the physical company of others. But are there good things coming out of this pandemic?
Here are some positives I have found:
- We are becoming much more aware of our need to protect our more vulnerable. We are recognizing it isn’t always about us.
- People are finding creative ways to connect with others. I have been very moved by the number of people who are checking in to see how I am, by text, call or FaceTime. We are throwing away our excuses to not stay in touch.
- We are finding creative ways to spend time with our children. And we are finding ways to let them find ways to entertain themselves. Our kids don’t need us to entertain them.
- We are letting go of the guilt of not always parenting perfectly. There is no such thing as perfect parenting anyway, so let’s let that go. As long as our kids come out of this safe, fed and loved, we are doing a fine job. Give yourself a break.
- We are finding an appreciation for people that we haven’t always had. Our nurses and doctors are heroes. Our teachers are heroes. Our custodians and cleaners are heroes. Our truck drivers are heroes. Our grocery store cashiers are heroes. Let’s try to keep that appreciation going and recognize that everyone deserves respect and kindness.
- Our children are showing us how its done. We have asked so much of them. We have removed them from school and asked them not to have any contact with anyone other than their siblings and parents. My son reminded me the other day that we need to keep going so we can get back to our schools and work and friends.
- People are adhering to good hand hygiene. Please people, keep washing your hands when this is over.
While I see these positives, I am also very aware that this is a very lonely time for many. I am living it. Not having our usual social connections can take a toll on our mental health. Please, as we move through what could be a long period of physical distancing, let’s practice staying connected.
- Connect with people by phone, or even better, by video chat.
- Get outside every day, even if it is just in your yard or walking around your block.
- Tend to something that is alive – a plant, a pet, a child – something that needs you.
- Turn off the news, at least for an hour every day, and recognize the beauty around you.
- Get dressed. How long have you been wearing those PJs? If you work from home, try getting dressed for work. It’s amazing how being in clothes can change how we feel.
- If you see a therapist, make an appointment. Many therapists are doing online appointments. If you don’t have a therapist but feel you need one, reach out.
- If you are in crisis and need to talk to someone, contact ReachOut by phone at 519-433-2023 or 1-866-933-2023 or go to reachout247.ca
- Take care of your immediate needs – drink enough water, take your meds if you need them, eat, move your body, get enough sleep
We will get through this, I have no doubt. Know that I am thinking of you all and that I would love to hear from you. I hope you and your family are well, safe and healthy.