We are learning so much about ourselves during our time of isolation and physical distancing. There are so many things we have learned how to do. We have learned how to use technology to connect with friends and family. We have learned that we can shop once a week and get creative when we don’t have exactly what we thought we wanted for dinner. We have learned to be flexible and innovative. We have learned to see humour in situations that used to irritate us. We have learned to appreciate people we used to take for granted.
We have learned that we can do hard things.
What are your hard things? We all have them.
Maybe your hard thing is learning how to balance working from home, parenting your small humans and supporting them in their schooling.
Maybe your hard thing is battling the devastating loneliness that comes from isolation.
Maybe your hard thing is figuring out how to turn an established education system on its head.
Maybe your hard thing is watching your spouse leave the house to go to work in a hospital, knowing the danger they are facing.
Maybe your hard thing is fighting an illness on your own.
Maybe your hard thing is waiting for updates from the long-term care facility where your mother lives.
Maybe your hard thing is working through the stages of grief after losing a loved one.
Maybe your hard thing is working through similar stages after having your heart broken.
Whether or not your hard things are related to the COVID-19 crisis, you can do them. But notice that title is not “I Can Do Hard Things.” The key is in the word “we”. We need to work together now more than ever before. This is the time for us to build, not destroy, community.
I know these are hard times and we just want it to end. But WE have the ability to end this isolation the right way or the wrong way. So what can we do?
- Keep yourself safe – wash your hands regularly, don’t touch your face (SO hard to do)
- Stay home as much as possible
- If you need to go out, maintain good physical distance
- Look out for others – think about the store cashiers and store staff keeping shelves filled. Give them space and only go to the store when you must. Think about the bus drivers who are driving with inadequate protective equipment, few washrooms on their routes and are driving buses that do not support physical distancing. Don’t travel unless you have to.
- Be patient. We are all learning how to navigate this new world. If you are working online and this is new to you, give yourself a break.
- Self Care. This is not the time to get too fancy. Treat yourself like a toddler… what do you need? A snack? A good cry? A nap? A drink of water? To create something? To move your body? Time to play outside? To talk to a friend? Sometimes the simplest things are the best.
Recognize that this is a moment in history. It won’t always be like this…although it does feel like it some days. I can’t tell you what days because I am no longer aware of dates or times. Let us not lose our sense of humour in this time.
If we all work together, if we are all there for each other, if we all do our part, we will get through this time of physical isolation and distancing and come out on the other side knowing we did it together. In the meantime, please check on your family and friends if you haven’t heard from them in a while, if you know they are alone or if you know they are going through a hard time. We need each other now more than ever before.
Thank you to my friends and family who have reached out to me knowing I am newly living alone and am struggling with it. We can do hard things. I appreciate each one of you who reads this blog and who have asked me to share more regularly.
It’s a new week, friends, and we can do hard things together.