Times of Grace – 10 things I do to keep sane

I have been quiet for a long time… dealing with a couple of relationship revelations and some work related travels… (more to follow in other posts) But with the enforced change in daily routine – working from home, avoiding social group interaction etc. Etc. One does come to consider things a bit differently…

Firstly, I think it is time for a reality check; with a global world where we can swap time zones and continents within less than 24 hours… did we really expect that the pandemic scenarios we see on TV cannot actually happen in real life? We no longer have natural borders of miles and miles of ocean to stop a deadly disease from jumping continents, or the human need for comfort that prevented us from tackling long and hazardous journeys. Today, the slight discomfort of a 10 hour flight is deemed almost daily routine.

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I personally think we have been incredibly spoiled in this modern world of vaccinations, international food supply and health care that prolongs and save lives, that would have otherwise perished. We have forgotten our mortality, and now we have been collectively reminded of it by a disease that is sweeping through the world at a rate that have governments scrambling at unprecedented options to try and prevent a collapse of their economy and health care systems.

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It shows us our vulnerability, our dependence and it shows us our fear… fear that results in masses irrationally buying up toilet paper, or having fist fights over a bag of flour. Fear, that even if you have been carrying on with your daily life and did not spend too much time focussing on the hysteria – you felt a metal hand gripping at your heart walking through the shop aisles not being able to find the basics such as Milk or Eggs because everything has been cleaned out… This is the power of fear, because in that moment I felt panic rising and I could have very easily grabbed a carton of eggs and run for my life!

For someone that typically prefers to stay away from what the masses do / like – even to the extend that I will refuse to buy a book or watch a movie if the reviews are too raving and “everyone is doing / reading / watching it”, I will stubbornly wait until the hype is over and THEN I go figure it out for myself – I felt extremely overwhelmed and scared by it all. Of course – the Media was not helping and slowly the panic and fear spread even further… pretty much the same as the virus spread. Through conversations, social media posts, increased attention on the news, every other conspiracy theorist spreading their ideas as well as medical advice and warnings completely taking things out of proportion.

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However, we all have choice. In. EVERY. MOMENT. OF. LIFE. we choose. Even if we decide NOT to decide… yes, you have it – it is still a CHOICE! This is perhaps a bit drastic but this is how I decided to view this – we can decide the way we deal with this crisis at the moment, we can also decide on how it will impact on our lives and that of our loved ones. I do not have control over the decisions the governments, my fellow humans (even if they are completely irrational, like buying 10 bags of TP), the media or even what the virus does – I only have control over my personal space and my attitude to everything. So here is my personal list of getting through this.

  1. Laugh, laugh and laugh as much and as often as you can. I keep a lookout for any funny memes I find and I share as much of this as I can. From memes and Jokes about the virus to cat videos – it is so important to keep one’s spirits up. 🙂
  2. Follow the rules / the instructions – whether you are forced to stay at home, or taking special precautions doing your most essential job – just do it and stop complaining about your little inconveniences, there are people worse off! See it as an opportunity rather to add value or spend some quality family time together. I actually saw a post of a mom commenting on her 4 teenagers all having fallen asleep in the living room, something that had not happen in 10 years…
  3. Avoid the news – yes, you heard me right – I do not watch any talk shows, news programmes or analysis on the virus or the death rate or whatever. Firstly it is depressing and secondly it furthers one’s own insecurities and fear… fear of the future, for oneself and for one’s family… the big what if….?
  4. STOP posting and sharing nonsense on social media! The same principle applies to the virtual reality that applies to real life – Bernard Meltzer said: “Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.” In times like these where some of us rely on social media to keep connected to the world, fear mongering posts are not useful.
  5. Follow a routine – do not become a home office slob. Bath regularly, wash your hair, wash your heads, eat healthy, sign up for some online fitness classes (there are actually quite a bit of offers and discounts around at the moment), sign up for some free courses to further your skills. Read. Binge watch your favourite series, finally get to finish that one project that has been gathering dust in your cupboard. We have all of these opportunities at our fingertips – USE THEM.
  6. Take care of yourself – whether this is enough sleep, taking extra vitamins to support your immune system, calling a friend to just talk….
  7. Check in on your neighbours… many may have an elderly- or at-risk person right next to you that just might need your help. Remember our world being as international as it is, a lot of family are very far away.
  8. Check in on your single friends living alone. There is a high risk of depression and its related conditions of those living in forced isolation, and they won’t necessarily reach out in time.
  9. Be GRATEFUL. For your job, your family, your partner, your home… even your landlord… you have more than you need. If you need to, start a grateful jar and add a note with what you are grateful for every day.
  10. Lastly. Pray. Meditate. Quiet down. Slow down. Switch off. This is YOUR time.

We will get through this, as human beings we have survived many a calamity and so shall we live through this one. There is nothing as wonderful and magnificent as our individual ability to empathise and living through this combined into a collective effort of caring for our fellow beings.

Some funnies to share from me to lighten up the day! Stay well, healthy and at home 🙂

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