Welcome back guys!
I am hoping that wherever you are, you are fairing through this pandemic as best as you can.
The chaos surrounding COVID-19 has everyone struggling to find new ways to cope. Alcohol sales have spiked, the social media apps are seeing an influx of active users through Instagram live sessions and TikTok, streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ among others are being flooded to pass the time, and Zoom is dominating the conference call streets. Meanwhile, there are students of all ages, either crying to go back to school to be with friends or have a sense of normalcy, while others are away from home, longing to go back to be with family. Parents are struggling to home school, while others are struggling to find help while juggling jobs of essential care. Some people are dreading working from home, others are dreading working in exposed environments, and others are lamenting the fact that they no longer have a source of income.
There are so many things that make this time a very uncertain, anxiety filled time, but there is one theme that has become even more important as we are trekking through this thing: Connection. We were created to connect. Furthermore, because of technology and social media, we are even more connected than we once were a decade or two ago. And because of COVID-19, we have been searching for all the ways we can connect to stay sane, really.
Here are 4 things we should be connected to during this time. Continue reading to find out!
We should connect to…
Ourselves — With the uncertainty and the bombardment of mixed messages about this virus, we have to be grounded. If you are anxious and feel like you are going crazy, I am here to assure you that this is totally normal. I started freaking out when things started shutting down all over, especially knowing that my husband still had to go to work since he is an essential worker. But what helps is finding things that ground you. This is the time to incorporate some self care. This may be as simple as creating a new, soothing skin care routine or a bubble bath, or more complex like seeking professional help. BOTH are very important and even necessary. Invest in yourself. Your body [and mind] is a temple — you have to take care of it, and it can become difficult when your mind is racing and your anxiety levels are creeping up, but I promise you, scheduling some time to take care of yourself will help that. While you invest in yourself, disconnect from avoidable activities that amp up your anxiety or fears, such as negative self talk or comparing yourself to others on social media. Pro tip: teletherapy is very big right now — Talkspace and Better Help are good places to start.
Fulfilling relationships — I know, I know… one of you is probably thinking, “I do not like people.” And my response to that is, okay lol but you do though. No matter if you’re an extrovert who gets energized by being around fifty-leven people, or you are an introvert who loves your select few for a certain amount of time, we all have relationships that fulfill us. Those relationships where you can be totally yourself, you enjoy yourself, you feel SAFE, and you are at peace even when the whole world is crashing down (which it lowkey feels like it is). Invest in those kinds of relationships. For me personally, I ADORE the people in my life, the real few I keep close to me. I love cuddling up to my husband while watching a movie, I love talking to my family (like my mom – Hi Mammy!), and sending voice notes to my friends. The truth is, we are all affected by this, one way or another, and this is the time to really take stock of the beautiful people in our lives. And you are beautiful to someone too! So, connect connect connect. And if you’re like me that hates video calls, just find another way to connect. Let the people you love know you love them, and be more intentional. Moreover, reconciliation may be needed in relationships with parents, children, friends, etc. If you recognize reconciliation as possible, please exercise compassion, patience, and transparency. Listen to each other and rely on the love you have for one another.
Fulfilling activities — This differs from person to person, but there are activities that either during or after you’ve done them, you feel at peace or better yet, you feel whole. These activities promote who you are and fill you up, and this is important now when the crisis around us feels draining. What activities make you feel great inside? Writing has been a great activity for me and it also plays a part in connecting to myself, which was mentioned above. If you don’t really have an activity that brings you the joy you crave, I would suggest trying new things! Try painting, practicing makeup, reading, doing at-home workouts, cooking a new dish, etc. This connects back to investing in yourself — explore who you are and love yourself through this journey of figuring out what you like and dislike. It is not only a fun process, but it also redirects your focus from the chaos on the outside to what’s on the inside.
*Sidenote!* Please do not mix this point up with other advice urging you to use this time to start a new business, draft a grant proposal, plant a garden, or get rock-hard abs. While these are amazing activities, do not do them to try to make yourself “more productive”. This is a quarantine, not a down-time in between careers or a vacation. Do them or try them because you are curious about them or because they bring you fulfillment, not because you are meeting society’s standard of what you should be doing.
God –We all have a source: something we believe in and connect our very existence to. I am a Christian and I love Jesus (*cue J Moss – Sweet Jesus*), so God is my source. During this heartbreaking time, I think it is crucial to take a moment and connect with God. I entered 2020 really confused as to what the heck is happening, and at the end of the day, only God truly knows what’s going on and why things are going the way they are. Connecting to Him means I have a chance to pour out all my anxieties, all my fears, all my insecurities, all my disappointments with no form of judgment, and all forms of compassion and grace. Use this time to explore Scripture, learn a new verse, change the way you pray, incorporate prayer meditation into your worship, or revisit why you became a believer in the first place. Again, this goes back to investing in yourself, because it is God that remains constant while the whole world is spinning, and reconnecting with Him is a sure way to invite peace into your life and home in a way that passes understanding.
I hope these connection reminders were helpful for you guys, and remember: Don’t beat up yourself — we’re all trying here. I am trying to come out of this quarantine as best as I can considering the circumstances. Try to aim for that and I bet you’ll be okay too. And last reminder, if you need help connecting to any of these things, there are professionals who are willing to connect with you.
Speaking of connection. Connect with me! Comment below some of your fave activities or the people in your life who fulfill you. I’m curious 🙂