Alright guys, we are now about 2 weeks into the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic here in the US and I want to check in.
How are you doing?
I hear you - it's terrifying. Some days I'm flat out scared and sad and anxious.
Work is different. School is different. Schedules are different. Life moments that you were looking forward to are up in the air at best, or totally canceled.
Most of my clients are in the wedding industry - brides, grooms, moms, even dads, and it's devastating to see what they are going through. Date changes, not knowing what the next few months will bring for their wedding date, refunds, or just flat out eloping.
I see my vendor friends - paper mills brought to a standstill. Wedding planners scrambling to reschedule everything. Everyone unsure of what their revenue looks like - finances they already had locked in to feed their family.
So how do we get through this?
1. Practice gratitude.
I know, I know, you can't fix your life just by willing it to be better. What do we have to be grateful for right now? It might not feel like a lot, but when you're surrounded by doom and gloom, a positive attitude can go a long way.
Say thank you. Tell someone that you're happy to have them in your life. Smile at the grocer who just shopped for all of your food for you. The more you practice, the more you start to believe it and the more the good can outweigh the bad.
2. Be thoughtful.
We all feel alone right now, so it's our chance to make sure those closest to us know that they are far from alone.
3. Be kind.
Again, this can be really hard when we're stressed out, especially when you're stuck in the house with the same 5 people day in and day out. Tempers can flare. Routines are changed and you're all up in each other's space.
It's hard, but I'm trying to be kind, or at least when I'm not, I'm trying to make sure I apologize for it immediately.
My kids see the stress, they're smart little humans. My oldest also has anxiety and we talk about it a lot. I'm trying to be open and honest with him so that he sees my anxiety, why I have it, what I do about it and that it's all normal and OK. He knows now that when I lose my temper, it's probably not because of him. I'm just stressed out and he happens to be the one in front of me when I lose it.
I see it in our house though - the minute we all start getting grouchy, we allllll tailspin. It takes just one bad attitude to ruin the day for everyone. So we're practicing being kind, and when we can't we move on to tip number 4...
4. Find space.
I am a classic introvert that lives with at least 1 very extroverted child - let's be honest all 4 of them collectively make a lot of noise. I need space. I need a room where I can go and just decompress. Read a book, paint my nails, stare out the window - anything as long as it's silent.
Just try to get away and be YOU and just YOU, no distractions allowed. Binge watch trashy the reality tv show your fiance hates.
For me this means I get up a little earlier so that I can get some work done before everyone needs me. Or I sneak away for 30 minutes to read a book, or ... moving to tip number 5....
I'm not one who likes to exercise. I have had every excuse in the book and truly haven't worked out much in 10 years.
Then I bought a Peloton.
I kid you not, it's changed my life and I am so grateful that I have it during this time. I don't have to go anywhere. I don't have to worry about day care schedules or when classes are happening. I can literally do it any time day or night.
15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 ... whatever I have to give today is enough, and the instructors remind me constantly that I am enough today just how I am. Any effort is better than none because I showed up today. I can ride, or do yoga, or even a dance class.
I never thought I would take virtual instructors to heart, but I have to say - I love having someone tell me that I'm worthy ... and I work hard ... and I'm a badass ... and I'm getting my life together. It goes back to tip number 1 - the more you hear someone tell you that you're doing great things, the more you start to actually believe it.
So I'm making it a point these days to shut the laptop down, put the homework away and go for a 30 minute ride as many days each week as I can - and I feel really good about it.