Look, I’m about the bazillioneth person to write about ways to take care of yourself while working from home but I can say one thing for sure: I am the first on this website, devoted to finding ways of getting through life’s dark underbelly and coming up into the light. Hopefully, a little lighter, brighter and wiser, ya know?
I could – of course – begin with a general list of things like getting outside, exercising, eating better, and getting a full night’s sleep. I mean, seriously, shouldn’t we be doing these things all the time, anyway? Not that we DO. Just sayin’.
No, I’m going to be talking about one thing and then end with one other thing. Come along.
These are traumatic times.
This is my sixth week of being home and I’m serious when I say that it only hit me – and I mean in the gut – last week. One day, I think it was Thursday, it occurred to me that this time we are living in will be written about in history books like The Great Depression of the late 1920s- early 1930s. What will it be called? Maybe the Covid Pandemic of 2020 or something like that.
People will read about the millions of people who stayed at home for weeks or months, at the government’s request and/or command. We worked, attended online classes, ate, slept and got up the next day to do it all again.
They’ll read how we wore masks and gloves whenever we went out and stood in lines to get into the grocery stores. Once inside, we walked down one-way aisles and stood on lines marked on the floor at an attempt at virus-proofing.
They’ll read that most victims died alone to save the living and that funerals left the bereaved alone to grieve.
They’ll read about the thousands of forcefully unemployed, unable to do their job at home or perhaps their employer had closed their business and therefore had no way to pay them; in which case, many would never get their jobs back. They’ll be reminded of Black Tuesday in 1929 and the recession of 2008. They will be asked to consider: Was 2020 better or worse than 1929 or 2008? Does it matter to the man or woman who can’t support their family?
And we will remember that it’s difficult to see the destruction from the middle of the hurricane. Maybe what we’ll remember most is that our fellow citizens hoarded toilet paper and hand sanitizer and then turned around and picketed government offices to let us free to live “business as usual” in the most unusual of times.
Or maybe we’ll remember the “essential” workers: doctors and nurses and grocery clerks and the kid behind the headset at McDonald’s and delivery drivers who worked because the demand was higher than usual.
Maybe we’ll remember the fear or the mocking that whirlled around us online, or TV, in chats with family and friends and even inside our own heads. Can I get sick? Will my elderly parents be okay? Will anything ever be the same?
This is traumatic. It just IS.
So, what can we do?
I will leave the experting to the experts, just a few of which are shown in the links below. I will also suggest you do a google search for other supports, and/or reach out to your doctor, therapist or clergy, if needed and do all the things I already listed above (eat, drink and sleep).
But I also have another suggestion: If you are able – support others. This can be anything from acknowleging first responders, giving to charities or gofundme requests, tipping the coffee guy or gal generously and/or or BUYING LOCAL. <<< I am capitalizing this one because it’s something I’ve done and it’s what I want to talk about today.
Yes, I’m lucky enough to be working through this crisis and with the money I’m saving on gas, coffees (actually, Peppermint Tea, which I got from the cafe downstairs every morning) I’m buying some things that serve a duel purpose. They help local merchants and they also help my mental health. I told you about my chakra stones last week. I got them from a small store in Niagara Falls and the owner delivered them. She’s now running some online “sip & buy nights” that are cool. It’s her way of staying in business. I suspect she’s got more business than she ever expected. We are, after all, a captive audience, comfy at home, and she’s delivering. I mean, what could be better?
You may have noticed my profile picture with the closeup of a sundial on the beach. It’s from a fabulous guy I know who was very patient with me and in the end, perhaps it was meant to happen as it did.
Short story: I met Barry Smith of B Squared Photography Studio several years ago when my husband (a reporter) did a story on him. I loved his work and there was one photo in particular that caught my eye. It was a turquoise door against a brick wall… and it was large… and beautifully mounted on canvas… totally worth the price he was asking. I couldn’t afford it. He’s actually since sold it as an album cover for a local band – so cool! But I wanted it, too! I mentioned it to him and we made plans, but… but… there’s always a butt… I mean but. In this case, the butt was me. Some emergency happened and I couldn’t buy it after all. I was mortified. Embarrassed. But he was a gentlemen and forgave me. That was about two years ago. I never forgot his kindness.
The other day, Barry crossed my mind and I went to his website and saw this beautiful timepiece. I LOOOOOOVE timepieces and compasses… as you all may remember… and it occurred to me that not only would I love to look at this photo next to my desk in the quasi-home office, but he may appreciate a sale during these precarious times. So, I contacted him and bought the darned thing on the spot. He delivered it yesterday. I feel like a million bucks about it. Win/win!
So, if you can do it, buy yourself something local and support your friends and neighbors. Both of you will be glad you did!
A few added resources during these traumatic times: