To use or be used by the Coronavirus…or not. Re-scripting the fear, the chaos and the crazy — and tips to connect to the best in ourselves and each other.
As I write this, uncertainty is afoot and admittedly, it makes me feel somewhat vulnerable. My son is 1200 miles away at college — borders are being closed, schools are being shut down, hysteria abounds…and it appears to be gaining momentum. Oh Corona…or shall I refer to you by your proper name, COVID-19. Stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off.
I’m usually one to brush off this kind of onset panic, as I did when my brother called me weeks ago and told me he was provisioning. Provisioning? Yep. Look who can’t find toilet paper anywhere now.
I found it so curious as I witnessed people run for toilet paper, Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer — as if any of that would prevent the virus. Seriously, what’s with the toilet paper? Of course, common sense must prevail — wash your hands. And last time I checked there was an abundant amount of good ‘ol fashioned soap and water.
But what is really going to protect and help us weather this storm is being accountable for our own immune systems — less worry about wipes and sanitizer and more nurturing and fortifying ourselves; body, mind and spirit.
Sure, you want to drink a ton of water. Eat good quality food. Get a lot of rest and good sleep. Take some supplements to assist you like probiotics, Vitamin C and D. These are the ones I take, created by Best Selfer Vani Hari (aka the Food Babe). I just picked up some green powders to mix into water or drinks from my local health food store as well. Spend time in nature. Exercise. Spend quiet time calming your nervous system with meditation, prayer or things like tapping (EFT). And of course, I repeat…wash your hands!
I can’t control what’s happening with this virus, but I can surrender and ask myself how I am going to navigate it — how much I’m going to stress and suffer in the process. While it feels irresponsible to not at least watch some nightly news for updates…I’m definitely susceptible to falling down the rabbit hole and getting sucked in. Same goes with social media…I scroll through parent groups until my head spins and my finger is stiff.
And let’s talk about ‘self-quarantining’…when did this become a noble action warranting accolades? I thought that fell into the category of common sense as well. When sick, stay home. Don’t get on planes, don’t send your kids to school, don’t infect and put others at risk. Did someone not get the Memo?
Yes, you can probably detect a tad bit of sarcasm and yes, I’ve been rolling my eyes a bit — not because I don’t think this is serious (I do), but I do think many are getting caught up in the wave of herd mentality and fear. And that won’t serve us.
That said, I’ll be perfectly honest here in admitting that yesterday afternoon, I decided to do a bit of extra provisioning myself. Living in the mountains, a few times each winter, we get the frenzy before an impending snowstorm to run out and stock up. The stores are packed and sold out of staples like milk and bread. And though I’ve never been trapped at home in 15 years, I still like to have my comfort foods in house. Perhaps a false sense of security, yet I fall prey each time the snowflakes are in the air.
This feels different. Even in snowstorms when the roads are unnavigable, I can still walk into town to get what I need. My intent of sharing this story with you isn’t to ignite any fear within you, but rather to remind you how sensitive we are to the energy around us, how easily we can be swept up within a cloud. And now more than ever, we need to keep it together. Go inward. Listen to our guts and protect our Best Selves — and look out for one another.
A dear friend just sent out a message to his community pointing out that this is also a beautiful reminder of how interdependent we are. Another friend shared a post on social media from an Italian psychologist who states that this can be viewed as a rebalancing of sorts — rebalancing our lives, our relationships and our connection to Mother Nature.
At times like this, we need to search for meaning, something to grasp onto.
I’m actually not worried about wipes and toilet paper, but rather healthy food. Our hysteria is having a trickle-down effect — vendors are beginning to curtail deliveries to restaurants and stores. It’s happening. Now before you drop this newsletter to rush to the market — know that you will not starve. You probably have plenty of food to live off of in your house already to ride this wave. And yes, we may have to be flexible and get a bit creative. But we’re bigger than this.
I started to get unnerved by the economic ramifications yesterday as more news of the stock markets plunging descended upon us. Wall Street can feel so remote until it starts hitting home with jobs cancelling and places of business shutting down. But if anyone can make lemonade out of lemons, it’s Best Selfer Glennon Doyle, whose new book, Untamed just released and simultaneously had to cancel her book tour.
Though incredibly disappointed about having to do so, she took to Instagram, not to complain about her disappointment, but rather to open her wildly successful and large platform to other authors who are also releasing books at this time. She showed up for others in a gesture of tremendous generosity of spirit, inviting authors to post their books on her post so that her community could wrap its big-hearted book-reading arms around them. Rock on Glennon!
So, let’s talk about what we can do. This is a call to go inward — into your house and into your intuitive self.
As more and more cancels and closes like big events, schools, offices, flights, borders, etc., resist the inclination to hop on the wave of panic.
After witnessing the panic and empty shelves in big box stores yesterday afternoon — midweek mind you — and after getting my son booked on a flight home, I decided to settle myself down. First line of business, take care of my family. Second, figure out how I can use this experience and not be used by it. How can I show up as my Best Self?
For those of us who feel like we have to ‘do something’ — try a form of active meditation. Think spring cleaning. Look around your house — go after those junk drawers, closets and storage spaces. Lose yourself in clearing, cleaning and making room for something new (like big creative ideas). Take an inventory of what you need / what you don’t. Besides, there’s nothing like seeing all of your stuff to realize how abundant your life is. Hello gratitude.
Curl up with a good book. Crack open the books piled up aside your bed or on your shelves. Sort through the magazines and catalogs that have become dust collectors. Or even better yet, start writing the book you may have within you. Let some of your creative juices flow — journal, paint, create.
Cook some nourishing and healthy foods you can store in your refrigerator or freezer, like a pot of delicious, nutrient-packed veggie soup. Experiment. Try something new — grow your own probiotics. Check out this piece in Best Self by Donna Schwenk, Health in a Jar: Growing Your Own Probiotics. You can also check out this simple recipe from Danielle Shine, Go With Your Gut: Sensational Sauerkraut Recipe for a boost to your own gut health.
Avoid crowds and unnecessary large gatherings — and remember your local vendors. Shop local and help keep these people in your community alive. This is a time that they, and their employees will rely upon you most.
Think of ways to feed yourself spiritually, emotionally and even professionally.
What would that look like? Fill your news-watching, social media-scrolling time with something new. Take an online course, seize the opportunity to broaden your horizons, deepen your meditation practice or learn to tap (emotional freedom technique). You can check out my interview with Best Selfer Nick Ortner, founder of The Tapping Solution to learn more. Fortify your practice, whatever it may be. Calm your beautiful nervous system. It needs you right now.
Take a walk on the wild side. Get out in nature however you can — move your body, breathe fresh air, get your blood circulating, connect to Mother Earth. Remember, nature heals!
Most of all, find the silver lining in all of this. Check in on neighbors. Share your Chlorox wipes, Purell hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Share your love and compassion. Seize the opportunity to connect in meaningful ways — write those letters you’ve been meaning to, make those calls. Remind one another we are in this together.
Play. Throw some playfulness in the face of fear. Remember to laugh. Roll on the floor with your dog. Play a game with your kids. Step away from the chaos you cannot control. Pretend it’s a snow day.
Tap into whatever can keep your vibration high and fortified. Remind yourself, all is well (wipes, hand sanitizers and toilet paper or not).
And as Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things.”
Take that COVID-19!
So how are you navigating this cloud of uncertainty that has descended upon us — have you found ways to use it rather than be used by it? Please share your wisdom and experiences in the comments below, where we learn best from each other.