2020 So Far...
Staying Calm in a world that is anything but... especially with Coronavirus. If there was one word you could use to describe 2020 thus far, it would be chaotic. From global pandemics to murder hornets to police protests, this year shows no sign of slowing down or taking a breather. Budgets are getting tighter and tighter and stress levels are increasing exponentially every day. There are so many unknown unknowns right now it’s hard to even think about making a plan for next week, let alone a week from now. The worst purchase I made in 2019 was a scheduling calendar for 2020.
We are all experiencing the chaos to different degrees. Some of us have lost our jobs, others of us still have a job but worry for how long. Big and small companies are scrambling to find ways to stay open, while following pandemic protocols. People with children are in a particularly difficult situation with balancing stay at home working with watching their children at the same time.
It’s been six months since the virus was introduced to the United States, and four months since quarantine restrictions began. Everyday the news bombards us with what could be the next horror story of 2020, which can cause our stress levels to rise higher than they already are. In order to bring our stress level down let’s talk about what’s really happening in people’s lives, and take a break from all the doom and gloom.
The Reality We Live In..
We must recognize that life will not be returning to what we would consider normal for a very long time. Wearing masks, altered store hours, take-out only restaurants, and on-line classrooms are the new normal.
It’s going to take time to figure things out. We are living though something none of our ancestors had to deal with. We are no longer bound by geographic boundaries and the whole world is interconnected. One virus in a small Chinese village was enough to create a world-wide pandemic. Creating world-wide (nation by nation) protocols from scratch is going to take time.
When looking at the current situation, it’s important to remember that change is not necessarily a bad thing. Necessity is the mother of innovation. The safety restrictions brought on by the virus may result in a healthier society later down the road. Restaurants and airplanes of the future may not try to cram so many people into a small space in order to maximize profit. I would love to travel on an airplane where I didn’t have to share an armrest with the person next to me.
Quarantined means you’re supposed to avoid physical contact with large crowds or people you don’t know. It doesn’t mean you’re supposed to sit in your attic and basement for 4 months and hope this whole thing will just eventually be over. Human interaction is important for our psychological and emotional well-being. Staying connected is a challenge, but it’s not impossible.
You can keep in touch with family members and friends using Zoom and Skype. If some of your family or friends are technologically challenged you can always try giving them an old-fashioned phone call. (I would personally try to avoid using text, as it lacks the ability to pick up on verbal cues). Seeing what other people are doing to pass the time can also give you some ideas.
You can also get creative. Some religious organizations are hosting online events. Meetup.com is still offering meetings on Zoom. Write an old-fashioned letter and send it by snail-mail. Leave messages for neighbors in sidewalk chalk. Learn Morse Code and have conversations with your neighbor across the street.
Letting your health fall to the back burner is easy to do right now. We are actively being encouraged to eat out more to keep businesses from failing, but most restaurant foods do not provide optimal health. It’s important to keep a balance. Give yourself a limit for how many times you eat out in a month and be vigilant about not going over that number.
Plan out your meals. At the beginning of the week sit down with a pad and paper and write down all the meals you want to eat for the next week. Then from this list create a grocery list and follow it. This is a good way to save money.
Note: You know yourself and your cooking ability. Don’t try to plan your meals in an effort to become the next Master Chef. Not to say you can’t try to do one fancy dinner, but don’t try to make Ratatouille on Monday, and Sashimi on Tuesday. Your budget will dry up very quickly.
Keep regular appointments with your chiropractor. Chiropractic care is preventative care. A person with a correctly aligned spine will function more efficiently when fighting off infections and diseases.
The biggest problem with being quarantined is boredom. It’s very easy to follow the trap of binge-watching Netflix. But do you really feel like you accomplished anything after a whole day of binging?
Luckily, there are plenty of online learning courses that are free or very cheap. Courses online like Khan academy on YouTube. Harvard and Stanford also offer free classes on YouTube.
Udemy, Coursera, and Linda all offer courses for varying rates. Why not use your downtime to learn something new?
You Are In Control of Some things..
It’s important to remember that even during these times where things seem to be completely out of control you still have control over you. Restricting the news gives you the power to control what goes into your brain. You have the power to create a daily schedule and try to follow it. Start using the home exercise equipment that’s just been sitting in your basement collecting dust. Same goes for that guitar in your closet. How long has it been since you’ve dedicated time to do that thing you’ve always wanted to try? Why not try it now?
Patients often tell their health care providers they don’t have the time or the energy to exercise and eat healthy. Now (a lot of you) have the time, you just have to put forth the effort.
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