Let me just state the obvious: this is a hard uncertain time. I haven’t felt much like writing the last few days. I didn’t know how to comfort myself let alone any of you. Then I remembered something. I don’t have to have all the answers. I certainly don’t. The important things are staying healthy and safe. That means listening to experts and following guidelines. It means taking one day at a time. There’s a line in Frozen 2 where Anna says to herself “Do the next right thing.” What is that exactly? For me that means ordering groceries and needed supplies to minimize interaction and, therefore, spread. Washing my hands, often. Staying home as much as possible. But then what? How to deal with the emotional and mental toll?
For the first few days, I consumed all the news I could. Facts were helpful, but scary. All the news consumption messed with my head. I had nightmares that interrupted my sleep. After three days of being on edge: I didn’t feel good. Sleep is paramount to thriving with CP for me. After giving myself a stern pep talk: I reached out to my brother/journey partner to see how he was holding up. As is usual we had similar reactions to the state of everything now. We just started talking it out with each other. It was a giant help to both of us. Together worked its magic, yet, again. My first thought after our conversation was thank you, God We’re blessed You gave us each other.
My next thought was making a plan that balances being informed and manages anxiety. The plan I formulated is working for me and I wanted to share it with you in hopes it might help you too.
- Limit news consumption: For me, that equals turning off the news networks. I read the paper(s) I subscribe to, and get breaking news alerts from my news apps, but I don’t turn on the news. This makes me much calmer and happier.
- Listening to lots of music and doing copious amounts of singing along just like Granny and Mama taught me. Music is the universal language and a gift that can handle any emotion I or you throw at it.
- Watching my favorite TV shows and movies: pure escapism is good for the psyche.
- Reading that has nothing to do with news.
- Checking on everybody who matters to me.
I thought I’d share the Bible verses that provide comfort to me right now with y’all too. They are as follows:
- Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
- Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
- Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
All these verses were copied and pasted from www.biblegateway.com.
I hope my ways of coping help you all too. I pray they give you hope as well. There will be an after this, and when that day comes may we never take the simple pleasures of life for granted again. I hope we are better able to discern what is most important and fulfilling in our lives after this. I hope we let the rest fall away because it truly doesn’t matter and isn’t a big deal. Be kind and patient with yourselves and others. Stay safe and healthy, y’all.