Like the rest of the world I watch the news and bounce between crippling concern and glimmers of hope.
My heart aches for all the losses. The elderly man confined to his room. The ill patients fighting for a hospital bed.
The bone-weary doctors and nurses working around the clock hours. The workers in the service industry losing their tips and income. The small business owners grappling to make ends meet in creative new ways.
The parents stuck at home with children who are bored and confused. The seniors in high school and college who lost their last semester of childhood. The athletes whose last seasons have been ripped away from them. The administration and officials forced to make unprecedented decisions.
The terminally ill whose last few months are spent isolated from the beauties of the world. The pregnant women who face uncertainty and fear.
The couples who have diligently planned weddings during this time. The people who have worked hard and saved to take a much needed vacation only to have it taken away from them.
Yet, we will emerge from this. Some of us will be okay. Some of us will not. But despite all the negative, we can take away positives. We can learn from this. We can make gains. We can become better people. We can heal the world.
1. Reconnect with family and friends.
In the past few days we all have had to drastically slow down. For most of us work is no longer a priority. Our social calendar is nonexistent. We have no excuses. Call your mother. Call your grandparents. FaceTime. Create Google Hangouts. Work out together virtually. Create a Facebook group. Post your videos. Share your stories. Have a game night. Read aloud to your kids. Cuddle up to watch movies. Eat dinner together. Call rather than text your friends. Rediscover your spouse.
Life can get so hectic that our conversations with family and friends can be so superficial with nothing beyond the surface of just a quick, “Hi, how are you?” Now, we can have much needed dialogue. We can laugh, solve problems, divulge feelings, reminiscence, and listen to our elders’ stories from the past. This is what we have needed. Take advantage of it. Out of this can come healed relationships and deepened love for our friends and family.
2. Reach a goal or hone a skill
On a lighter note, we should all arise out of isolation as an expert in something. It could be that you learn magic or write a whole novel. If you have the time, try that new recipe, read those books on our shelf, or explore a computer program. The world is our oyster. Well, more like the things around our house are our oyster. Get motivated. Get disciplined. And get going. Who knows what the world has to gain from what you may learn?
3. Organize and clean.
Marie Kondo might have been so early 2019, but we need to channel our inner Ms. Kondo right now because we all desperately need some of 2019 in our life right now. Give your house that deep clean that it has always needed, but now you are doing it to get rid of the Corona. Throw away all the junk that is cluttering your life. Donate the excess. Sell what you don’t really need to make some extra money. The fresh makeover to your house will be translated to your actual life as you throw away all that waste and negative energy. When this is all over, you will be blossoming like a flower in the spring, and the world will gain from your beauty.
4. Take care of yourself
When is the last time you have prioritized yourself? When have you stopped to breath? For many of us the dots on our calendar have vanished in a blink of an eye. The stress of performing at work and overcommitting ourselves have seeped away in plain sight. Focus on you. Meditate. Sleep. I’m not just talking about your average 8 hours of sleep. I mean the good sleep. The sleep where you lie in bed until at least 9:00 AM and then nap again two hours later. Paint your nails. Wear a face mask. Take a bubble bath. Slow down and breath. And then use this latest calmness when you reenter the world. I am hoping we will all surface with a little more Zen in our lives. Namaste, Isolators.
5. Teach your children
Parents everywhere have suddenly become their children’s primary teachers. Something they may not have realized they always were. These moms and dads might not excel in math or science or English, but they can use this time to teach their children core values that will make them better humans when they leave their cocoons and return to their lives.
Responsibility in being good world citizens and doing their part in curbing this pandemic. Teach them that being responsible is not always fun, but it is the right thing to do.
Gratitude for all that they have and for all that they can gain during this time of great fear and uncertainty.
Generosity to those in need. No matter how bad they feel they’ve got it, someone is hurting worse than them. Teach your children to be generous with their time, talent, and wealth.
Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope to be not afraid. Hope that good will prevail. Hope for the world.
And finally, teach them to pray. To give up all their sorrow, fears, worries, and grievances and place them in God’s hands. To pray for all the leaders, the sick and dying, the poor of heart. And when they are done praying, teach them to be silent and listen, for the world is calling us to do something right now.