How are you doing? I can imagine your days are filled with highs and lows, anxiety, coupled with feelings of joy, love, fear and worry, perhaps with moments of boredom in the mix, as you adapt to a new and different normal.
Uncertainty is stressful. The world is facing an economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic is the deadliest threat to ordinary life that we have experienced in modern history. BUT we are experiencing this adversity collectively. We cannot let fear consume us. We will get through this. We will beat the virus. The economy will bounce back. We need to shift our fear into hope, faith and courage.
Be present. Dig Deep. Make choices with love, practice kindness, to yourself and others. Be grateful. We owe so much to the healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, truck drivers, grocery store clerks and everyone on the front lines who are working on our behalf.
This global pandemic is shifting us, shifting our daily lives, shifting our priorities and shifting the way we work, live and interact. This is an unprecedented time for us globally. Focus on your health, both physical and mental. If you are experiencing anxiety, address it. Self-care is essential during this time. Everything is upside down with most of the world forced to stay home.
These are dark days indeed, but I am seeing the goodness that is rising up around us. We may be forced to be apart but we are coming together as one in so many new ways.
When the school systems closed down, their first concern was to make sure the children that relied on school lunches for food did not go hungry. (If you are able, consider making a gift to #nokidhungry.) Only after local school systems figured out how to bag breakfasts and lunches and disseminate them safely did they focus on the learning. Once they did, they offered chrome books for loan to the families that did not have computers at home, and internet providers were offering free wifi.
I worked for a decade trying to make change in the education system with the ArtScience Prize and it’s difficult. We did a lot of good but shifting schools and systems to make big changes is very, very hard. Yet in a matter of weeks, across the globe, education systems quickly shifted to remote learning almost overnight. This will no doubt help us conceive new ways to educate equitably going forward.
Across the US people of all ages are banding together to make face masks for our doctors, nurses, emergency care workers, truck drivers and grocery store workers. People are gathering together in new ways both virtually and in person. There are online social cocktail hours. There are gatherings of neighborhoods from their balconies, windows and driveways in order to interact.
In Arlington, MA the community has launched 6 Feet at 6PM to connect as a community, visually and virtually, each evening at 6pm. They are asking everyone to come out of their homes or look out their windows to wave to neighbors in an effort to check in with each other at a safe distance to make sure “we are all OK as a community.” #Arlington6At6
In Italy people are coming together for song from their windows and balconies, here is one hauntingly beautiful video. One of the people who sang wrote “Imagine the whole world singing like this from their houses. No hate, no nothing. Just unified for once. Love this so much,”
Remember during this time filled with anxiety, it’s important to move your body, practice self care and eat healthy. Yogaworks is offering free virtual yoga classes with teachers from across the US. This morning I took a virtual class from an instructor in Atlanta and had others participating from India, Norway, Sweden, Texas and more. 86 people turned on their computers and practiced yoga at the same time. Amazing. You should try it. If you are new to yoga, it’s ok there are classes for everyone.
This is also a time to try something new, alone or with your family. Faer is painting every day and taking online piano lessons. Ellie has taken up embroidery and is creating beautiful things. Alexander is learning new skateboard tricks.
Get creative. Grab a book and read. Listen to music. Pull out your mixer and bake something. Embrace this time with your immediate family and friends, whoever you are with during this time. Connections are important. Conversations are important, especially with our children to help them process this historic time with all of the ambiguity and unknowns.
It’s also important to get out in nature if you can safely do this. Look at the clouds. Watch the wind in the trees. Take a deep breath. Listen to the birds. Be happy that you are alive.
I’ll close with the same words the yoga instructor said this morning as she ended class:
May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you prosper in ways that bring you joy. May we all be free. I love you. Namaste.
Carrie Allen created this site as a way for people to share stories about things they love. She loves chasing quiet, authentic moments and sharing them with her family and friends. Read more about her inspiration here.