Life as we know it has been irretrievably altered these past few months, with no specific end in sight. There is no one unaffected by what is happening in the world today. I pray that we do the right things, stay safe, and come out the other side changed for the better.
As a three-time cancer survivor who recently started new medication, I consider myself a higher risk than most, although not as much as many others. So for me, social distancing is a no-brainer. Other than for two hikes outside, I have not gone anywhere since, well, I’m not really sure. I’ve sort of lost track of time. But it’s safe to say, I’m not going anywhere. My fear of getting this virus is palpable, as is my fear of being denied treatment in a rationing situation.
As someone who is, at times, a bit of a control freak, it’s tough when something this big is out of my control. I’m sure we’re all feeling that anxiety when the big picture is so overwhelming. For me, the best way I can get through this is to focus on those things I can control, with my focus on things that will keep me and my family as healthy as we can be.
I CAN control what and how much I eat. Being home all day every day, in such close proximity to the fridge and the pantry, it would be easy to just say “what the heck?” and eat to my heart’s content. But that’s not the healthiest thing I can do. I still try to make nutritious, plant-based meals every day. It requires some creativity these days (I’ll save that for another post), but we’re doing pretty well. That’s not to say that we don’t have some treats, as well, but the focus is health.
I CAN control my movements. I have been getting on the treadmill every day since our social distancing started. I try to increase duration, speed, and/or incline each day, and I’m at the point where I’m doing a little over 3 miles a day. It’s been good cardio for me, which can only help keep my heart and lungs strong. I’m also getting some exercise through gardening on sunny days and cleaning my house. I’m not really a big fan of the latter, but I find it gives me peace of mind to know I’m doing something to keep germs at bay.
I CAN control what and how things enter my house. We are using online grocery shopping (and grateful for the ability to do so), and David is doing the pick up. What we can leave in the garage stays there for a day or so, and what has to come in the house gets the appropriate cleaning and repacking. Likewise with any other online ordering of supplies and our once a week take out (trying to support our local businesses!).
I CAN control what I focus my mind on. I was all-news-all-the-time in the beginning, but that wasn’t healthy. So now, I try to limit who I listen to, and how much. I’m trying to focus my time and energy on more fruitful activities like reading, crafting, and taking an online class. (Yale’s The Science of Well-Being, if anyone is interested… it’s free!) When I do think about the virus, I try to focus on praying for those who are sick, and for all of those people on the front lines helping us to stay healthy and keep our country moving – the medical community, first responders, grocery store workers, truck drivers, delivery people, restaurants, and so many more. (Yes, David, bankers, too!)
I CAN control ensuring I have social interaction. Technology has made this super easy for us; there’s no reason not to be connected. I try to reach out to 2 or 3 people every day. Phone, text, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Google Hangout, email, and more. We’ve been able to visit with our grandson (and his parents!), go to church, meet with our church small group, play games, have a few drinks, and watch Netflix with friends. Staying connected is super important in this time of isolation.
I’d like to say I can control sleep. But that’s pretty hit and miss with me. I do try to go to bed at a reasonable time and I try to allow my body to sleep as needed. However, Aromasin is not always cooperative in that regard. So I CAN control bedtime and when I get out of bed, but what happens in the middle is not always controllable!
I CAN control trying to bring some enjoyment into our lives. We’ve done game nights, even teaching Ethan how to play poker! We’ve watched our share of Disney movies and recently started watching “Tiger King”. I’m bingeing “The Handmaid’s Tale” while walking, although I’m sure those last two items can be debatable as to their entertainment value…! 🙂
So how is everyone else holding up? How are you managing your isolation? What tips are working for you to stay safe and healthy – and sane – during this crazy time?
IMDb: Control (1987)