It’s the first COVID-19 Memorial Day and day 68 of California’s Stay Home Orders. This weekend, two of my neighbors had big family parties. They get to do that. I get to enjoy their laughter while staying safe in my home. However, the little kid in me wants to go out and play.
To minimize my chances of acquiring COVID-19, I’ve chosen a conservative route. In today’s blog, I don’t want to go in to the rationale about my choices. Instead, I want to focus on how I maintain my spirits, determination and commitment during this pandemic.
Find your comfort zone. I don’t have illusions about the severity of COVID-19. It’s highly contagious, dangerous, and invisible. Other than grocery shopping, walking and a few socially-distant social interactions, I stay at home. However, I believe my risk is greatly reduced by maintaining a minimum six feet of distance, rigorous hand washing, no face touching, and wearing a mask.
It helps that I live in an area that has had very little COVID-19. This may change with summer tourism, so I will continue to practice safe six, and don a mask. I know people who have taken much more extreme measures than I have, and some who live with more relaxed practices. I don’t judge. We all need to find the sweet spot that allows us to feel safe.
Treat the pandemic like a marathon, not a sprint. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” My plan is to make it to the end of this pandemic, and to remain healthy, engaged and joyful. My plan modifies all the things that I was doing before COVID-19. I still exercise, sleep regular hours, meditate, visit with friends, eat healthy and help others. Perhaps the form has changed a little bit, but the practice still remains the same.
Embrace pleasure. Fortunately, I am easily entertained. There are activities that I really miss, such as travel, time with others, and small town celebrations. At this point, I have found plenty to do to keep my occupied. However, I suspect I am going to start chomping at the bit, and I may need to go back to school (online), learn how to play the harmonica, and plan ZOOM game nights with friends.
Enlist a coach. Part of my plan is to get help if I start losing sight of my goal. I check in with friends and ask them to help me stay on track.
Every weekday, I participate in a community-wide meditation at Ten Percent Happier Live.
I am trying to stay safe so that others can also stay safe. If I’ve learned nothing else during this pandemic, it is that we are all in the same boat, and have the same primal desire to stay alive. So it’s in everyone’s self-interest to help each other stay free of COVID-19.
How are you maintaining your spirits, determination and commitment during this pandemic?