Greetings one and all…
This morning as I write this Cardinal Note, I am blessed to look outside and see sunshine and blue skies. A glorious day indeed. I plan to take advantage of the fabulous weather upon the completion of this post. I am maintaining what little sanity I have by walking 5-7 miles every day. Hopefully, you have discovered a daily ritual that serves to keep you balanced, realistically optimistic, and intentionally attentive to the moment.
Although we long for the end of the COVID-19 crisis, time remains a precious commodity. So, how do we choose to invest ourselves in the hours, days, and weeks to come? What shall we do? How shall we BE? How can we regain the life-giving balance necessary to walk this path? Well, I just happen to have a few ideas!
Limit Exposure to the News— I am a staunch believer that knowledge is power. It’s important that we stay current on recent developments and mandates associated with the pandemic. However, perseverating on the COVID-19 situation is unhealthy. I learned this the hard way. Flipping back and forth between the various news providers, reading online articles, and anxiously awaiting the next “Breaking News” banner to stream across my screen served only to increase my anxiety, diminish my mental health, and exhaust me. Consequently, I have achieved a better balance by adhering to the following plan:
- To remain current on policies, procedures, and plans, I watch a local news channel AM and PM. I also watch the national evening news. I have muted the crazy-making harangue of the 24/7 news providers. What a relief!
- I limit online research related to the pandemic to known, reliable, scientific, and/or health care organizations, institutions, and agencies.
- Whether reading or watching the news, I try to be “in the moment” – resisting the temptation to worry about tomorrow. I have more than enough to deal with in the here and now!
Continue Learning About Life— I have always loved to learn. I am the proverbial geek—happiest when I am in a classroom, reading a book, or diving into research about a new topic of interest. Therefore, the practice of social distancing affords me the time to do what I love. If you also love to learn, consider the following ideas to balance out your days:
- Check out Coursera.org: Coursera is an online learning platform that offers college level classes from universities throughout the world – FREE. I recently enrolled in a class – The Science of Well-Being – taught by a Yale professor. Seems like a timely subject! Care to join me?
- Tap into Podcasts: Several years ago, a dear friend introduced me to the world of podcasts. I am a HUGE fan! When walking, riding my bike, and driving, I listen and learn. I am very excited to share that Brene Brown just launched her podcast – Unlocking Us. I listened to the first recording yesterday. I LOVE it! You might want to check it out – inspiring, motivating, hopeful, and FUNNY!
- Do you have a pile of books by your nightstand? Ebooks uploaded but unread? Books in your library queue about to expire? Now is the time to kick back and savor every word.
- Leverage your time to hone current skills or develop new ones. Learn a new language. Practice a musical instrument. Craft and write stories. Whatever your passion – pursue it!
Explore Creative Ways to Connect— Over the past week, I have heard about innovative and life-giving ways of coming together. Stories that warm my heart and bring a smile to my lips. We may be encouraged to socially distance or even shelter in place, but we need each other now more than ever. So, it’s time to be creative in how we come together. In order to balance the reality of social distancing with our desire for social connection, we can choose to:
- Leverage technology to communicate on a daily basis – phone calls, emails, text messages, instagrams, FaceBook, etc.
- Participate in virtual worship services offered by various faith communities.
- Convene virtual happy hours, family meals, birthday celebrations, and meetings using platforms such as ZOOM or Google Hangout Chat. FYI – I convened a virtual happy hour with a group of girlfriends last night using ZOOM. We had so much fun that we have another gathering scheduled in 2 days! Cheers to virtual connections!
In closing, I acknowledge that achieving and maintaining a balanced perspective is a daily challenge. Some days I do better than others. When struggling, it’s nice to have some ideas in mind as to how to right the ship! I hope some of the suggestions noted today prove beneficial. More importantly, perhaps you’ll be motivated to share what’s working for you and your family. We are all in this together my friends. Please share your resources and insights. Something you post may be JUST the thing someone else has been longing to hear. Remember, we ARE better together. BE WELL and STAY WELL.
Blessings to you and yours………..jane