I think it’s fair to say for many right now, current pandemic events have us feeling like we’ve fallen deep into a glacial crevasse, not knowing which way is out. Or maybe pushed along by the avalanche of life, tumbling through the white snow, yet somehow in the dark, wondering which way is up. Maybe we feel we’re being chased by unseen forces or suspect the only thing missing these days is for the mothership to land and take over. Or maybe the scary clown will jump out of the bushes next. Our finances, homes, personal relationships, jobs, and professional aspirations, not to mention most importantly, our physical lives and the lives of our beloved family and friends, are fragile, vulnerable and in jeopardy.

Excuse the crassness, but that’s some real scary shit. The stuff that good (in a bad way), suspenseful, nail biting movies are made of. The scary kind that leave you with terrible dreams at night for weeks on end. Sometimes I feel we’re all involved in some weird existential, global, interactive play or game we don’t recollect signing up for. At least I don’t.

So, how do you cope? How do you move ahead when the world and life is pushing you down and backwards at the same time? Well, my instinct tells me to dig in deep, don’t let go, and just breathe.

Here’s a few practical things that I’m doing as I dig deep during these unprecedented times. Some of them help me cope, others will hopefully prepare me for “What’s Next”, when the world and our lives get back toward some semblance of order.

  • Limiting my daily news intake. It’s just too much to take at times.
  • Revisiting my small library of books (both actual and virtual), rereading some favs. It’s like visiting old friends.
  • Meditating and self-reflecting – considering what’s important, sifting through what’s worth my time and energy, and decisively eliminating what’s not.
  • Cooking and baking daily and keeping it simple with meat, natural starches, fruits and vegetables. Viruses and inflammation love sugar, so therefore I do not.  
  • Treasuring people I value, personally and professionally, and who value me. Reconnecting through virtual happy hours, long phone conversations, and deep philosophical discussions.
  • Distancing myself from unappreciative energy vampires, scary members in the cast of characters, unrecognized until social distancing and self-isolation became household words.
  • Cleaning up files and going through a major reorg of both finished and unfinished projects.
  • Developing new skills through online virtual training – practical skills I can use when this scary movie is over, and we get back to the art of living.
  • Maintaining an exercise routine and also getting in more outdoor walks. (Mother Nature could be a little kinder though. 30F degree days with fresh snowfall on April 16th in the Great Lakes region is a little much to bear. Then again, the set adds nicely to the scary movie plot.)
  • Connecting virtually with colleagues, professional organizations and associations.
  • Finally, writing again. Something I haven’t had much time to do for myself because I’ve been too busy with other projects and it was pushed to the wayside.

So, when I finally “walk out of the theatre” after this scary movie is over, the practical things I do today, will serve as the credits that roll by on the screen, and I’ll gratefully honor the steps that helped get me through it all.