Here in Texas we are ending up our second week in “Quarantine” for Covid-19 right now and I feel like people are pretty solidly split into 3 different camps about it:
Camp 1: The Freak-Outers
This is the group that is still freaking out about every single thing. Whether it’s freaking out that they too might be exposed to the virus, or freaking out that the economy is getting punched in the mouth, or freaking out that they are stuck in the house with people all day long they thought they really liked…
Regardless, this group is still driving most of the hysteria online because their personality sees all of the potential worst-case scenarios and likes to sit in that.
If that’s you guys….I’m not going to tell you to relax. That’s a cop-out answer people are telling you all over the place.
This IS different and everything HAS changed and that’s going to get worse before better so I see you and understand. What I would tell you is to find your center and find something to focus on (see some ideas further down) and put your energy somewhere else. Fear is NOT going to serve you well long term and panic does NOT bring progress.
Camp 2: The I Don’t Care-ers
This group is the one you see online that has consistently taken the stance of either that this is all a huge hoax and it’s ridiculous, or that they don’t care at all and we should either just all get back to work and not worry about it or whatever.
I have rarely in my life met a person who never had concerns at all when it came to crisis situations so if you find yourself in this group it’s most likely because this is your coping mechanism.
I’m not saying you’re a liar….at all. What I am saying is that when some people go through really drastic changes or stressful things they respond by minimizing the situation or dismissing it altogether because that is how they handle the worry of it and the stress.
If you are in this group I 100% get you because for most of my life this is the group I stayed in. Not because I didn’t care or see what was going on around me but if I minimized it, it gave me an easier chance to get my feet under me and develop a plan so that I wasn’t feeling the stress.
Part of the people who are in this camp set up their tent here because they go the opposite direction of any “trendy” thing. And right now it’s trendy to buy toilet paper and talk about conspiracies because…well…quarantine. But this group is NOT early adopters and don’t want to ever appear to be “band wagon” people.
This group hates and even loathes stress. Anxiety is a sign of weakness so they’d (and I’m including myself because this was me forever) rather act too busy to care or that there isn’t an issue so that they keep themselves as far away from the slippery slope of stress and anxiety as they can.
For some in this camp, I would tell you to make sure you are being realistic and not setting you and your family up to be ill-prepared in case this proves to be more serious than you imagined. Talk to some people you respect to keep a healthy perspective. Don’t lean towards inaction, even if you choose not to stress about it.
Camp 3: The Adapters
This group sees all the same things online and understands the risk (and which is most likely blown out of proportion) and has set up new routines and goals and plans to keep moving their family ship forward.
Now, to be fair….MOST people did not and don’t start in this camp even if you can confidently say that this is the camp you are in now. Most people go through a progression of starting in either Camp 1 or 2 and then slowly you pull up the stakes for your tent and slide it over (maybe kicking and screaming) into Camp 3.
This camp is the goal and we as a family are finally hammering some stakes to put our family’s tent here. But again….we didn’t start here either. I was more in Camp 2 and Cindy was for sure more in Camp 1.
For our society to move forward and figure this thing out though and begin to pivot like we are soooo good at doing…we HAVE to check in to Camp Adapt.
So let’s talk about how to get here and some helpful things to set up at home to make this experience somewhat better and to set yourself up to be better when this thing passes (which it will) instead of worse, fatter, bitter and paranoid of ever touching a door handle again.
First of all though, if you are not here yet and you are still in Camp Freakout or Camp Don’t Care, that’s ok and you have the right to feel (or not feel) ALL THE THINGS. What I would suggest though is for yourself and your family you gotta get a date on the calendar or a time set up where you plan to begin packing up your camp site and moving closer to Camp Adapt.
It’s ok to NOT be ok…it’s just not ok to STAY that way…
TIP 1: GET A NEW VISION
I know, I know…for some of you this makes you want to punch a puppy. You had your whole vision mapped out and you were crushing your plan and Corrie the Coronavirus royally infected your plans and through a dirty bomb into your playhouse.
I get it….we’re with you.
But you can either cry about someone stomping your sandcastle until the rest of it falls down OR determine where you are, where you still want to go, and RESET course to get there.
It may be that this crisis has changed your vision completely….GO FOR IT!
It may be that this crisis has caused you to alter your plan….CRUSH IT!
It may be that this crisis has revealed how horrible your plan was and has given you the opportunity to change it…..THANK GOD!
So whether you have lost your job or you are an entrepreneur or business owner and this has messed up your 5-year plan….instead of letting this shut you down….figure out how to alter course and keep on trucking.
YOU CAN DO THIS.
Tip 2: Do something NEW
Some of you are not in quarantine because your job is considered “essential” and you have to be there so this won’t pertain to you as much BUT you might have family stuck at home so this would be great for them.
Crisis like this gives two really good gifts that I can see: 1. Time and 2. Clarity
You now have time to do a lot of things that you either never could before or just put off for months or years. Here is a list of some ideas:
a) Learn a new language: Apps like DuoLingo are amazing and you can for sure find tutors online who need work. Reach out to the school spanish teachers who are now sitting at home feeling un-fulfilled and hire them to teach you how to speak spanish…you get my point.
b) Pick up a new hobby: For us we are trying our hand at box gardening and raising chickens (we’ve wanted to for awhile and now…voila!). Maybe for you it’s model cars with your kid or restoring cars or puzzles, or ANYTHING.
c) Develop a new skill: This is not nearly as fun as binge watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix, BUT, we all have the biggest opportunity to get better in an area we previously were….ummm….less good at. Maybe you need to learn to budget or balance your finances better. Maybe you have never tried fitness and movement and have always used the excuse of time. Maybe you need to learn to fix your own car or cut your kids’ hair or landscaping or…..you tell me. None of us are amazingly good at everything….so there’s room for us to improve
3) Tip 3: Practice Gratitude & Reflection
I have been a big proponent of journalling pretty much since I want a kid. I have always loved writing and have continued that and have lots of journals. I haven’t always been consistent about it but I love it. Since this quarantine and Covid-craziness….I haven’t missed a day of journalling.
Why? Because it is amazingly stress-relieving AND because I don’t want to forget this. When my grandkids ask me about the Lockdown of 2020 I want to be able to let them read about it in my own handwriting.
You don’t have to use a fancy journal though….doing voice recordings, video logs or live videos online (although I would save them to your phone or computer to be safe), or just talking this out with people is so important.
Don’t be a secluded island during all of this or end up acting like Cousin Eddie…and nobody wants that. So make sure you are connecting with people, even if it’s in online chats and Zooms, and even if (especially if) you hate that stuff. DO IT ANYWAY.
At the end of every day talk about what your favorite parts of the day were and what you are most GRATEFUL for.
Gratitude is the antidote to fear. So take your daily dose of it and don’t forget.
Hopefully this has helped you. Take some of it and use it and share it around.
There are SOOOOOOO many groups doing things for people online you can jump in on from fitness to kids activities to gardening….we are in a huge world swap meet online and it’s beautiful. So go take part in that. Get some new ideas and give some of your own.
The way we all come out of this better is if we do it TOGETHER.