April 24, 2020

Covid-19 Quarantine day number __?

I don’t know about you, but as the days go by, I’ve lost track of how long we’ve been “at home.” For some people, keeping track can be helpful – it can be a sign of our ability to endure –“ We’ve managed 33 days at home, we can handle 33 more!”

 For others, it allows us to feel some solidarity with each other. FB post – “Quarantine day 37 – how’s everyone else doing?”

I’m leaning more towards losing track of the days. When I think too much about it, I feel more anxious. I begin to focus on the days ahead and it can seem insurmountable. For families with children at home, seeing a calendar with endless days ahead at home can be completely overwhelming. Looking back at all the days and “events” that have been missed can bring out grief over and over again for all that has changed. Taking one day at a time allows us to stay in the present which is where we need to be right now.

Our past was not all rosy. We were running around from here to there, trying to keep up with activities and expectations. Our future is unknown. The world as we know it has changed. No one has any real idea when and how public life will resume. Many things will return to normal, many more will return but will look different. We just don’t know and spending too much time thinking about what we don’t know can bring out all the anxiety!

What we do know is what is going on right now. Here, in our homes. Taking this time to just be in THIS moment, can be an unexpected gift. While it is expected and good to feel grief over what has been lost, to get stuck there isn’t helpful. Spending time acknowledging some of the silver linings, can help move you past the grief and anxiety.

One of the things I’m hearing from families is that they are enjoying a slower pace of life. Time outside, extra time reading and playing games, regular meals together. There is incredible beauty in our world and in our families, that we often miss when we are so driven to do all the things. Be here. Be present. Acknowledge your sadness and worry, then set it aside. Notice the beauty and the calm. Embrace it. Soak it all up.

If you or other members of your family are struggling, ask for help. No one needs to do this alone. Call a friend. Reach out to a counselor or therapist. We are all in the same storm, but our “boats” are different. If your boat has a leak, or needs gas, ask for help. If we can all be brave, and look outside ourselves to help others stay afloat, we can trust that when we start to sink, someone will be there for us.