For the past month, I’ve been focused on many serious things: My kids’ health, their school work and my own health. I’ve been listening to the news and I’ve been terrified wondering what this outbreak will do to everyone’s future.
We all want this to end
We all want one thing and that is for this nightmare to end.
Most of us have lost sleep and have been consumed with what we are missing or what we can’t do because our lives literally changed on a dime. Our routines are suddenly gone, our safety is in jeopardy, and we’ve never been through anything like this before so we don’t know how to respond.
This morning I went to the grocery store. We were out of everything. As I pulled up, I saw people waiting in line to get in as our local store is only allowing seventy-five people in at a time. Many of them were wearing masks and gloves. Ice was pelting them in the face since we were in the middle of a winter storm.
I stopped at the three-way stop sign and just stared at everyone not wanting to believe what I was seeing. I wanted to go to that hopeless place. The thing that scares me most is that I am becoming accustomed to this feeling of doom and gloom. Right now, I need to see some good in this situation if I am going to get through it.
I need to focus on the good
So while I have not buried my head in the sand and I am not ignoring reality, I have to refocus on some of the good things that are happening because my mental health depends on it.
I realized as I parked my car how lucky I am. I have a car and can still drive to my regular store and buy some of my favorite things. I can bring groceries home and cook them for my family because we have electricity and running water.
Many of us are able to ride out this outbreak in the comfort of our home with access to television, our favorite blanket and hot showers. It’s a blessing that we aren’t taking for granted and it’s getting us to help others who may not have the same means.
But there are other rays of light bursting through what is probably one of the scariest times we’ve all been through.
7 things we can still be thankful for
- More Family Time. Of course this has pros and cons. It’s a lot to be on top of your family 24/7, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t thankful to be together. Since my kids aren’t able to see their friends and are home more, they’ve pretty much made peace with it and have been doing things like baking with me and picking out television shows for us to watch together.
- Most of us have access to the Internet. This allows us to keep working. It’s allows our children to continue learning, it’s keeping us connected through virtual classes and virtual groups meetings for work or for pleasure. I’ve never been so thankful to have Internet access in my life–it is literally saving me.
- Getting dressed up for dinner can still happen. We got dressed up and I made a nice dinner and lit candles. Oh, it felt good to get dressed in actual clothes and put on earrings. It lifted my spirits just enough to make it through the next day and was exactly what I needed. A fun tip: If there’s a restaurant meal your family has been missing, you may be able to find a copycat recipe online.
- You can have a spa day at home. My daughter and I have been doing hair and face masks with stuff we have at home. I’ve been keeping my nails done because it makes me happy. And thank the Lord I’m still able to buy my favorite hair color online since I can’t make it to the salon.
- We can still talk to friends. It’s a great time to reach out to people since they aren’t doing as much. Honestly, calling someone or sending them a text right now will make their day not to mention we have more time to connect than we ever have.
- A lot of teens are thriving while doing school work from home. I’ve heard a few parents say this. Maybe it’s because they are able to sleep in a bit and get some breakfast. Perhaps they are just setting the pace to get their work done. I know my kids have all bumped their grades up since they’ve been home for the past three weeks and I no longer have to remind them to do work because they are itching for something to do. I’ll take it.
- We can still have hope. The biggest thing we can do for ourselves and for others is to keep being hopeful. This will end and while we aren’t sure when, just knowing that it will end is enough to lift the darkness just a bit.
I think in times like this, it’s important to remember that hope isn’t something that can be taken from us. In fact, staying hopeful can help get us from minute to minute.
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