Finding Silver Linings
This is indeed what we might refer to as, “unusual times”. Many of us are concerned about our own health, as well as those around us. While the shelter-in-place directive has frustrated so many, there is not much to be done about it. The helplessness leaves us even more concerned, tense, and distracted. We don’t know how long this will last, or how it will end. One thing we can do is look for silver linings. Sometimes, we are stretching to find threads, but they do exist and it is worth redirecting our thoughts to those better things in this situation. Here are my five favorite silver linings and things to do while social distancing.
1. Organize spaces and places. Look around your house. You are going to spend a lot of time in it over the next few weeks. Now you have time to think about what would you like to improve in your living space. Do you need to reorganize the furniture? Maybe it’s time for something new. Sometimes a good spring cleaning just makes you feel better. Cleaning windows after a long winter makes a big difference in light and sun in the house. Now is a great time to get more sunshine and more cheer in our days. Open those drapes and let the sun shine in!
2. Music all day and everywhere. Find uplifting songs that make your toes tap and send your spirit soaring. Sing out loud. No one is going to hear you while everyone is sheltering in place. Even if they do, is anyone going to risk the virus just to knock on your door and tell you to stop singing? No, I think not. Your neighbors will let you howl at the moon as long as you don’t come within six feet of their personal space. Go ahead, and sing out loud and feel the pure fun of it.
3. Enjoy the isolation. I have heard several people remark that they are really enjoying togetherness time. Little children are thrilled to have parents at home. Adult children have been provided with bonding time that often escapes the family once the individual life overtakes family life. Spouses and loved ones are learning to enjoy each other and find new commonalities, interests, and closeness. If you live alone, some peace and quiet can be beneficial when life is otherwise lived at warp speed. Enjoy the break. You’ll be back to high speed insanity before you know it.
4. Start something new. How often have you started a sentence with, “If I had time, I would learn to”? Well, now you have time to do whatever. If you have always wanted to learn to play an instrument, get started now. If you want to get into better shape, start with home training and walking. If you have always wanted to be a better cook, try new recipes. If you have a garage full of things that need to be fixed, fix them now. Most people have plenty to do and now we have been given the gift of time to do it.
5. Reconnect with old friends. When was the last time you called your college roommate? When was the last time you laughed and reminisced with an old buddy? While everyone is “social distancing” in the physical space, why not connect in the virtual space? Use Facetime or any video method to connect with old friends.
One final thought on this topic. Top of the list of things to avoid is listening to the news. The news isn’t going to get much better in the short term so stop pounding yourself with the messaging of misery. Check the latest for about 5 minutes, then turn off the news. Stop reading the paper. Tune out the droning and moaning. You can’t change it. You can’t fix it and, unless you can cure it, you might as well just tolerate it, make the best of it, and try to find some silver linings.