As we are extending our social distancing and isolation, new challenges emerge. How do we maintain our positive attitudes and spirit in the face of worry, stress and anxiety? We are beyond weeks now and approaching the possibility of a month, or months of sheltering in place. This anomaly is turning into a new normal. Working from home was fun for a while, but now it’s getting old.
With the isolation from friends and co-workers, we may actually develop a new found respect for those we had previously taken for granted recognizing their significance in our daily lives. Perhaps it took total isolation to bring us that revelation. If it deepens our relationships and develops more mutual respect, there may be one huge societal benefit from this time of trial.
While we are waiting to emerge from our protective cocoon, we can focus on all of the good fortune we have in terms of family and friends, interactions and connections. The basic human interaction is far more valuable than many of us realized. We can look forward to the renewed relationships once we are finally free.
Sustaining our spirit through this time, however, requires attentiveness to our own needs. Beyond the healthy habits and guidelines, we have been implementing, we also need to care for our emotional lives. Whether we are sheltering in place with a spouse, children, or alone, we can treat ourselves to a tune. Listening to music can be beneficial for so many things. According to a recent article on WebMd, (https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/music-therapy#1, retrieved 4/2020), music tends to be linked to mood. Our emotions can be influenced by a song. The article describes how hospitals use music therapy to help patients from pregnant women to cancer patients. Studies cited demonstrate other uses of music therapy tied to health and well-being.
Music can transport us to somewhere else; a place from the past or a point in time that makes us smile. Music can be a distraction that can provide a focus away from anxiety or other detrimental emotions. During a time of stress and uncertainty, music may be a tool to take us through the difficult days.
Music can convey a message and tell a story. Music can speak to our souls. Music can make us smile, laugh, and dance. When feeling anxious, try finding a song that speaks to you. Sometimes, it is trial and error. Like Tom Cruise in “Jerry McGuire” you have to change the radio station until you find the tune to fit the mood you are seeking. He was looking for celebratory. I believe we are looking now for uplifting, inspiring and sustaining or something light and fun. Try some of the 50s and 60s. There are so many fun tunes to choose from in those eras. Meaningful music is more personal. It can be determined by age, culture and life’s experiences. Only you can choose what has meaning for you, however, I dare anyone to watch Susan Boyle singing I Dreamed a Dream and not be uplifted and inspired. Give that one a try to get you started. Then it’s time to find your own personal quarantine tune.