This too will pass.
This isn't going to last forever!
That's what I keep telling myself as the looming winter months stretch out before me like a highway blanketed with freshly fallen snow.
Last March, when we went into lockdown I knew that the only way to get through the uncertainty, the confusion and the fear of contracting a virus that was killing people was to manage the thoughts in my head.
If I let them get out of control and start spinning skeins of worry and worst case scenarios, I knew I was going to tie myself into a knot.
There have been moments when I've rekindled my love of sweets to an excess and had a few more gin and tonics, than are good for me. However, these two "chemical coping mechanisms" wear themselves thin as both my sleep, my energy and my digestion soon become a more immediate concern than my existential angst and I'm gently pushed to curtail or cease their ingestion.
Making the switch to positive behaviours...
I get back to writing more, doing more breathing practice, elongating my walks, doing more yoga practice or studying the subjects of which I am interested in.
There was a very informative article this morning in The Globe and Mail this week about a timeline for the roll out of the vaccine in Canada and most of us won't be getting it until next summer.
If you are on the front lines of healthcare, are in a group that has pressing health concerns and other people identified as being at high risk...you'll get the vaccine in the new year . The rest of us will need to double down, manage our monkey minds and do the most we can to not only protect ourselves but to halt the spread of Covid-19.
The problem for me is the amount of alone time. I'm a recluse by nature..but even I need social interaction to keep my nervous system regulated. Lately I've found that people have become less social ( for good reason) and fewer people are reaching out to say hello or see how each other are doing.
Keep in Touch
It's a great time to pick up the phone ( not text), send a real letter, or set up a Zoom call to get a little of that much needed FaceTime! Caring about other people's well being is important when there are so many of us who live alone and don't have access to the social systems we used to have, pre Covid.
Busy fingers, quiet minds
Hobbies and pastimes are important. Scrolling through social media or watching the news is a good way to distress yourself so limiting exposure is highly recommended despite being highly addictive.
I've decided to learn how to edit video, learn how to design some of my own marketing materials and improve my story telling skills.
Learn a new skill
There are so many fantastic programs available online now and many are free..although I am not sure about offering things for free because for all the free content, there's someone out there whose business is to earn a living from offering the same skill and they need to get paid. Keep that in mind when you sign up for free. You wouldn't walk into your local store and expect to get your shopping for free so why do we expect to get things online for free?
Value and Free
I understand the need to highlight our work. I taught online for free for three months in the spring. It was a wonderful time of meeting new people. It created a touchstone for people and myself and many have become full-time paying clients of my online studio.
If you really can't afford a service you could ask the person providing it if you can barter, or come up with some other trade of goods and services. We all have skills to share and not only is this a win win situation it keeps us practicing our skills of communication, negotiation and the all important skill of asking for what we want!
You've got this!
So if you are heading into the doldrums of winter, a proactive approach is warranted. We can and will get through this. It is the small daily decisions of where we place our attention and how we use our time that will make the difference.