For weeks now, I don’t sleep. The moment I see my pillow, a writing zombie takes over my body – and the next thing I know it’s 2 am and I’ve worked half the night. If I force myself to try to sleep, I literally feel more energized to get up. I’m calling it the Corona Insomnia. The coronavirus update sucks. So, what happens next?
Do we pursue our goals while in quarantine? Or does pursuing our goals from home, subconsciously say we’re never getting out?
Stuck! The whole world is confined simultaneously! What should I do for my life?
Well, first off, realizing the anxiety we feel is normal is important. I’m sure you’ve read it, heard it on cable, podcasts and wherever. But what’s not normal is the fact there’s no real end in sight. And the general social isolation in itself is enough to turn our worlds upside down without adding more to it.
Nothing is more normal than to feel anxiety when we receive tragic news. We understand why our 92-year old aunt died, or why someone lost a job, got into a car accident, and so on. We cope because we have experience and routines that follow catastrophes. But in the coronavirus updates, there are no routines that comfort us or really answer the “What do I do now?” or “What will happen tomorrow?”
In fact, there is no one alive who has ever lived through a coronavirus. We have history books that talk about plagues every 100 years, but what about today? I think this fact affects how we feel, cope, hope and how we might at times feel nothing. Our sense of normality has completely gone out the window with a sudden crash in our habitual daily routines.
With that in mind, when everything we know in life changes, stops, or vanishes, our minds go on alert. I asked my son the other day, “How many senses do we have? I’m feeling about 1000. Joking of course, but everything under stress is exaggerated.
So, what is the answer? A brief answer without having to read 4,000 words on how to cope and where to go to cope, but just an answer. What do we do? What can we do?
We don’t stop, that’s what we do.
I will not stop,
I will turn to my face that way,
the way I always have,
I will not fall to the brink of doing nothing.
I will let love
organize my chaos.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE HOME SCHEDULE
If you work from home, you’re lucky. If you’ve lost your job, that’s tough to bear and I feel it too, I’ve lost a large part of my income. But it no time to fall still. It’s time to do something else. Open the doors in any direction possible. Sketch, write, paint, draw, color in coloring books, clean, bake or cook something special, build, paint, put a business plan together for what happens after this is over. Put a business plan together for a dream project you’ve put off. Don’t underestimate the power in drawing a picture even if haven’t done it for decades, these actions lead to new ideas, but most of all they relax us. Being productive is crucial.
Let’s be honest, are you sick of Netflix? You might not be aware, but lack of productivity leads to more fear. Sitting and watching shows all day, or reading coronavirus updates all day is counterproductive.
Open a blog, start an online business. Use the talents you have to do more than read about the virus, or how sad things are. Whether you work from home or not, plan your days similar to going to work.
- Get up on time
- Go to bed on time
- Eat on time. In fact, celebrate with things like pancakes!
- Don’t change the things you can control. Like a regular work schedule.
- Shower and put your best t-shirt on, and look in the mirror and tell yourself something great about yourself, your family and even the cat.
- Text your spouse from the living room or whatever room you’re working from as if you’re out of the house.
You know that part in a movie, where two opposing sides pause a chaotic or violent moment in order to offer a reprieve. Or amidst chaotic pain, there’s laughter, and you suddenly cheer for the act of being human. The selfless sacrifice that brings a tear. The relief of seeing the human ability to adapt kindness in a moment of fear or pain. Well, you’re in that movie now, you’re the American soldier who puts his gun down looking his enemy straight in the eyes and says. “It’s Christmas eve. Let’s not pick our guns up until the sun comes up.”
Be that person. It works.
Psychology Today, Marty Nemko Ph.D., Dealing With Exaggerated Coronavirus Fears: Updated 4/15/20