Life has never been as uncertain as it is right now in this moment. We may think it’s because there’s a pandemic and we’ve been asked to stay at home, without a definite end in sight. Some of us are beginning to settle into this new normal and others can’t wait for it to be over. Some have adapted to a new way of being and are anticipating how these changes will remain long after COVID-19 is no longer the topic of the day.
I live alone and frankly love the slower pace of life, and learning to balance structure and freedom in my schedule. I miss human contact though and a little envious of the people who have others to be with. I almost dread at times, the return to a world that was going too fast for me before all this started. I love the leisure time to connect with people I didn’t have time for before. And I like working in my pajamas!
But the days are beginning to remind me of the movie Groundhog's Day. Another day of going from my bed to the kitchen, to my desk, to the couch. Repeat.
So here are my guidelines on how to BE during times of uncertainty:
BE wherever you are. There is no right or wrong way to do a pandemic. This much alone or down time is a gift. Let it unfold as it will.
BE mobile. Get outside and breathe and walk every single day even when you don’t want to. Nature doesn’t know there is a virus invading the world. (Wear your homemade mask)
BE creative. Get back to the way things were pre-technology: playing board games, cooking, writing, walking, reading, biking, crafts, talking to each other, resting, taking a bath.
BE grateful for the invention of that technology that took our pace to lightning speeds because it is now the source of bringing us closer together.
BE generous. Emotions will no doubt be all over the place at times seeming hopeless, desperate, and isolating. Look where you can support someone or contribute.
BE kind. We have all been living 6 feet apart for a very long time. Say hello and it’s okay to smile at each other. Thank the essential workers you come in contact with either in person or by phone. Ask them how they are coping.
BE present. Worry is only in our thoughts and based in the future. When we focus on not knowing when and how this is all going to turn out, it has a tendency to keep us in a downward spiral to nowhere. Focus on what’s right in front of you and what you can be doing in the moment. In the present, there can not be panic because in the present there is only what’s so. When we return to “normal” you’ll have learned to appreciate the simple things in life, you’ll be calmer and more connected
BE patient. In uncertainty, we want answers and we want them now. This is not always possible and being with what’s happening now versus what may or may not happen in the future produces agitation for no reason.
I have my days mixed up and now wearing my sweatpants to yoga, my yoga pants to bed and my pajamas to work. In attempts to follow the social distancing guidelines, I’ve discovered new streets and views on my neighborhood walks. I’m grateful to live in a city at this time and venture out to the nearby park to do my office work or take a walk on a trail while being on a conference call.
I’m adapting to this new way of life as it unfolds one day at a time. I contemplate what the new world will look like and am mostly hopeful that we will recover with grace and dignity and a new appreciation for humankind.
One thing is certain, and that’s that life is always changing. Once this is over perhaps we will have discovered what it truly looks like to live with and actually thrive in not knowing. Life is uncertain. How you choose to react is always up to you!
During this time of uncertainty, please use this link to schedule a complimentary 30-minute mental health check in. CLICK HERE
Kim Engstrom is a Master\\\'s Level Counselor and Stress Coach in private practice in Philadelphia and Chadds Ford, PA. She is dedicated to women having lives they love with a no nonsense approach and relate-ability in a safe, non judgmental environment. Kim’s intention is to inspire and empower her clients to find what makes their heart sing by offering clear and guiding direction that leads to magical discoveries! Contact Kim for a 45 minute complimentary consultation to discover what inspires you. KimEngstrom.com 484 558 0311 KE.CounselingServices@gmail.com Follow Kim on Instagram at: @Inhale_exhale_zine
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