I have noticed that many people, as they ask how someone is doing, are now saying, “How are you doing in this pandemic?” Or words to that effect. Here we are in the middle of it. Case counts, especially locally, are rising. And our eyesight is straining to see the light at the tunnel sometime in the fall, we hope, when we will be vaccinated and life can begin to return to something resembling normal.
Back in March and April, when we were still going through the novelty of the pandemic, there were lots of lists produced about how we could make it through this. At the time, we might have known that we were in this for the long haul, but did we really comprehend what months and months of this would be like?
Perhaps, by way of encouragement, it is time to dust off a list of techniques and see if there might be some new strategies for us to get through these days. I found a number of new things on the internet:
- Wake up naturally. If you don’t have to get up and out, just wake up naturally according to your biorhythm.
- Begin every day with a smile. Start each day with in a positive mood. Tell yourself that it is going to be a day of happiness and contentment.
- Sing in the shower. Who doesn’t feel a sense of happiness after belting out their favourite song in the shower. So even if you can’t sing like Tomas or Rachel, belt it out!
- Have a few minutes of prayer. Studies have shown that prayer causes our brains to release anti-anxiety chemicals.
- Eat breakfast. Sit down and take some time with a favourite food.. Hey, the Germans eat chocolate cake for breakfast…they might be onto something! Chocolate cake always puts me in a good mood.
- Get into the habit of reading. Slip under a cozy quilt, sip on some hot chocolate and immerse yourself in a different world. (There’s that chocolate again…Maybe the ancient Mayans were also onto something when they liberally used chocolate in all kinds of drinks and foods.)
- Focus on one task. You might be good at multi-tasking, but it actually causes stress. Concentrate on one thing and seek enjoyment in performing it.
- Take an afternoon nap. I always wondered why there was a cozy sofa in the lounge at the church…now I know! A few minutes of dozing off can greatly recharge oneself.
- Give a friend a call. In a study by Harvard University, it was noted that when we call up happy, cheerful friends, our own happiness increases by over 15 percent.
- Eat a prolonged dinner. The other night we had a four course Italian meal which lasted over three hours. There was time in between the courses as we prepared them. Amazing the things we discussed at the table that we never seem to get around to talking about.
- Finally, here is one I hadn’t thought of, drink water. Drink a glass first thing in the morning and regularly throughout the day. Studies have shown that those who drink “more than enough” water consider themselves to be happier than those who don’t. Even a mere 1.5 percent loss of body fluid can cause fatigue, anxiety, headaches and an unwillingness to take up challenging tasks.
I’m trying most of the things on this list (especially #5) to help me get through these days. As I write this, the words to the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song have been running through my head: “You’re gonna make it after all.”
Blessings for the coming week, Michael.
Image: Creative Commons: freebie.photography