“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” to borrow a phrase from author Charles Dickens in his novel, “A Tale of Two Cities.” Even though people are quarantined by mandate or personal decision, the internet is making connecting with other people much easier than in past crisis situations. Funny photos, stories, and inspirational messages are plentiful and just a click away. You can even create your own inspirational messages on websites like canva.com and postermywall.com for free.
Churches continued with worship services online and may have even reached more people than ever before. Neighbors are still out walking and talking to each other, checking up on their welfare while keeping their six to 10 feet clearance. I talked to a neighbor of mine on a walk yesterday and it was heart warming to know that we are looking out for one another. “If you need anything, just let me know,” we all said or implied in parting.
My family has a text group for siblings, as we all live in different cities or out of state, and two of my sisters are widows who live alone. We have asked that everyone check in at least once a day to make sure everyone is accounted for and safe. We share photos and funny things our grandchildren are saying and doing too. Makes us all laugh and feel connected even though we are miles apart.
Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos has a series of podcasts titled “The Happiness Lab” based on research. You can find them on happinesslab.fm. My oldest daughter has listened to the whole series. I’m starting this week, but I was intrigued by an interview I saw her on TV with journalist Christiane Amanpour. Santos has a special podcast about people who are the most susceptible to the virus, and the answer may surprise you. Lonely people are the most at risk, she said. Catch her podcast for more information and think about someone you know who might be lonely and vulnerable. Check on this person by phone if not in person, share a funny story, ask about their day, project about positive things in the future. You might be surprised how easy it is to get someone through a crisis. Just show that you care. In addition to emotional support there are very specific things you can do to support your own well-being. Be proactive with your daily routine. I listened to a video by a friend who is a former midwife and health coach, and most of these are tips she shared, with a few of my own added.
• Wash hands frequently in warm water; tips of fingers, palms and under fingernails. Keep nails short at this time.
• Wash all metal surfaces, like door knobs, with alcohol-infused cleaner. Be careful when cleaning with bleach products, as they can cause irritation to your lungs when inhaled.
• Wipe off shared public surfaces like grocery carts and gas pump handles, then throw the paper cloth or disposable gloves away.
• Wash hair and clothes. frequently, especially after exposure to other people to prevent germs from clinging to your clothes and hair.
• Drink warm water with apple cider vinegar daily.
• Gargle with warm salt water.
• Stay hydrated, warm water preferred.
• Reduce or eliminate sugar in your diet (feeds inflammation).
• Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit.
• Spend time in the sunshine.
• Exercise but don’t over-exert.
• Pray daily for peace and wisdom and rejoice in the Lord.
• Start a “Thankful” journal and contribute to it daily.
• Hum or sing frequently throughout the day; children’s songs are great for this or make up the words if you have forgotten them.
• Get plenty of sleep.