To reiterate, no, in this moment, I am not on the front line. I am a nurse, feeling empathetic to those with terrible hospital administrators refusing to provide N95 masks and allowing dangerously high nurse to patient ratios.
I am also a civilian, watching in horror as our government leaders play with people’s lives; blatantly lying to cover their mistakes; and sending mixed messages regarding the safety of the public.
Honestly, I can’t decide if it’s the propaganda and constant reporting of COVID 19 that is driving my fear. Or maybe it’s the horror stories I’m reading from the nurse blogs. Or the first hand reports of fellow nurses in my life like my mother, my aunts and friends.
A combination of all three, I’m sure.
With all of this information and conspiracy theories, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed. And as frightening as this situation is, I’ve decided to surrender (not to be confused with giving up) because the circumstances are out of my control. Easier said than done.
If you are feeling overwhelmed in this time here are a few tips based on my experience to help you through.
1 – First and foremost, pray!
2 – Be generous to your self. Do not let the people of ig or anyone else make you feel as if now is the time to focus on that side hustle or those workouts. Nuh -uh. Not everyone can throw themselves into the next project during a stressful time. Focus on yourself. Check in with your mental health. And forgive yourself if you are not being as productive as you once were. You are not lazy and you do not lack discipline just because ig personalities say you do.
3 – Be kind to others. Now is not the time to be a smart ass especially to essential workers. We’ve all seen a Karen type personality belittling or being rude to people just trying to do their job. Don’t be like Karen.
4 – Check out. Turn off the news outlets and delete social media apps off your phone even if it’s for 24 hours. Or mute the people in your timeline who are making negative posts. Don’t let the fear of missing out “FOMO” take over. The media isn’t going anywhere. If it’s really important or some real tea your friends will update you.
5 – Get out of the house. You can walk or exercise. If that’s not your thing, take a drive. Do whatever you can to switch up your scenery.
6 – Monitor your alcohol intake. Whew, this could be challenge! For example, you wake up have some mimosas, then have an afternoon margarita, a couple glasses of wine at dinner then top it off with a night cap. I am not judging because my weekends (and some weekdays) definitely look like this, but be aware! We got 99 problems and alcohol addiction doesn’t need to become one. Swap a drink or 2 for a glass of water.
7 – Try to keep a relatively consistent sleep schedule. Whatever that looks for you, but try to get your 6-8 hours of sleep in everyday.
8 – Stay connected with the people who matter most. There will be days when you don’t feel like talking on the phone or having virtual happy hours . Don’t force it if you’re not in the mood. But when you can, reach out.
9 – Listen to music. Ladies and some gents, practice your twerking skills and stretch your legs. We are coming out of this with Meg knees and ready for brunch! Manifest it!
In all seriousness, if you can, send an extra prayer for those employees keeping the country running. The ones risking their health and the health of their family just by doing their job.
Lastly, even if you think this a hoax, can you stay home anyway and stop trying to be a rebel? I recognize this is not a privilege for some, but for those of you who can – please stay home. At the very least you bring people with major anxiety or immunocompromised family members some peace and at the most you save lives.
Let’s see what happens to those states that have decided to open in the next few weeks and revisit the conversation after we see their numbers.
“Women lie, men lie, numbers don’t lie!”
P.S. wear your mask.