David Treadway, a member and a psychologist passed along to me some coping mechanism for this challenging time. We talked about them yesterday during the ministers chat and found them helpful.
If you don’t have time to read. Please look to the Bonus video last on the list.
- Laughter may not actually be the best medicine, but it helps.
- Taking Turns: In normal communication, couples share their feelings back and forth. However, in times of relational stress or external crisis like Covid, both members of the couple sharing their upset often time leads to emotional overload. It is really important for couples to learn how to take turns around expressing their feelings about this crisis. So that one person can be really attending to the other emotionally. In other words, taking turns by having two of you paying attention to one at a time.
- The pervasive relentlessness of the news on Covid can be overwhelming and yet we have a hard time putting down our phones. Designate times of the day to check the news and practice not turning in all day long. And particularly don’t tune into the news in the evening before bed or first thing when you wake up.
- Chosen Silence is better than Frozen Silence
Covid is on our minds 24/7 whether we’re talking about it or not. Choosing together times when talking about it’ is off limits feels connected. When we as a family were going through my chemo, we would designates whole days and even a weekend or two in which talking about cancer was off limits, but we all knew we were thinking about it. But we as a family we’re teaming up on not dwelling on it. It helped. Also, someone you’re close to might want to talk about their fears and feelings and you really can’t handle the subject in that moment. Or vice versa. It’s important for you to be able to say no kindly, but directly when you aren’t able to be emotionally responsive to each other and schedule a time for later.
- Grieving alone hurts – grieving together heals
Zoom or FaceTime calls with families and friends and colleagues isn’t the same as being together. But it is vastly better than holing up alone. Reach out, connect. Hold virtual sanitized hands. Exchange safe virtual hugs.
- Do Meditation/Exercise/Yoga
It is Important to schedule several times a day for healthy self-care as if your life depends on it. It does. As one of my friends says, “I am meditating like my hair is on fire.” Release some of your anxiety with this highly effective Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise
- Taking care of yourself through caring of others
At times of extreme stress, we may forget that often what nurtures us the most can be caring for others. Consider the folks you know that may need a hand. Offer it. And it will make you feel better. Also, when people offer to help you, let them. You’ll feel taken care of and they will feel good about themselves.
- Practice Tender Loving Care
More then ever, we all need special attention and nurture. Take turns receiving small tender gestures of love and support like a back rub, favorite meal, doing a partner’s chore, giving one’s partner time to sleep in and not get up with the kids. This works best if each of you ask for one clear doable behavioral gesture each week, schedule it and do it. It’s a way of reminding each other that we are there for each other. All of us need to feel we have someone whose got our backs.
- Being Afraid Well
Most of us try to manage our fears by stuffing them and trying to ignore them. That won’t work and your fears will keep assaulting throughout the day. Instead, set aside some time each day to turn toward your fear. Name all of your fears, write them down, acknowledge your feelings with sell-compassion and tenderness. If you aren’t afraid, you are not paying attention. 🙂 Also, don’t be afraid to make room for your children’s fears as well as your own. There’s no real reassurance. But you can model for your kids that its possible to be strong and steady and afraid at the same time. It will be a gift to them.
- “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” Philo of Alexandria, 1st century AD
This quote is framed and on my desk. It reminds me to open my heart to all people including those with whom I have considerable differences. Let us all strive to transcend the boundaries of politics, tribalism, and different ways of coping. Blame doesn’t stop stop blame by blaming blamers and as MLK said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.Only with love.” Each of us has very different coping styles that could have caused conflict and judgment We came to recognize that truly embracing each others different coping styles was a key element in staying close.
Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest perform Ode to Joy
New York Philharmonic perform Ravel’s Boléro as a tribute to healthcare workers.