• Don’t panic, but let’s take this seriously
  • Stop going anywhere non-essential, maintain social-distancing, but keep a routine (follow the 15 day recommendation)

I am certain about at least one thing now, there is a lot of uncertainty in our world! (I apologize for the ‘Captain Obvious’ statement, but I feel it needs to be reiterated)

But, tell me, if you had to choose one country that you would like to wake up in after all this is behind us, which country would it be?

I know my answer is the United States. And, this is probably because I was born here and this is what I know. So, perhaps dependent upon where you were born or raised, your answer is different than mine. Both sets of my grandparents emigrated from Poland in the early 1900’s, so just to be here in the United States is something I am grateful for. It is something I have taken for granted in the past, in particular, prior to this current Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis that we are dealing with. I do love my Polish heritage , but honestly I don’t know as much as I should. So, upon reflection, these are a couple items I am adding to my bucket list –

  • I want to learn more about my Polish heritage and share more stories with my kids and future grandkids.
  • I would like to learn more about and develop some of my own traditions in my family going forward.

In addition to giving me time to be more reflective, this crisis has, more than any time certainly in my life and perhaps in the last 100 years,  within an extraordinarily short period of time, drastically limited and in some cases completely stopped our ability to continue the consumption of many non-essential items and to pursue most of our daily and recreational activities. Schools have been closed and we’ve been asked to work at home if possible, and to stay home for the next 15 days at a minimum and maintain social distancing.

With all of these restrictions, the economic issues have already been drastic.  Dining out has sadly, devastatingly, come to a halt. I know we have a great list in our town with the restaurants that are maintaining a carry-out or a to-go menu, and that is awesome!  This is a great example of how the freedom in our country allows us and encourages us to figure out ways to thrive, or in this case, at least get by, through what may be the toughest time of our lives since the Great Depression.

So while we may question what the current leadership of our great country is doing to lead us through this crisis, I believe we are seeing the best of the United States at work.  Slowly, the partisan politics are (perhaps by force) falling to the wayside; the Congress and Senate are working with literally all of the departments and agencies of the government as well as with many of the private businesses to come up with unprecedented solutions to help mitigate the situation.  Checks will be mailed, taxes will be adjusted, and as many other stimulus items that our government can think of, will be used to keep the U.S. afloat during these tumultuous times.

So what can you do to make your situation better?  Here are some simple action steps I would recommend to perhaps help with the emotional upheaval of the reality we now find ourselves in:

1. Avoid using certain words that have a negative psychological impact and provide no benefit

My biggest recommendation today and always is to avoid – literally ban – the use of the following words:  “ Should have…” , “Could have…” , “Would have…”.

These negative words serve absolutely no purpose when attempting to improve your current situation and can literally put you into an endless negative spiral.

Instead, replace these with “I am going to…” , “I will…” , “I look forward to…”.

2. Create (or maintain) your new daily routine – In Writing !!

I love writing things down, as I believe it is one of those tasks that you can actually guarantee more successful accomplishment of your goals.  So take a few minutes, either before you go to bed at night, or when you first wake up in the morning (which is what I do with my 1st – and sometimes 2nd – cup of coffee), and jot down everything you want to get done today (or the next day as the case may be), using any notebook or pad of paper of any sort.  I suggest actually writing and not using your computer but choose your method of memorializing you are most comfortable with – especially that which will help you actually follow through with the routine as consistency is most important in creating the habit of making your daily priority list.

Jot down everything you want to get done, bullet point each of the items, it does not need to be in any special order, as the most important step is getting all of your items that are hanging in your head out onto paper, so you can stop worrying about them, and begin doing something about them.

Then, look to put time-sensitive items down into the specific time slots on your calendar.

Next, prioritize the rest.  Exercise? Spring Cleaning? Playtime with family? Planning dinner?  No Judging, what do YOU want to get done today? Prioritize the top three, then the next three, and so on. 

You have now created your daily task list! Be sure to review and add or modify as needed, and importantly check off the items that you complete – this provides a psychological positive boost – you did it!!  Give yourself a pat on your back for each of these items you check off!

3. Write daily in a journal as if you were 100 years old and sharing your daily story with future generations!

This recommendation may seem a bit ‘out there’ , especially if you’re not comfortable with memorializing your thoughts in writing, but if you’re at home, not working until further notice, what have you got to lose…?

Journal your thoughts on a daily basis – as if you are 100 years old and you are retelling your story to future generations.

What I have told my daughters (who are currently 12 and 17), is to grab a notebook or journal and as often as you feel inspired – either negatively or positively – by your emotions or by specific experiences you encounter, and write about what is happening in your world, in your state, your city, and within your house and family.

What stories are you telling?  What activities are you doing to pass the time? Did you fight?  Did it make you grow closer? How does it make you feel having the uncertainty of this nature? What hobbies are you creating? What new activities are you doing? Are you working on new, positive habits?  How are you doing all of this?

I have always been a very introspective person who thinks a lot about, perhaps overanalyzes whatever current situation I find myself in. And although that can occasionally cause an undue amount of stress, I also believe that some of that stress can be put to good use and is actually a requirement for self-improvement.

So, if we view this unfortunate crisis as an opportunity for both reflection as well as improvement, I stand by what I have been saying from the start of this – when you live in a country where you have the freedom of individuality and the freedom of thought, the outcome is going to be exponentially better for our household, our country, and our world. And I am very much looking forward to that time.

Stay healthy, Godspeed, and Namaste…