I didn’t think it would come to this.  I doubt the average American did. From school closures, empty grocery store shelves, and mandatory remote work, it’s hard to imagine what the future will bring.  Not only are we watching the confirmed cases and death rates climb, but thousands of people have felt the economic impact of this virus. I feel so fortunate to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and have a relatively stable job (for now).  If one thing is certain, it’s that there’s no way to predict the long term outcome of COVID-19. So how do you deal with such devastating news (both the physical and social impact) without allowing it to consume your whole life?

Reducing my stress level has been my first priority throughout this pandemic.  I’ve watched several friends and co-workers spin in circles until they can’t focus and are seemingly out of control.  I’d personally like to avoid having a panic attack so I’ve worked very hard to keep a calm and quiet mind throughout the havoc.  We’re all trying to find solutions for problems most of us have never encountered, and probably never thought we’d have to. I’ve found that the best way (for me) to maintain my sanity has been to practice yoga, spend time in prayer, and be outside in nature as much as possible.  When I allow myself to focus on the positive things I enjoy, it helps me mentally prepare for the more impactful decisions I have to make.

As I’m living amidst the United States epicenter for the outbreak it’s overwhelming to watch the change in social interaction, local businesses suffering, and the healthcare system on overload.  It’s hard to know just how far to implement social distancing measures without feeling like you’ve crawled into a hole. Phone calls and FaceTime help bridge the isolation gap and keep me connected to my co-workers, friends, and family.  Communicating effectively, keeping a structured routine, and showing gratitude for all of the blessings in my life is how I plan to stay positive and navigate this very desolate period of time. My hope is that each of you are able to stay safe, maintain confidence, and weather this storm without losing your sense of self during such uncertain times.