What Can We Control?
Have you settled into your 'new normal'? I'm not ready to accept that this is how we will be forever. It may be a slow return to the way things were, but think about how humans are - many are barely abiding by the new rules we have, which means that once we are liberated, we're probably going to return to living the way we want. Yes, many of us will continue to be cautious; however, just as we're still limited to carrying liquids in a quart bag because 19 years ago someone thought that was a good way to keep flyers safe - if that requirement was repealed, do you think we'd keep doing it? So while we are physically isolating ourselves from others outside of our homes, and likely that's wise, we don't know what lies ahead. For many people, that uncertainty (plus the many others that I'm not going to mention) is unnerving, disturbing, frightening.
This temporary “new normal” might have us feeling like you have lost control of our lives and the freedoms we typically take for granted. That is totally understandable! We can reduce that anxiety by recognizing what we can and can’t control. Let the “can’ts” go, and focus on the “cans”. I'm saying it gently, to help coax you to that place, not yelling it as in 'What's wrong with you? Get over it!' I recognize that it might be a difficult transition, or you wouldn't be unnerved to begin with. Here are a few ideas; what are some of your own suggestions?
I CAN’T CONTROL:
~whether or not other people follow the rules of social distancing, but I CAN be sure that I, and my immediate family, follow CDC recommendations for keeping ourselves safe. The sooner we contain this virus, the sooner “normal” will return.
~the actions and attitudes of others, but I CAN control my own actions and be sure that they are being tempered with a little extra kindness, generosity and grace.
~the amount of toilet paper on the grocery store shelves, but I CAN choose to only take what I need and not hoard that or any other important supplies so that others can have access as well.
~the sensationalism and constant barrage of bad news that incite anxiety, but I CAN control what I see by limiting my exposure to updates from a trusted source and filtering out all the chatter. Turn off the TV news!
~when schools will open again, but I CAN do the best that I can to be sure my kids have some structure, good nutrition, a reasonable schedule, time to play, creative projects and lots of attention & love. Children get anxious too and they look to us for cues.
~how long this will last, but I CAN choose to be a part of the solution and stay well by socially distancing, hydrating, exercising, eating healthily, resting and finding fun things to do at home. When this is over, wouldn't you rather be in better shape than when it started?
~not being able to physically hang out with friends, coworkers and family members, but I CAN keep socially networking using video chats, emails, thoughtful social media posts, and telephone calls. Our bodies may be isolated, but our souls need connection, so keep reaching out in more creative ways.
~the restrictions on travel right now, but I CAN provide you with inspiration so that you keep your dreams alive. The time will come when you can take that trip that you have been wanting to take, and I will be here ready & waiting to help you make it happen!
Comment below with how you are letting go of what you can’t control and moving forward as an inspiration to others.
'til next week.