I hope that everyone is finding a way to be safe and healthy as we navigate the experience of dealing with the COVID-19 virus. Every day brings new stories and information about the spread of the virus, plus precautions that we are required to take as a means of stemming the spread. It can be a real challenge to sort through all of the news reports, and the wave of emotional and psychological reactions that we and those around us are feeling.
All of us are faced with the task of looking out for ourselves and our loved ones, while also keeping an awareness of people in our town, our city, our state, our country and the world. This is a call to pull together and work toward unity.
We are all social beings and hard-wired to connect with others. The mandate to “social distance” can feel like a harsh imposition that contradicts our natural inclination. This is a time to connect, to reach out to those you care about through phone calls, emails, social media, FaceTime, etc. Check in, share stories and tell jokes with one another. Think of the quarantined Italians singing together on their balconies. In many cities and towns, people are taking their cue and performing out their windows for their neighbors.
“We all have to find a balance amidst uncertainty and disrupted routines. Find a new form of connection and use one another for support along the way.”
– Monica Meehan McNamara
Each of us has to create our “zone of safety.” Things like hand washing, hand sanitizing, getting fresh air, sleeping on a regular schedule, exercising and eating healthy are all practices that can help us stick to a routine and a (somewhat modified) sense of normalcy. We must all nourish our souls. Whether it’s reading, mindfulness, yoga, family card games, movies or other projects, it’s important to focus on the projects you have always been meaning to get to.
Most importantly, remember that we are all in this together. We all have to find a balance amidst uncertainty and disrupted routines. Find a new form of connection, and use one another for support along the way. This is the challenge throughout life, how to find flexibility, and inner resources to meet the moment. Be creative and find the dignity in this abnormal time. Share your discoveries with each other.
About The Author
Monica Meehan McNamara is the Consultant for Curriculum for Project COMMON BOND. She recruits and trains the facilitation staff, and also manages a participant group and staff group. She assists with Project Heart to Heart, a weekend-long retreat for Gold Star mothers and wives that is part of Tuesday’s Children’s Military Initiative. In addition, Monica is a family therapist with a private practice in Boston, Massachusetts. She works with individuals, couples and families.