Here in Tennessee we are three months into our new lives. Most of us are working from home if we are working at all. If you’re not working you’ve filed for unemployment where you hope that you’ll receive that $200+ check weekly to help you put food on your table, but will certainly not pay your mortgage. You watch the local news and wonder what your city is thinking, going to bars and restaurants without masks with the numbers still climbing. The national news isn’t much better and you shake your head in disbelief over the inadequacies of the people in charge, and wish you could also go out and protest along with those brave enough to voice that black lives matter.
Will life ever get better? When it comes to the coronavirus, it seems that it won’t for a really long time. The country? Only if we get leadership who stops thinking of themselves and starts thinking of others. Will black lives matter protests make a difference? In some ways, yes, because technology has made it impossible to ignore injustices and horrible actions as well as made it impossible for white people to act as some always have, with bigotry and hate. Big brother is watching in the form of IPhone camera’s that will always be turned on and will show all injustices. We need that switch flipped in the minds of all of our citizens that all people should be treated equally and that includes black people. I have hope.
So, how do we navigate the next few months if you care about the people around you, still practice social distancing, and remain at home for the majority of the hours in our days? How do we take care of our mental health? I am lucky because I live with my family which totals six people. We see each other every day, eat dinner together, and generally drive each other crazy. However, we know how each one of us is feeling. We discuss a multitude of politics, food, work, our friends, who we’ve talked to, what books we’ve read lately, shows and movies we’ve watched, etc. But, I know that my situation is not normal. A LOT of people live on their own or are elderly and are scared and isolating. Here is how you can help:
- Put on a mask and knock on your neighbors door then take three big steps back. Have a conversation through the screen. Check on them, see if they need groceries, or some veggies from your garden.
- Pick through your library and take a stack of feel good books around to all of the Free Little Libraries in your neighborhood. Take one to your neighbors, lend it to a friend.
- Set up Zoom or Scype calls with your friends and engage, make a cocktail, and have fun for an hour. You can still talk to people even if it’s not in person.
- If you have any elderly people you know from church or a book club, etc. Set up a calling chain and make sure those older friends know they aren’t alone and make sure they are healthy and sound.
- Take walks, visit a local park, go on drives and see what’s changed in your neighborhood. Just because you need to social distance and wear a mask doesn’t mean you can’t take in the scenery.
There are so many things we can all do to make a mental health check on ourselves and on others. I believe we have a long road in front of us and many things are going to happen that we will find unbelievable, be disgusted with, and eventually some that may fill us with hope. Grab onto that feeling of hope, this time will pass. We, as a community, can get through this if we all work together.
If you read to the bottom of this post, thank you. I hope you know I’m thinking of all of you, and if you need to chat please reach out.