The Silver Linings of a Coronavirus Curve Ball 

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I have always been one to search for the positives in a difficult situation, which I admit, may not always be welcomed by those in the midst of a crisis. For me, it’s a defense mechanism. If I can find the silver lining, I feel better. I try to do the same for others. Like the quick release valve on an Instant Pot, it gives me relief to take a step back and see the big picture benefits while I’m down in the trenches feeling pressure.

Enter the “Coronavirus Curve Ball” that threw all of us into a global pandemic before we even had a chance to comprehend the gravity of it all.

People are dying. Quarantines are now commonplace. Entire countries are on lock down. Schools are closed for weeks. Bars and restaurants can’t allow dine-in guests. People can’t work {which means no paycheck}. Events, sports tournaments, and travel plans are canceled. Heck, even Disney theme parks are closed. DISNEY! And goodness knows the struggle is real when it comes to restocking toilet paper, pantry staples, or Clorox wipes.

There couldn’t POSSIBLY be anything POSITIVE in all of this… it’s so terrifying, stressful, depressing, overwhelming, and bleak. But see, that’s why I’m here – to shed some light on what we can cling to that IS positive and that CAN lift our spirits while we all do our part to help flatten the curve and decrease coronavirus exposure.  

The Village:

This is one of those times when the village shines. It’s the helping hands when you need childcare. It’s depending on a promise that students will still be fed as they are when school is in session. It’s neighbors and family members checking on each other. It’s friends that make you laugh or allow you to cry. It’s businesses doing all they can to give back despite facing their own struggles without customers. It’s local networks like our Mid-Michigan Moms team, church groups, or agencies that are digging deep to find resources so you feel supported during a season that otherwise could feel really hopeless or lonely. Seeing and feeling the village in action is incredible and heartwarming and an absolute necessity.

pandemic plan on notebook paperSocial Distancing:

My husband would argue that this is the greatest benefit to all of the COVID-19 precautions. Not because we don’t like spending time with people or eating at our favorite restaurants, but because it gives us a reason to clear the busy calendar and just CHILL. The weeks go by so fast {and the weekends even faster}, that we forget to leave time to regroup, rest up, and slow down. Social obligations often overshadow our own needs so we are embracing this as a time to live within our own bubble and enjoy our daughter, each other, our home, and adult beverages that we can refill ourselves.

Back to the Basics:

Along that same thought, keeping our distance from crowded places and shared spaces means we are embracing the simple things. Baking cookies, painting rocks, extra long walks & talks, forts, riding bikes, family game night, decluttering, writing letters to mail, exploring nature, coloring, science experiments, etc. All of the things that we LOVE but that sometimes get pushed aside for “next time” because we’re running around like crazy trying to make it here and there before the sun sets. 

girl climbing a tree, early spring, sunnyBetter Habits:

Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap, don’t cough or sneeze on people, keep your hands off your face and out of your mouth, clean frequently used surfaces/objects, and stay home if you’re sick. Literally everything we should all already be doing anyway. It’s easy to get a little lazy about these things {I am guilty too}, but it should truly be standard-op so maybe we’ll all walk away with better habits to stay healthy in the face of the next cold and flu season too. Experts also say it takes 21 days to form a new habit {or break an old one}, so what better time to try to reassess yours… search YouTube for new workouts, take up journaling, quit smoking, or up your water intake. 

cleaning supplies, clorox, hand sanitizer, lysolCandid Conversations:

It’s okay to talk about how you’re scared. It’s okay to worry that you don’t have it all figured out. It’s okay to not know how long you can make it without needing to hide in the bathroom or scream into a pillow. It’s perfectly acceptable {even liberating} to be vulnerable. Embrace it, because we’re all feeling the same way. Kids are too and they want to talk to you about it. You won’t have much on your plate right now, so take the time to listen. Ask questions. Search for answers together. Admit that you don’t know. 

New Resources:

I don’t know about you, but I am learning about so many wonderful resources that have always been out in the world, just not as prominently placed. Zoos that are doing daily live lessons, museums that offer virtual tours, teachers who are sharing some pretty epic online education tools, free e-books, live cameras at aquariums, and more! I may never leave my house again. 

Perspective:

Take a moment to think of what you DO have while we all try to manage what we DON’T. Make a list for the things you CAN control because life seems very much out of our control during this coronavirus crisis. Take stock in the things you’re grateful for. Use this time to develop a budget, reach out to loved ones who are unable to connect with people right now, volunteer to help in any way you can, take stock of what’s really important: health, family, safety, love, comfort, & basic necessities.

Kindness & Grace:

We’re all going through a lot. We’re all in this together. I have seen so many examples of incredible kindness, honest concern, and empathy. Every single one of us needs an extra dose of grace as we all try to navigate these uncertain times. This is how it should be! Show the same kindness and grace to yourself too and snag some of that coveted self-care while you have the time. Netflix or Disney+ binge anyone? Now might be the best time to do it and feel guilt free.  

Laughing Through Adversity:

You guys, the coronavirus memes on social media feeds right now are everything. It’s natural that we all need some comic relief after being hit hard with a health scare and schedule changes that throw our carefully crafted routines out the window {not to mention the scary news headlines at every turn}. Laughter is some of the best medicine there is, so please, let’s keep that trend going. Humanity depends on it.

How are you embracing an otherwise emotional and stressful time?

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