I slept until 8:00 this morning. This might not seem like any big deal, but I’m usually up by about 5:30 when I’m working or getting my son up for school. Since there’s no school for the foreseeable future, though, we had no reason to rise so early.
An hour later, I’m also already exhausted. Like many of you, I’m sure, I feel the apprehension of our current situation with COVID-19. I live in the US West Coast’s hotspot, and it’s a nerve-wracking time here as we are now told to stay home if we can and to stop panic-buying. Our governor is doing a good job communicating and being realistic. No one wants a northern Italy situation here.
Today is sunny, thankfully. It’s 30 degrees out, but I don’t care because one of the things I love most is when the sun shines. I’m sitting on my couch, looking out at the empty park across the street and watching the empty Metro buses drive by. For the most part, it looks like people are staying home as they’ve been asked to do.
It’s an uncertain time.
One thing I’ve learned in my life, though, is that – really – it’s always an uncertain time. We have our routines and our normal, and those things cover up the fact that shit can go sideways justlikethat. At 51, that fact doesn’t surprise me anymore. While not surprised, I do get anxious and worry more than I probably should.
I follow writer Elizabeth Gilbert on Instagram, and the other day she shared a tool to help with anxious thoughts and feelings. It’s the 5-4-3-2-1 method to ground yourself. When you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, stop and take note of these five things:
5 things you can see
4 things you can hear
3 things you can feel
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
The idea is that stopping to focus on your five senses will calm anxious and roiling thoughts and bring you back to your center. I’m adding it to my bag of tricks.
I will likely be writing more than usual, and my posts may not always be super-focused. But I think with a name like Meatballs & Butterflies, that’s pretty clear at the outset, no?
Please stay well, be kind, and take care of yourself. We are all in this together.