March 27, 2020. Here in Oregon we’re several weeks into spatial/social distancing, and for some of us it might even be week 4. So, how’s it going? For sure these past weeks have been isolating for most of us, and much less stimulating than usual. So then, how to thrive during this time?
I’m thinking a lot about opportunity lately. I have more unstructured free time on my hands now since I’m limited in where I can go and what I can do. I’ve lost some activities I hold dear like climbing and backcountry skiing, but I’ve gained some others. So I’m thinking about how I want to use this free time – time that feels in some ways like a gift. Things to learn? Skills to develop? Personal enrichment? Neglected projects? When I open to those possibilities it feels like a wealth of potential is there for me. Crisis often has the seeds of opportunity embedded in it.
So, one element of thriving during isolation could be to devise your own crisis/opportunity enrichment plan. See the opportunity that’s embedded in this crisis. That’s the advice offered by Chris Hadfield in this short video he published – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uL5sqe5Uk8 He breaks it down into 4 manageable steps and even makes a few suggestions just to get your imagination going. I wonder what’s on your list?
A sense of humor is always an asset during challenging times. People are rising to the challenge of making us laugh and I found this one quite effective:
“Pluto the Dog” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEdU5K7sk7o
Can you watch that and not laugh? There are some really creative videos out there to enjoy right now while you follow the spacial distancing guidelines.
I don’t much like the term “social distancing” since it’s really physical/spatial distancing that we need during this “flatten the curve” mitigation time. We still very much need social connections, especially in times of fear or crisis. We’re stronger when we stay connected so be sure to do what you can to keep up your social connections. Use those means that are available to you in whatever ways these “stay at home” times will allow. FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, coffee in the driveway (with appropriate distance), go for a walk and smile at your fellow walkers – take advantage of what’s possible and advisable.
We’re all in this together (haven’t we always been?) and we need each other so that we can all get to the other side of this. It will all be over sometime and our future selves will look back on it. Give your future self a gift – do what you can today to ensure that your future self will get to be happy with what you did this week.