Speaking with clients this week I became aware that so many are speaking about the difficulties that have arisen after two years of having to stay home, avoid others, and live as a recluse in so many ways. The initial delight at slowing down, a time for themselves, time to catch up on missed shows, books they had wanted to read, and the quiet of home, soon became a period of withdrawal and loneliness. For some, physical issues are now starting to develop.
Looking at the big picture, whenever we are confronted with life-changing situations, and the truth is most of us we have had many, such as deaths, illness, divorces, job losses, bankruptcy, empty nests, and so on, we are then forced to look at who we are, who we want to be, and what skills we want to develop to support us in the transition. Whether we choose to adapt to them and grow stronger or newer skills or not is our choice.
For now, when being in the house begins to feel like a trap, create a routine of going out. Walk, bike, swim, whatever it is that feeds you. Near my home, there are several beaches. Each day I drive by, I see a number of cars there with folks drinking tea or coffee and reading a book, doing puzzles, taking on the phone, or simply looking out over the water, as needed.
I see folks out walking the causeway getting exercise in weather I would never consider walking in. Clearly, my warm-weather soul needs something very different. A fire in the fireplace and on occasion, during this period, a close friend or two who are also very cautious over to play cards or watch movies together.
I did the same years ago during a divorce when my firstborn left for college, and so on. Walking, having friends over, and movies…. Knowing what we need, and I mean need not just want, is so important. If you need companionship, how can you find it? If you need mental stimulation, what options do you have? They are there. We are not meant to survive this journey for one minute. We are meant to live it and live it fully, regardless of what is going on in our lives.
Become aware of when you have fallen into survival and know that it is always a mindset. It is also always a saboteur of your joy and your health, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. For your sake on all levels, step back, and look at the 30,000-foot view. We have traveled many odd and different experiences in this journey. For me, humor and faith have been the two biggest tools that have carried me through all of them.
My wish for each of us, before illness comes in, long before illness comes in, is that we notice when humor has left. Recognize it is always the best healing medicine. No matter what you are experiencing, truly, it too shall pass. Keep the 30,000-ft view, it is so much better than getting caught in the weeds and it does allow you to see that of your 90-100 years here, it is only a small period of time…. Humor – and faith!!!