A friend of mine just re-posted a handwritten note on Facebook that listed many things to do during the social isolation imposed by the pandemic to maintain “Isolation Well-being”. Jonathan H. Jones’ post has apparently received thousands of shares. The suggestions are simple, the activities easily available. Whether you are weathering the pandemic alone or living in a home with others, all these activities feed the body, the mind, and the soul.
And yet – what is it about being human that, even in the face of KNOWING that such activities would be helpful, stops us in our tracks and puts barriers in our way. I know that drinking water is good for my body – yet do I do so in an intentional way? I know that reaching out to others improves my own emotional outlook – yet do I consistently do so? Too often we depend on being in the mood or on wanting to do these things – and will power runs out after a while.
The key words here are intentionality and consistency. Most of us will do some good self-care every now and then, but few of us are find it easy to stay with that self-care over time. We run out of gas; we run out of energy; we run out of self-discipline – we run out of whatever the wherewithal is to just keep on going.
This is especially true when there is no end in sight. We are living now in a time without markers. We do not have any clear expectation of what is ahead; we do not have a timeline; we do not know when or even if there will be a way to return to familiar life. And this new life is getting OLD!
I do not have any easy answers. I am tired of being inside and of not having plays and concerts and of not having church services and of not being able to sing even if there were a church service and of not being able to go out to dinner and of not being able to see friends unless we are on a Zoom call. Tonight, I just want to bemoan my fate and have a bit of self-pity…
And yet…even as I complain and feel the sadness and loss of these familiar joys, I am remembering that all is NOT lost. If I am alive and have breath in my body, I have hope for another day. Each new day is another day of possibility, another day of doing things that I know are good for me and for my community. I may not do all those things on that list. I may not do any of them perfectly or consistently. I may complain and feel the sadness. And yet – no matter what, I will celebrate that new day, and be grateful for the breath in my body, for eyes that see and ears that hear, and for the renewal each day brings – because in the end, I am alive to live it. And that, to me, is hope enough.
About Susan Hammonds-White, EdD, LPC/MHSP
Communications and relationship specialist, counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, businesswoman, mother, proud native Nashvillian – in private practice for 30+ years. I have the privilege of helping to mend broken hearts. Contact me at http://www.susanhammondswhite.com.
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