If you're reading this any time in 2020, you can relate. COVID19 has been one of the biggest crises most of us alive have experienced. I'm not even talking about those who have been directly affected by the virus in a health sort of way, but those (ahhhemmm.. all of us) who have dealt with job-loss, cut hours, stress, etc. According to TIME Magazine, 3.3 Million Americans have applied for unemployment as a direct result of the pandemic (as of March 31st, 2020). Depression, fear and anxiety are felt in every public space as people cover their faces with masks and distance themselves from others. It seems "normal" is something we may never see again.
Beaches are closed as Summer nears. Hiking trails, gyms and almost every form of public exercise has been stripped away from us. A lot of people have been drinking more, eating worse and picking up other bad habits to pass the time.
It's easy to fall into these negative thought patterns; especially if you're someone like me who can't stand change that's out of our own control. Logic tells us that happy, positive feelings are the "right" ones to feel, and negativity can be even more detrimental to our health, but sometimes strong negative emotions can supercede logic.
For me, my podcast was my life. Interviewing people was joyous, entertaining and of course knowledge-provoking. From doctors to health-care professionals, to animal activists and environmentalists, I felt like I was constantly improving my knowledge on the benefits of a WFPB diet, as well as things I still wasn't aware of in Animal Ag. With the studio being closed, a feel a piece of me is missing.
Thankfully, I still have a job. I got moved to part-time, but the studio is located inside of a produce distributor where I was given the opportunity to help out in retail. I hate retail. Especially, during these times. People are short-tempered, rude, demanding, and they have a lot of questions even when everything is explained to them. They don't understand why they have to do some things, they're paranoid (rightfully so), which it comes out when they interact with us. I know every "essential employee" is dealing with this right now, so this isn't a complaint about my position, it's an observation of how people are in general, and how they cope with change.
All of us have been thrown a curve ball.
There's a famous prayer that's been thrown around anonymous groups for some time, it goes like this:
"God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference."
I'm not religious by an means, but I am spiritual. For me, I can replace the word "God" with a slue of words from "Higher Power" to "Universe", but the message is the same. Serenity. Courage. Wisdom. The hard part is knowing the difference and acting on it.
I was one of the people who resorted to bad eating and drinking several nights per week, because, what the hell else am I gonna do? Then I noticed a slight weight gain, headaches in the morning, and a less productive day to come. So, I made a change.
I started preparing juice every morning as my first "meal". I started challenging myself to a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, combined with some form of strength training using household items. I told myself I was only allowed to drink on the weekends, but I'm currently on a 14-day "cleanse", so that's out for now too. I've replaced interviewing people on the podcast with personal blog entries, and I've signed up for online personal and professional growth courses and counseling sessions via www.betterhelp.com I've even picked up a few books to help with learning to manage others in a professional setting, in hopes of bettering myself and those around me.
Change is something we can respond to by either fighting it or learning to cope with it, but when fighting is completely out of the realm of possibilities, we must learn to adjust.
Although this pandemic itself is probably temporary, the residual effects won't be for some time. Restaurants and small businesses are shutting down do to their inability to serve a public whose compromised with minimal incomes. People won't just stop "social distancing" the second Stay at Home orders are lifted. Shelves are still barren of toilet paper. Stocks are changing. Gold, silver and oil prices are all over the place; this won't be restored overnight. But, on a happier note, I've noticed people learning new skills, starting new businesses, and finding other ways to make money in the midst of all of this; those are the survivors. This isn't the first time the country, or world, has faced a tragedy.
We will recover, it just may not be in the way we want it to.
So, for someone those me who aren't comfortable with this level of change, just remember, this too shall pass, and it's what you do with yourself (and your time) now, that's going to make the biggest difference.