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Why You Should Be Freaking Out Right Now

Thoughts on how to make a pandemic even worse.

Look at you with a glass of wine and your dog sitting on the back porch relaxing. What are you thinking? Why are you not bagging some sand and canning some remaining fresh goods before the apocalypse and utter collapse of society?

How dare you spend quality time with your loved ones. Can’t you lock yourself in a closet or something? Better yet, lock the kids in the closet? (Yes, I’m kidding.)

Not to make overly light of a difficult situation, but self-destructing isn’t going to help one little bit. Trust me. I’ve tried that many times. I think many people are entirely thrown off by having to slow their lives down to a crawl. We are so conditioned to live at breakneck speed every day that having to calm down for many of us isn’t easy.

We want to DO something to fix it, change it, help it, or STOP IT. The hardest thing to accept is that we can’t. So now what? What do we do? Freak out? How about maybe trying a few other options.

Know that you are going to be okay!

I know you may not believe that at this moment. You may be an hourly employee, and your job may have shut down. You have no idea how you’ll pay rent next month. But, let me tell you this. You are more resourceful than you know. You may have never had to face this difficult of a situation before, but I promise you, you’ll be amazed at what all you can accomplish when you have to. You know the old saying that necessity is the mother of invention. It’s true! Realize how resilient you are and how although it may be a tough road for a bit, you WILL come through it, and you’ll be stronger on the other side.

Know you are not alone!

The difference between the current situation and almost any other situation beforehand is that this one is global. People from all corners of the planet face the same issues as you. I have seen some of the kindest acts in my life during this time. Including a woman who paid for a small family’s groceries when they came up short while in line at the grocery store. Look for the places you can help, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. This is a time when people will rise to the occasion more than you know. Oh, sure, there are still lots of assholes out there. Ignore them. They don’t matter right now. They never matter. Look for ways to serve others and allow them to help you right back.

Know that chaos breeds more chaos!

Even though I’m a news junkie, I think that by staying “in the know,” I’m better off. But, I’m beginning to realize that may not be the case. When I read through the headlines now, I look for precise terms like “could,” “possibly,” “may,” etc. There is a lot of speculation dealing with events that have not happened yet. I believe people benefit by keeping the world in a state of mass hysteria. Bring yourself back to what you know and what you know only. Make decisions based upon that alone and focus on what you can control. If the news is causing you undue anxiety and stress, take a break from it. Then look to something positive that makes you feel good. There are tons of free classes, concerts, even goat yoga online for the time being.

Know that this too shall pass!

God has not forgotten his people. This is undoubtedly a time for patience and, as I said above, for you to focus on one thing and one thing only–those things that you CAN control. This is the time to be creative with your children, even if you want to murder them after being stuck in the house with them for weeks. Teach them to play chess! My son taught me, and it’s one of my favorite things we’ve ever done together. Right now, they are looking to you to see how you react. If you are freaking out, they will take a mental note. Kid’s note to future self: When the world goes to shit, I should freak out and buy toilet paper.

Instead, this is a time for them to see community and neighbors helping neighbors. It is a time for them to see grace and compassion and learn the transformative power of those fantastic characteristics.

This time requires a great deal of patience, I know. But, it will get better. It always does.

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