Positivity in testing times

How are you during this difficult time?

Well, probably you are primarily concerned about your health and the health of those you love and care for, especially those living away whom you can no longer see. Not just coronavirus, either; there are other conditions many people have.

You are probably struggling with a reduction in your day-to-day freedoms to go out, exercise, socialise, interact.

For many of you, it will also be a scary time financially. Where does the next mortgage payment come from? Will your business survive? If you have savings, will they all be swallowed up?

We are all feeling pretty much the same.

There’s a mass grief going on (and, brilliantly, lots of spaces for people to pour out their feelings, such as Bude’s  Project Lockdown Diaries).

Simultaneously, there is a feeling of powerlessness, not being in control of events, and of continuous admiration and respect for those who are selflessly putting themselves on the front line (all, from NHS and other emergency services, to supermarket workers and refuse collectors) while the rest of us stay at home to reduce viral spread and thereby the load on the NHS. Some of my wider family are frontline workers, so I hear, for example, how the police in cities are being spat at trying to maintain social distancing. It’s not on.

For lots of people family Zoom chats, Facetime, and phone calls are an answer to social isolation. For me, I work in isolation a lot of the time, so I’m used to it and it suits my personality, to be honest. I  have never much liked telephone conversations, and Facetime largely leaves me cold, too. Also, most of us don’t have much to say as our diaries empty. So, I’m not rushing to online chatter. I find my solace in the written word. I’ve written some letters.

But we all find our own ways of dealing with it.

My day to day is largely desk work, though I have tended towards very factual info updates of late rather than putting any of me into B & B, for example. It feels like that’s all I can give right now, but I’m thinking that needs to change and my interactions need to be more meaningful (hence, this one). I also cherish my daily outings with the dog which help keep me (largely) positive.

I suppose for me, it is an acceptance of what is happening, so that working, maintaining as great a normality as possible, helps me to keep structure and control. It reminds me of a flight some years ago to Australia after previously being on a very scary flight when the plane I was on was hit badly by lightning. I was terrified but got into the mindset of believing I had no control of external events, only control of how I chose to react to them. The flight to Oz was long, but fine.

That’s rather how the current lockdown feels. I have no control of external events, only control of how I chose to react to them.

I am choosing social distancing, and quite often inadvertent isolation. With my mild asthma, I really am trying to avoid Coronavirus.

However, I am in touch with family and friends who matter to me (most have had a wobble or two) and keep checks on those I know who are vulnerable.

Income is disrupted by not letting our holiday cottages to dissuade people from visiting. Things are very tight, but then I’m spending less.

I am playing by the rules, going out only for food or medical needs, or my daily exercise. But as I go, I am noticing, really noticing the spring flowers, the changing of the hedgerows. Additionally, I love watching the birds – especially the cheeky chaffinches and robins, the tranquil collared doves, and the pretty blue-tits – from my window as I write. So, increasingly nature is playing a massive part in my sense of wellbeing, as so many others are saying. That’s no bad thing. Housework is still low on the list though!

Please share your tips for positivity in the comments.


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