(Editor’s Note…If you’re like me, adjusting to a new, COVID-19 world is a bit stressful. Everywhere you look…radio, TV, newspapers, and even the internet…are stories of the latest stats from around the world. Hospitalizations. Unemployment. Social distancing. How do we keep our sanity in the middle of all the craziness?
BY STAYING CONNECTED WHILE STAYING SIX FEET APART
For the next several weeks, many of my writerly friends will be virtually dropping by to inspire, uplift, and make us laugh as we look for reminders that even the scariest of times do not last forever. I hope you enjoy this FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series. If you want to know more about me, Donna L Martin, or my books, check out my Story Catcher Publishing website at www.storycatcherpublishing.com)
How I Get by – In Good Times and Bad
by Rinda Beach
When Donna L. Martin put out the call for this post, she asked for something “humorous, uplifting, inspirational, or in some way helpful to parents and children struggling to deal with being at home.” I thought about what I do in hard times, and that’s when I came up with this list. They’re my guiding principles, in good times, but especially in hard ones.
- Listen to your body. I’ve learned over time to listen to my body talk, whether it’s tired or hungry. I used to make myself push past those things. Sometimes I could, but sometimes things just got worse. I learned to listen.
Now if I’m tired, I take a quick nap. If I’m hungry, I eat something. If I’m craving chocolate, I eat it, in moderation. Too much of anything is a bad thing!
What do you need? Try letting yourself have it. This is a trying time. It takes a toll on our bodies, and they demand things from us. Listen, and let them have it, in moderation.
- Make time for the things you love. This feels a little like my first principle. I love to read. When I’m going through a tough time, I feel better when I read. I escape problems and live someone else’s life. Make time for the people you love. This is hard for me, personally. I’m a work-horse, but I’m grateful I wrote less over Christmas, and later when I saw my grandgirl baptized. My family was all together. I held out till early evening. I tried not to feel guilty, to enjoy the gift of my family. I’m glad I did, especially now when we’re all locked into social distancing.
What do you love? Try doing it. You’ll feel better if you feed your soul. Maybe you’ll have to find another way to do it, like playing soccer. You won’t have your team, but find something for a goal, and practice your skills. Game on! You need to have fun!
- If something bugs you, flip it. Is there another way to do it, like soccer? One of my favorite things is to look at something bad as an opportunity, flipping bad to good.
Sometimes I have trouble sleeping. I hate it! I think how tired I’m going to be the next day, and it only makes it worse. I love laying in bed in the morning and taking time to get up. What if I flipped it? What if I thought about night time as time to curl up in my bed and enjoy being curled up there? I bet if I did, sleep would come easier to me.
How about you? What is bugging you? I’ll bet there’s a way to flip it and find the opportunity in it. It’s worth a try! If you can’t think of it, ask a parent, a friend, even email me. Good luck looking for opportunities!
- Talk! I love to talk! When I was in school, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was quiet and shy. I learned to be more social, probably because I became a teacher.
Now when I’m upset, excited, sad, whatever, I talk. It helps to get those emotions out. Before I think I bottled it up, and then you either explode or grow bitter like vinegar. Talking gives you ideas, possible solutions. Sometimes it just gets you empathy. Having someone understand you always feels better.
So, reach out and talk to someone! You are lucky. Back in dinosaur days, I only had a telephone. Now you can talk via the internet on places like Facebook or Snapchat. You can even see people half a country away thanks to things like Skype and Facetime. You can even play games with people a world away. Who do you want to talk to?
- Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. I started doing this when I started teaching. Thinking ahead for the worst gives you time to prepare for it, to come up with a plan for how you want to handle it. Hope is always a good thing. It pushes away depression and helps you stay positive, which helps you make better choices.
If I look at the Coronavirus and think worst, for me that’s death. I’m old and a diabetic. That’s 2 strikes – YUCK! Hope for the best, I love that! I hope to see my family soon, especially my mother and my grandgirl.
How do I make that happen? I stay home a much as possible. I wash my hands way more. When I go out to get groceries, I use hand sanitizer when I’m in the store. I use a towelette in the car when done. When I get home, I wipe off/wash most of my groceries. With things that can sit out, I leave them out for 3 days. I hope it all works! At least it keeps me busy!
How about you? What are you most worried about? Look it straight in the eye, and think what is the worst thing that could happen to you. Just looking should make you feel better. Next, think of the best thing that could happen to you. Don’t you feel even better? And the last step, remember that worst thing? What can you do to keep it from happening? Remember, you’re not alone. If you need help, talk! You’ll get ideas and feel even better.
Now, get out there, or stay home, and get by! You’ve got this! You can do it! If you don’t think you can, remember, you can always talk to parents, friends, even me. I’m only an email away!
This is Norris Lake, Tennessee. My family has been going here for years. It inspired my newest book, coming out in late May, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME. It’s part picture book, part souvenir. A digitized version of this photo will soon become my book’s cover. On one side of the page you can read a story about Norris Lake. On the other side you can write/illustrate about your own lake.
Rinda was a second-grade teacher who read and told stories, until she met a bat in Germany. She learned to edit, thanks to SCBWI classes and critique partners. Rinda substitutes to stay connected to the kids she wants to write for. She established Beach Girl Press to publish her first book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. Her second will arrive in late May, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME.
Visit her blog and book review at www.rindabeach.com