16 Mar Beyond Survival | March 2020
Survival During a Crisis
Admittedly survival during a crisis, such as a pandemic, can be difficult, even scary.
So once you’ve taken care of the essentials (mostly respectful distancing and being vaccinated), consider the following:
Practical – Do something useful while you stay inside.
For example, you could:
Declutter, clean up, and organize odds and ends in your home.
Take care of the fix-it projects that you set aside for a “rainy day.”
Read books, magazines, and articles. Or watch on-line learning programs.
Make clothing, furniture, quilts, and so on. Or work on crafts.
Write in a journal. [ Note: Thinking is the process of asking yourself questions and then answering them. So write dialogues with yourself. ]
Write letters. These could enhance relationships with family and friends.
And write lists, which can include: a) Possible solutions for challenges, b) Plans (actions that you can take), c) Things that you’re grateful for, d) Questions that might lead to solutions, and so on.
Use resources carefully, especially those that require travel to replace. For example, start your car after fastening your seatbelt, and then turn it off as soon as you park. Since two miles of idling equals a mile of driving, some people could save a gallon or more on every fill up.
Also, use every bit of edible food that you have. For example, leftovers can be added to soups, stews, and (even) pizza toppings.
Give yourself a project that can be completed at home. If you have children, ask them to help create projects that involve everyone.
In addition, if you have children, organize family events such as group readings, home schooling, healing conversations, and outdoor activities.
Overall, set up and follow a schedule. And then write a meal plan using the food on hand. In general, plans will reduce stress by giving you a sense of control.
Benefit: Activities will lift your mind from worry, while accomplishing something useful.
Social – Make kindness a high priority.
First, realize that everyone is under stress. And everyone is doing the best that they can.
So be kind to everyone, especially those who live with you. This includes being patient, offering support, and practicing compassion.
And if drama occurs, strive to be the most mature person in the room. Of course, this requires discipline, courage, and maturity. If someone vents nonsense, just take a deep breath and stay silent.
Find appropriate ways to be helpful. This moves your focus from being needy to being useful. And that makes you feel better.
Be nice to the person who prepares meals. Recognize that it may take some extra creativity to fix a meal with limited supplies. So be grateful that you have something on your plate.
Call people to talk. Ask how they’re doing and then listen. Ask for ideas on what they’re doing and then thank them.
And then find ways to thank people. Yes, thank people for anything and everything, even something as simple as “Thank you for you.”
Benefit: Kindness builds friendships.
Personal – Take care of yourself.
Attend to your basic needs, such as sleeping at least 8 hours, eating smart, and stopping at enough.
Improve your health by walking, exercising, or yoga. Avoid crowds by using on-line programs for fitness routines. Just find one that fits your style and needs. And be creative. For example, I’ve walked 5,000 plus steps in our garage on rainy days.
Avoid mental toxins such as violent TV, violent movies, and violent video games. These poison the mind with violent expectations that causes stress.
Avoid falling into too much of anything, which can include TV, food, beer, wine, and so on.
Benefit: Taking care of yourself keeps you stronger and more resilient.
So what’s next?
Take a moment to write a plan for yourself using those ideas that will help the most.
Then know that you can survive.
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Did You Know?
The most effective way to help birds is to buy land.
Here are three organizations that excel at doing this.
Please visit their web sites to learn about the work they do.
Here’s an excellent book: The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation