Sanity in the Time of Coronavirus

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Before going to bed last night, my husband and I were discussing the article we read that this new way of living since the lockdown could last up to nine months. NINE MONTHS! We just stared at each other unable to wrap our brains around living this way that long. It’s just too overwhelming.

We have just checked off one week of living in some sort of lockdown and it has been…interesting, confusing, depressing and anxiety-producing. However, on the flip side, this time of crisis has also given me moments of hope and inspiration. I have watched people display generosity, creativity, and connection in times when we are all so incredibly disconnected.

Sanity in the Time of Coronavirus

Aside from keeping healthy, maintaining our sanity during this gobsmackingly new way of living is priority #1. There were a few evenings last week where I felt myself slipping into despondency and malaise. I noticed my bedtime getting pushed back later and later because who cares? I quickly realized that having some sort of a schedule and a purpose is critical to feeling human and not slipping away into the oblivion of the couch.

Maintaining structure

While everyone talks about boredom, I’m actually not bored. I have work to do. I still have to come up with blog ideas, need to service clients virtually and also need to think now about how I can sustain my business so it can survive this crisis. This is normally my busy season with in-person client work and this pandemic will take an enormous chunk out of that revenue. Despite all this busyness, I realized I still needed some structure in my schedule so I wouldn’t become a person who lives in my pajamas all day.

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My husband and I are taking daily walks for an hour. We jokingly call it our prison yard time. Making sure we take a daily walk gets us some sanity, exercise and a little time out in the sunshine. We don’t have outdoor space and live together in a small 650 sq. ft. apartment. These daily walks are everything.

Adding some structure to that, I started doing streaming live videos of these walks to my Facebook Group. By putting some structure around these walks, my husband and I plan interesting and historic places to visit and share with others. Members of the group seem to enjoy these tours. Yesterday we took everyone on a tour to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade which has breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.

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View of the Freedom Tower from Brooklyn.

Connection

Has anyone else felt like they have connected more with others while in isolation? Personally, I would like to vote for Eric Yuan as Time’s Man of the Year for 2020. Don’t know who he is? He is the person responsible for inventing the video teleconferencing technology Zoom which is the platform that is helping millions of people connect during this pandemic. Businesses are relying on it, churches are broadcasting services and people feeling isolated in their homes are counting on it to stay in touch while under lockdown. Do you know what I am doing with it? I am teaching people how to knit.

I am Giving Daily Knitting Lessons

Well, I am actually using Zoom in conjunction with streaming live on Facebook to teach members how to do it. Every day at 4 pm EST, I go live and give a lesson. Livestreaming these tutorials allow members to either tune in live or watch the videos to learn at their leisure. Following these tutorials, on Saturdays, I welcome all members of my Facebook Group to join me on Zoom for a casual knitting bee for an hour. Experienced members can bring their projects, new knitters can bring their questions, and members who just need a little connection and community can drop in to say hi. We kicked it off last Saturday and I plan on doing it weekly until this ends.

Doing this daily for me has not only benefitted me in having structure and purpose, but it also forces me to put at least some effort towards my appearance while allowing me to be of service to others by creating a sense of community for those who feel isolated.

Creativity and Humanity in a Crisis

Humans are pretty incredible. Well, they can also be total jerks, but after a few weeks of people hoarding toilet paper and Purrel, I have witnessed many humans being their best. In addition, I have witnessed small businesses show tremendous creativity to keep their businesses afloat.

With restaurants hit hard by this crisis, we spotted one restaurant creatively working around this by offering outdoor bars. The smartest thing NYC did was suspend alcohol carry-out laws. Lord knows we’re not making it through this sober.

I have personally seen creativity and humanity show up for me in ways that have blown me away. Members of my group who had free founding membership status have given them up to help, clients have donated hours to be raffled off to raise money and others have reached out with ideas of new ways I can keep my business running. The selflessness of this has not been lost on me. If you are looking for ways to support me and find this blog helpful, I have created a Ko-Fi Page where you can buy me a proverbial cup of coffee as a sign of support.

How are You Creating Sanity and Connection during the Coronavirus Pandemic?

I would love to hear how you and your community are creating connections during this time of disconnection. I think we can all use some fun ideas and inspiration. If you are feeling lonely, come check out my Facebook Group for support and connection.

One Last Thing: to our Healthcare Workers and Essential Employees

Yesterday, while biting into a PB&J sandwich while sitting lazily on my couch, I got a text from my cousin Mary Beth who has been keeping touch with me during this pandemic. She’s an ICU nurse on the frontlines at a large hospital in New Jersey dealing with an at-capacity ward that is almost out of supplies.

If I needed some perspective, the photo she sent me was it. If she can do this, I can do what I need to however long this whole thing will take. When I need a reminder, I think about the nurses and doctors, grocers and clerks (many who make minimum wage) and I do not only swell with gratitude, I realize how fortunate I am to be someone whose only job is to keep 6ft. away from another person.