Depending on where you are currently located in the world, coronavirus has probably impacted you in some way — whether it’s become a central focus (maybe you got sick, or know someone who was potentially exposed..) to something that’s just another blip in an unremarkable day (maybe you’ve just been reading about it on the news). You may be worried about loved ones or stocking up on supplies or avoiding community gatherings or canceling travel plans. In this age of globalization, what happens across the globe has potential impacts everywhere, from physical illness to financial losses to limited availability of goods. And with that potential impact comes fear. And with fear, especially when that fear is related to illness and the possible need for quarantine or limited resources or doing things differently than usual, comes the potential for isolation, which leads to more fear.
Myriad studies show that humans don’t do well in isolation.
So, let us turn to the words of Maggie Smith when she says, ‘Now is not the time to wall yourself off. Seek people and experiences that make you feel open vs. closed, alert vs. numb, safe vs. defensive. Trust yourself. And trust that whatever happens, it will be okay. More precisely: whatever happens, you will be okay. Keep moving.’
Whether your fear right now stems from a virus or a job loss or perceived personal failure or simple uncertainty: Don’t put up more barriers. Seek the company (even if it has to be by phone or letter) of those who light you up, encourage openness, or bring peace. Do what you need to do to feel alive. Trust that you can and will navigate whatever is going on right now. Trust that you can handle what comes to pass, even if the outcome is something you wouldn’t have chosen. Accept that “Okay” might look different than you think it should. Keep moving in the ways that work for you, and allow yourself to try doing things differently if the old ways don’t fit the current climate. Remember that community is as essential as hand washing and not touching your face and staying home if you are ill. Look to the flowers that climb the highest fences, and let your face turn toward the sun.