The world is being infected with a virus right now and everywhere we look there is drama. People are dying, people are afraid of dying and people are ignoring the stay-at-home orders and going about their business, potentially spreading the contagion.
These things are outside forces that we have no control over, and I see people falling victim to these outside forces every single day.
Do they have the virus?
No, in fact, most of them don’t even know someone with the virus. They are becoming victims of depression, anger and the worry of future-thinking.
The virus is here and there is nothing we can do to change that, but we can change our reactions.
I believe that each day is a gift and that when we focus on all the outer forces and worry about what may or may not happen, we are missing out on the gift of today.
Bernie Siegel, the author of Love, Medicine, and Miracles said to live each day as if it were your last.
Life has no guarantees. We’re not born with a date stamp of the day we are going to die. Maybe today is the day, or maybe the day is decades away.
Do you really want to live your last day, focused on what might happen or worried about things you have no control over?
To be honest, at the beginning of this mess, I spent a few days constantly perusing the Internet about the virus. I Googled “Virus update” several times a day and spent hours on Facebook reading what all my friends had to say about it.
Then I realized what I was doing and stopped.
I have a life and things I want and need to do in my life. In my life, I have control. I can choose to spend the day looking at virus updates or I can work on my thesis or call friends, or work on unpacking from my recent move.
I could make a list several pages long of all the things I want to do in my life, and worrying about outside drama would not be on that list.
Keeping myself safe is on the list because I’m the most important person in my life and self-care is essential to my well-being.
Focusing on the media is not self-care because it creates anxiety which lowers my immune system. I need my immune system to be at its peak because I’m in a high-risk category.
Getting angry at the government is also not self-care. I choose to stay focused on what I have control over. I don’t allow myself to be a victim to outside forces.
I have control over how I react or respond to any situation, and so do you.
You are the most important person in your life. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of fear, anger and worry, but work on letting them pass through instead of getting stuck. Your mental and physical health and well-being depend on your choices.
Please choose self-care for yourself, those who love you and for the world.