While it may feel like you’re hiding out from the apocalypse, in reality, no matter what happens, we’re not all going to die. Take a deep breath, follow the advice of public health officials, keep calm and give yourself some credit.
While it doesn’t always seem like it, what you’re doing is participating in the biggest mass mobilization of human cooperation and good will of any of our lifetimes. In the vast majority of cases, we’re collectively deciding to take a significant hit to prevent a crisis that wouldn’t be that bad for most of us, but would be terrible for a few of us. The reason millions of vulnerable people around the world will survive the next few months is because billions of the rest of us are doing what we can to prevent disease spread and keep society moving at the same time. I hope you can take pride in being a part of it.
Having said that, now let’s acknowledge that for a lot of us life SUUUUUUUCKS right now. Most of us are sitting at home quietly stewing away wondering how long this all will last and how much we can take of this. I’m a crisis mental health worker - I know for lots of people this goes beyond a simple annoyance. For some, breaks in routine, increases in stress, and too much time alone with our uncertainties all adds up to a genuine crisis beyond what the disease itself hath wrought.
That’s why this week we wanted to slip out of our adventure cardigans and into our health professional slippers to take a quick second and remind folks of the kinds of things you can do to keep yourself sane in the midst of self-isolation and uncertainty.
In the short term, none of us need that much to survive - food, water, shelter, safety, warmth. That’s about it. But to hold it together in the long term, we all need the kind of things that we talked about in the last chapter of The Dirtbag’s Guide to Life - purpose, connection, a sense of your story, and a sense of transcendence.
All of that might sound kind of woo woo in a situation like this, but the point is (and you’ve probably already realized this yourself) you can’t just sit there all day. It’ll drive you bonkers and bring out the worst in you. Which is why we wanted to encourage you in the midst of this to do the types of things that will keep you sane while you’re self-isolating:
And, of course, stay active, and keep doing fun stuff, like listening to this week’s podcast.
Air Fives! (No touching!)
Some helpful links:
1: Mental Health America’s resource links on managing during this pandemic: https://mhanational.org/covid19
2: The phone numbers are NZ specific but New Zealand has put out some of the most helpful online resources for coping with Covid-19 related stress we’ve come across: https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/
3: For teens, from Unicef: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/how-teenagers-can-protect-their-mental-health-during-coronavirus-covid-19
4: Helping Children and Teens Cope with Anxiety about Covid-19 https://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/helping-children-and-teens-cope-with-anxiety-covid-19/
Tim and Angel
The goat in the picture lives in Silverton, CO, and tried to kill us. We survived to bring you this dirtbag wisdom for the ages.