Updated: Mar 19
We are in a new and very strange time, one that will put its mark on history. I think that is something we can all agree on. As a mom of five, I have seen our calendar move from a scheduled commitment almost every evening to having our entire spring calendar wiped clean. Under normal circumstances, this extended snow day of a season would be really nice. This unplugged life of family card games, dinners together, and backyard baseball sounds like scenes from a Norman Rockwell painting, except it isn’t. Looming in the background of my green backyard is a community, city, nation, and world experiencing unprecedented pain and turmoil; and whether or not we have experienced the physical effects of COVID-19 within the walls of our privacy fences, a great many of us are beginning to feel the emotional effects of it. Anxiety can be sneaky, especially in times like this. We look around us and we may see peace, but under the surface we know differently.
We have been wired in a beautiful way. We are made to anticipate danger, and then flee from it or fight it. This works beautifully if you are a toddler running from the vacuum or a ninja turtle fighting a mutated weed that clearly has that “enemy look” to it, but what do we do when we can’t SEE the enemy? What do we do when our “fight” defense is to stay home, wash our hands, and refrain from touching the mail or the grocery bags? These are strange times. And in these strange times, anxiety sneaks in. It may look like a sleepless night, or having a good cry, or irritability, or obsessively cleaning the house. Anxiety can take many forms.
So how on earth can we combat anxiety during this season? The truth is, I don’t think many us know for sure.
I have been thinking a lot about my Granny over these last few weeks. I understand more deeply about how important it was for her to conserve any leftover food, to know how to bake bread and make staples from scratch, to have a garden that produces for the family, to hold on to items before throwing away something that could possibly be used in the future. With this in mind, I think one of the best things we can do in this time is to look to the advice of our grannies, these gritty women who waded through the hard times of the early 1900s.
So here is my plan. I will share a couple of things, and then I am asking you to share. What would our grannies say to us if they were sitting with us in our kitchens? Leave a comment and let’s share that wisdom with each other.
Here are a few thoughts I have:
1. Have Faith.
2. Left foot, right foot, breathe — keep your eyes on what is in front of you. Don’t deal with tomorrow’s worries today. Don’t meditate on worry (or the news). Meditate on the task at hand – rock a baby; cook something for lunch; throw a ball with your child.
3. Laugh a little every day – Call a friend to check in.
4. Go OUTSIDE – Soak up that Vitamin D. Sit on the porch 😊