#SOLIDARITYSATURDAY: Surviving Social Distancing During Coronageddon

The world is spinning in light of all the shutdowns and lack of toilet paper caused by this ever-changing, quick-spreading virus. There isn’t a corner of the world unaffected and this business is getting serious. It’s sobering to be living this out in real time, isn’t it?

We got word this week that our kids’ school is closing until April 26. Hear me clearly, I understand and support the need for this drastic action. But y’all – have mercy – that’s 6 weeks I am responsible for homeschooling my children.

Can we all just take a moment and shed a tear in a judgement-free-zone?

Cuz this mama is having a hard time wrapping her mind around how this is actually going to work. And I know I’m not the only one. Especially for the anxiety-prone, highly sensitive, easily overwhelmed ones out there, like myself.

Here are a few things I’d like to say out loud, in case you’re feeling alone in your fears, disappointment and anxiety over this whole thing.

  • I love my children. And I love sending them to school. I’m going to miss my alone time.
  • I love my children. And the idea of spending the next FORTY TWO DAYS homeschooling them is a perfectly reasonable excuse to crawl under the covers and hide.
  • I love my children. And if the Coronavirus doesn’t bring us to our demise, their constant nagging, sassiness and whining may.

Now that we’ve cleared the air, I hope you know you’re not alone.

I felt childish today for how disappointed and overwhelmed I was with having to give up a month and a half of my own creative, professional development time to dedicate to my children’s education. I know there are many moms rockin’ this homeschool gig, and I applaud you. I’m just not one of you and I feel stressed and claustrophobic already.

So, here are some tangible ways I plan to stay sane during Coronageddon:

  • DAILY SELF CARE. For me, the plan is take a morning or evening walk every day. This has saved my sanity in the past and I know I need to make this a priority for myself . Whether it’s walking, scheduling a chat with a friend or barricading yourself in your room to read or watch a show, take some time for yourself every day.
  • WIRELESS HEADPHONES. Kids are just loud. Mine are louder than most. They get in petty arguments that they are more than capable of working out on their own. They forget how to share. They make squeaky sounds that make my stomach flip. So this mama will be keeping her wireless headphones charged up and ready for daily music and podcasts. This is an instant sanity saver for me.
  • CHECKING ON MY NEIGHBORS. Thinking of others is a sure way to lower our own anxiety and get our minds off our own problems for a moment. I have several older neighbors I will regularly check in on during this time of social distancing.
  • SCHEDULING REGULAR VISITS WITH FRIENDS. This may begin as coffee dates and have to transition to zoom calls or Google Hangouts but none-the-less, we all need community. And this Enneagram 4 Ambivert needs people who are not my children to talk to. Where are my verbal processors?

Something important to remember is that everyone, everywhere is experiencing fear, disappointment and sacrifice due to this wide-spread illness. Our children, our co-workers, our pastors, our grocery-store clerks, our leaders: everyone is missing out on something important to them because of the need to close things down to prayerfully get this virus under control.

But we don’t have to let fear and disappointment get the final say. I often remind my children (and simultaneously myself) of this tricky truth:

“WE CAN’T CONTROL OUR CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT WE CAN CONTROL HOW WE BEHAVE WITHIN OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. WE CAN CHOOSE TO BE KIND, EVEN WHEN WE’RE MAD, DISAPPOINTED OR FRUSTRATED.”

I know how hard that can be, but it is possible with practice. There are so many things we can’t control, so let’s lean into what we can. May this promise from God, Himself, give us courage, peace and strength as we face these unprecedented events.

“’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” ~ Isaiah 41:13-14

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