I Just Got Off The Phone With My Brother…

lonely elderly man sitting on deck with book by the water

as I haven’t talked to him since the news has been almost exclusively related to the COVID-19 virus. My sister-in-law is a nurse and I’ve been concerned and hoping things are going ok for her at the hospital she works at. There are no Coronavirus cases there at this time. They are all doing fine as of now, so that’s a relief.

My brother works at home and homeschools my niece, so they are used to being quite secluded on their 60+ acre farm. The social distancing has not really been an issue for them. But we talked about how it may be affecting others, particularly the elderly. I thought about it more after our call ended and how I’m feeling the beginnings of some restlessness. But at least I can easily go out for a walk or, if necessary, I can drive to the grocery store. For many of the more vulnerable in our community, it may be starting to take a toll. And it may go on for some time.

Increase in Anxiety

I’m also experiencing a small increase in my anxiety levels…this is such an unprecedented event in our time. It really does feel very strange; to have so many shops and restaurants closed, schools closed, seeing empty shelves in the grocery store, unable to go to the gym for a workout. Trips are being postponed and cancelled. And the uncertainty of when this will end just adds to my sense of uneasiness. When I take a deep breath or two, the feeling goes away. I understand why these draconian steps are needed. This will eventually pass. I try and practice gratitude.

Reach Out to Neighbors

In the meantime though, we need to be watching out for, and reaching out to, our more vulnerable neighbors, friends and acquaintances. Some may feel anxious about going to public places, or may just feel overwhelmed. Perhaps they have not seen their loved ones or caregivers in some time and they are lonely. We can call on our neighbors, ask if they need anything or even just chat on the phone for a few minutes to help ease some of these feelings. Keep in mind, some of the elderly don’t have the knowledge to use the internet for connection with the outside world, so these small acts and contributions can be very helpful for their mental well-being. And it feels good for us as well 🙂

Trouble Sleeping?

If you’re experiencing anxiety or trouble sleeping, I’ve recorded a guided meditation here that may help. It is about 16 minutes long and can be listened to at bedtime.

Lonely elderly couple walking away together

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