What are your mornings like right now?
I let myself sleep in so much more these days. That’s also because I sleep late on most nights, listening to webinars as they go live, or watching Netflix (K-dramas or whatever catches my interest). I go straight to brunch with my son and then see clients over Zoom or FaceTime in the afternoons. I don’t see more than six per week now because that’s part of my self-care too.
How do you manage your fears and anxieties?
Each day begins and ends with prayer, and sometimes even in the afternoons too. I’ve never prayed as much in my whole life as I have done these past four weeks. There are just so many things and people and circumstances to pray for. That’s my default now when I feel myself starting to worry. I decided to do a weekly podcast (Inspiration Revolution on Spotify) to share inspiring things that I’ve read, and to encourage people to pray.
Writing helps me a lot too. It’s always been my way to make sense of a the things that are going on. Mostly I’ve been writing for myself, and sometimes on Facebook.
I also take an online class on the science of well-being, though I’ve been delinquent on that because there are days when I just want to read or stare out the window. I allow myself many moments where my mind is just resting and recharging.
I watch a lot of shows on Netflix and watch interviews of Dr. Fauci, and Andrew Cuomo. I only read and watch the news for an hour or so each day. Just enough to keep abreast. I transcribe the Philippine President’s address every time I catch it. It’s an exercise in focus and patience, and many of my friends find the summaries helpful.
I exercise every other afternoon. We aren’t allowed to leave our condominium complex and so I’ve discovered all these fun and easy exercise videos on YouTube. I love Leslie Sansone’s walk at home exercise program and those Korean dance videos by Sunny Funny Fitness.
How do you deal with collective grief?
We are experiencing many losses right now. We have not seen deaths in such a huge proportion, we personally know people who die. We have friends who get sick, we see so many people suffer. That’s a lot.
And then there are the losses of not being able to do the things we normally do that add joy to life — going to the movies, dinner with friends, traveling to different places here and around the world. We miss out on doing all the things that would be good for our mental and emotional health. And so we need to acknowledge all these big and small losses and mourn them.
But in the wake of this grief are gifts too. The realization of many things we used to take for granted. The knowledge now of what truly matters in life. Of how we can be joyful with little, and how life can be so rich and yet uncomplicated.
How do you deal with loneliness?
There are instances when loneliness creeps in. I make sure to spend time each day with my children. I love that we have been having dinner together every night for the last four weeks. We could not do that as often because of our individual schedules. I love that because we are all adults now, there is a different way of sharing and relating to one other.
I schedule Zoom time with my close friends and FaveTime with people I love. I encourage my clients to “calendar” these video calls with friends and family because connections and seeing them, albeit virtually are so important to stave off the loneliness and keep mentally healthy.
I have a dog and she’s a diva so she keeps us all entertained at home. She’s probably the happiest, seeing all her humans together day after day after day.
How do you see your life three months from now?
It’s so hard to predict or make plans that far off because there’s so much uncertainty. We live in a liminal space where everything is in flux from day to day, from week to week, how much more a month or two down the road.
Life as we know it will definitely we different. We can chuck the idea of returning to “normal” for at least 18 months. We need to be flexible, we need to embrace change as it comes and learn to roll with it. People with control issues will have to learn how to give up that sense of control and instead learn to surrender to God.
We make plans yes, but we cannot be rigid about the outcomes. We help each day where we can, and we pray, everyday for an unknown future. We learn to stay in the moment and we give thanks. “Thank you for my health and for the heath of my loved ones. Thank you for a roof over my head and food on my table. Thank you for providing for all those who are in need.” Don’t think too far off into the future because that’s when you start to feel overwhelmed and the anxieties and fears set in.
I am grateful for the grace that the Father sends me each day. I have learned to surrender everything, and to fully trust in His provisions, and in His timing for all things.
Matthew 6:25-27 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?