One of our counselors at school sends out a lot of motivational sayings and things that she finds inspirational. It’s always nice to get an email from her because you know when you open it, there will be something to make you think.
And just because school stops doesn’t mean she does.
She sent this the other day via email. I saw it previously making the rounds on social media but on this day I was struggling a little more than usual about how to make lemonade out of this lemon called Covid-19.
Taking a look at this helped me realize that a lot of the stressors I was experiencing were completely and wholly out of my control. Does it stink? Yup. Will I suddenly become omnipotent and be able to change those things out of my control? Nope.
Take a look at the chart. Notice anything? The only thing on it that you can control is you. Your actions and your attitude are all you’ve got.
The other stuff? Well, fortunately, or unfortunately, it’s under somebody else’s control.
I’ve honestly never thought of myself as a control freak. I try to go with the flow of life. It definitely cuts down on stress.
But this is a new day and a new game. And it impacts so many people I love. It’s hard to let go.
So I try to be logical. And as I think about it, I realize that if I concentrate on the things I can control, I am that much happier.
In taking a second run at it, I realize there were a few things I would add to the list of things I can control. Here they are.
1. How I spend my time while I am at home–Yesterday, I started the day with a schedule that included work, play and taking care of myself. I took control of my day. I wasn’t completely inflexible but at least I had a structure I could go to when I started to feel a little lost.
2. Connect with others–Calling and texting have become a staple of staying in touch with friends and family. At some point, I am going to do some video chatting. It’s not the same as an in-person hug but it’s still connection.
3. Read that stack of books by your bed–I have read more books in the past couple of weeks then I have in the last couple of years. Reunited with reading. And it feels so good!
4. Spruce up your space–Even though spring has not yet sprung, you can get to all of those spring cleaning projects you put off the rest of the year. Clean a closet. Organize paperwork. Maybe even paint that room you’ve been meaning to get to.
5. Get out in nature–The outdoors is a great way to see people (or not) while still keeping your social distance. Hit the park. Go for a walk around the block. Find a nice hiking trail or walk in the woods.
6. Learn something new–In the things I love category, music has always topped the list. I have owned a guitar for going on 25 years. I pick it up occasionally and strum but I know about two songs. Part of my new schedule will include intentional (and scheduled) practice time. While I won’t be James Taylor, maybe I’ll be able to fulfill that lifelong dream of being able to make music instead of just consume it.
7. Love the one you’re with–If you like me and are fortunate enough to have your person holed up with you, treat them kindly. Cook together. Play a game. Workout with one another. And hold on to one another tightly. You are in it for the long haul.
The list could go on and on but you get the idea. Take control of what you can and let the rest go. Sometimes easier said than done but if we all do what we are supposed to we will get through this better, healthier and stronger than we were before.