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Handling Isolation Frustration

As shocking as it may seem, COVID-19 is here and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere fast. In less than three months, this virus has spread globally and landed right in the middle of our own backyards. What seemed like a (very) distant illness in a country far, far away is now an illness just six-feet away.

Our bars and restaurants are shut down, as well as many parks and playgrounds. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer are impossible to find. Events across the nation have been cancelled. The economy is shaking like a 9.5 magnitude earthquake. And many offices, including mine, have moved to remote status. Working from home. Isolation.

During such a drastic and sudden change, I’ve heard phrases like “adjusting to our new norm” and “flexibility is key.” And while these things may be true, the daily grind is bound to get us down.

Many people are posting about looking on the bright side, of course. Just think of all the binge-watching we can do and all the social media we can absorb with no commute and weekends without friends! The internet is filled with list after list of award-winning shows that will to help us get through this time of crisis. But like too much of anything, including hours of streaming video, these activities will become boring and irritating, like a buzzing in your head that just won’t stop.

We are only a week in (as of the writing of this post), and I have already recognized the monotony, the frustration, the lack of breathing room and the impact of the screeching halt of daily activity. Last week my sister sent a text that said: “These coronavirus precautions are like a dream come true to an introvert. Social distancing, yay! Stay away from crowds, yay! Just stay home, yay!” That was until they closed the schools and she’s now at home with 3 kids under the age of seven with nary a playground to visit. Be careful what you wish for.

In the midst of all of this, I have created a resource that might help: 43 non-blue-screen, non-exposure, at-home creative and fun activities to try every day of the week. Pick one and enjoy! Try some new things; think outside of the box! Explore every aspect of this unusual time and remember how it feels. All the good and all the bad. In 10, 20, or 30 years, our youngsters are going to be fascinated by this era. “How in the world did you survive?!,” they will say. And with a twinkle in your eye and a wise smile you will say, “With optimism, serenity, and creative strategies for locating toilet paper!”

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