Thursday, June 4, 2020

How Are You Coping?

by Sparkle Abbey

Wow, we're at the half-way point and 2020 has been quite a year! It's been a long how-ever-many weeks since this pandemic began and we have to confess that sometimes the fact that it's June seems surreal. We've been staying safe/staying home, wearing masks, social-distancing, shopping online, supporting local businesses, doing curb-side pickup. In other words, doing what we can.

We must say working from home sounded so much more fun than it actually is. And yet, any complaints we have are absolutely trivial when we think about what others are going thorough. Our hearts go out to those directly affected or those who have family members dealing with the virus.

Our problems are minor. Some days are so busy that it's hard to keep up and other days it seems like time has stopped. Sometimes the technology breaks down at the worst times. Occasionally the delivery is completely different from what we ordered.

All truly minor problems in the big picture. The hardest part of all for us has been being away from friends and family.

But we've found some ways to cope - here are a few of them: 

1. Zoom Get-Togethers - We've done family dinners, met with our critique group, even played long-distance bingo with out of state family. It's an easy way to stay in touch and have some human contact, even if it's not in-person.

2. Facetime Parties - Though Facetime with grandkids had always been a great way to hear about their day, the Grand Doll Party took it to the next level. Invitations went out for the date and packages with supplies were dropped off. And with three grands and their American Girl dolls, everyone did a mini-spa day, switched to pajamas, and watched a movie together. Of course, there was popcorn.

3. Helping Others  - There are opportunities to help wherever you look. The local residential Y put out a call for some very simple needs their residents had. And so, we reached out to family members and rounded up some of those items.

4. Staying Active - It's great if you have exercise eqiupment at home, but it's not a requirement. In our area walking has been okay most of the time. Few people are out if you go early or late. Also, we've discovered some online exercise classes that also work to keep us moving.

5. And last, but not least, another big coping strategy for us is reading. Reading is the ultimate escape to a different world when the world you're living in seems out of control. Sometimes it's taken a few tries to find just the right book for that escape. It can be difficult to concentrate with everything that's going on. But the adage is true: Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are.

So, there are a few of our #COVID-Coping methods. We'd love to hear what things you've been doing to cope with the changes over the past several months?

Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Ashford and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series. They are friends as well as neighbors so they often get together and plot ways to commit murder. (But don't tell the other neighbors.) 


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