But no one can at this point.
On some days, the only time I'm not worried or on the verge of panic is when I'm in my husband's arms, totally immersed in writing (harder to do these days), or walking outside enjoying the green gorgeousness of the desert in spring.
Even when I try to read fiction, one of my daily pleasures, my mind wanders off into the future, wondering about where this will end and how much damage it will inflict on my family, friends, community, country and the world.
How to cope?
I have found I need immersive experiences that engage all of my senses. I learned that yoga works better than meditation, because I have to move. But the stillness of meditation is as important as ever.
While I was hiking yesterday, I saw all kinds of spring wildflowers. They brought me such joy that I started thinking about how important it is to actively work at finding joy in these trying, uncertain times.
When I realized how lucky I was to have a husband who loves me, it brought me joy.
I began to think about some of the things that still bring me joy that range across all of my senses.
- the burbling fountain in my beautiful courtyard
- music as I write or walk
- the birds twittering
- rain, pattering on the windows
- my grandchildren's laughter
- my cat, purring his heart out
Oh my goodness, this list could get very long. Food is so important to me, even when we're not in the middle of health crisis.
I've become so aware of my stress eating this past week. I especially want carbs--sweet ones--but almost everything seems to taste better.
My husband made an omelette for breakfast on Sunday, as he does every Sunday, and it just tasted so good! After interacting with all the panic shoppers these past weeks I wondered if there would be food shortages. It was a relief to read that that was not likely.
Your favorite tastes will be different, but here are some of mine:
- fresh berries, a big juicy peach, and Rainer cherries in the summer
- pasta, any kind, my ultimate comfort food, with lots of parmesan cheese
- a big, salad, with crispy lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, ripe strawberries, and crunchy vegetables for texture
- crusty, whole grain bread, slathered with butter, alongside a homemade soup
- a bunch of daffodils, the essence of spring
- a pot of soup bubbling on the stove
- new-mown grass
- basil, with its licorice-y scent wafting up and making me want to cook
- the sweet fragrance of my neighbor's pot of petunias floating up as I walk by
- the rosemary I pass as I walk by the closed fitness center and spa, the sun enhancing its distinctive scent
- petting my cat, Harrison (Harry for short), as he purrs
- a soft, fuzzy throw, to keep off the chill
- hugs from family and friends; humans crave physical touch, which reduces stress hormones and actually fends off infection (in normal times); hugs may be what I miss most about this coronavirus outbreak
- warm shower water cascading over my body, especially after a sweaty workout
- crisp, clean sheets, as I crawl into bed at night
- a cool breeze, ruffling the hairs on my arms
In these stressful times, we can still experience moments of joy, although we may have to work harder to find them. It is moments of joy and gratitude that will get us through this crisis.
What things still bring you joy?