Dear Reader,

We have all seen it. The masks, the news report, the rush for toilet paper.

Everywhere you go and everywhere you turn, it’s about COVID-19. And I don’t know about you but if I wasn’t on my anxiety meds, I’d be under a blanket.

In fact, I wish I was under a blanket right now.

It feels dystopian, apocalyptic, and like one of those end of the world movies except you are not Brad Pit or The Rock or even their plucky sidekick. You are one of the background folks and things never turn out good for them.

When I conjured the idea for this post, I thought I’d research and give folks tips on how to overcome the anxiety.

But I have none. Other than take your meds. Drink water. Exercise.

How am I dealing with this? Ironically, I am being positive about it.

Yes, I know, it’s surprising me too but I am looking at where I can be helpful. For example, yesterday’s post was my attempt at being helpful. Today, I’m going to start getting my students ready for possibly going online for the rest of the semester.

My self-care is the attempt to turn off the news and social media, even though the old newshound in me finds it difficult. I’m hoping to limit things and to work on my memoir and a fiction project or two. I may even submit to things.

I guess what I am saying is that for me, for this pandemic, my default will be to create, to be helpful.

And take my meds, drink water, and exercise.

I don’t want to focus on doom. I want to stay present and focus on one task at a time, while washing my hands and making antibacterial stuff from alcohol and aloe vera.

And take my meds, drink water, and exercise.

I also want to fight every tendency to hide under a blanket. That means that every coping mechanism will be tested in the coming days. That includes mindful practices, gratitude practices, and positive thinking.

That means that I need to focus on myself — self care and self evaluation — before I can take care of anyone else.

And, frankly, that means I have to put things in perspective. Like this:

  • You helped your mother through cancer.
  • You lead your family through almost losing their house.
  • You write your own father obituary and helped planned the funeral while you were mourning
  • You came back from the MOTHER of depressive episodes that could have led to your death.

And yet I am still here.

Still ticking.

Still writing.

Still breathing.

I will get through this. I already know how.

And so will you.

But first, take your meds, drink water, exercise, and wash your hands.