Pandemic Prompts

It’s hard to say “Welcome” to April, when I know what it brings. I’m thankful to survive March and not be sick with the virus. The virus has brought us fear, anxiety, and the bravery of many. Although I’m afraid, I try to focus on the bravery of so many who are trying to help us in this pandemic.

Our April prompts from A Chronic Voice are very good in prepping us to speak about many terms that we’re dealing with during these tough times.

Returning

As I’ve written about many times before, Grief is very common with those of us who live with chronic illness. We grieve as our health turns from good to poor. We grieve each new diagnosis. And, we grieve when our symptoms stop us from being able to live normal lives.

During the last month, I’ve been returning to times of grieving. The sober and sad cloud hangs over us each day as we hear of the spreading enemy. This virus is real and I’ve visualized it as a evil enemy that spreads it’s poison outside my door. Trying to protect myself and my family is on my mind often. Grieving for the people who have died weighs on me and I am so sad for the families who are losing the ones they love, without even being able to say goodbye.

Understating

I feel like it’s an understatement to say that we’re all contemplating our future on this earth and our eternity. We should realize that none of us are safe from the virus or its deadly effect. This is a time when we are offered time to settle our accounts with the Creator. I believe in God and want to be right with Him. If you are interested in how to have a relationship with God, go here.

sad woman

Distancing

Chronic Illness has been causing me to distance myself for at least 5 years. But, the new Social Distancing plans are adding even more isolation to our lives. Honestly, I don’t have any objections to distancing. It’s the smart thing to do! There are a few times that I wish I could go somewhere, but I’m just thankful that staying home can help the spread of this deadly enemy.

If you haven’t been following the social distancing guidelines, I beg you to do it. It will protect me and other chronic illness patients. It will also protect my child, who works in a hospital. And, I’m sure you know someone who is an essential worker who can’t stay home. They all need us to stay home for them.

Stressing

Being stressed during these times is a normal and natural emotion. The anxiety is not just an emotion. I can feel the effects of stress on my body. My neck muscles are tighter and I feel tightness in my throat.

We know that stress can trigger flares in chronically ill people. We feel the increase in headaches as we worry about ourselves and our loved ones. Blood pressure may be rising in those that have that tendency. It’s vital that we practice self-care in order to push back on the stress.

Deep breathing, prayers or meditations, and relaxing activities are some of the choices you might make to lower your stress level. Many people find relief with laughter or music. What movies make you laugh? What are you doing to find stress relief?

birthday

Celebrating

Do you have something to celebrate? Celebrating means that we’re going to be happy about something. When we celebrate something or someone we are focusing on the good that we see. Whatever you’re going through, I hope you’ll find things to celebrate.

Virus or not, we still have birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays to celebrate. Although the celebrations may be at home and with fewer people than usual, they are still times to rejoice.

Small, intimate celebrations are lovely! They are more calm, too. Bake a cake from scratch and love-on the birthday boy or girl. If you don’t have balloons, try to make some home made decorations. Even some Christmas lights can make a celebration feel more magical.

If you don’t have anything else to celebrate, look outside your window. Do you see snow or green grass? Celebrate in your heart that there is beauty in the world. What are you celebrating today?

@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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22 Responses

  1. Cynthia says:

    I really wish people would take the stay home part of all of this more seriously. My husband is an essential employee and has to leave for work. But that is it. Other than a weekly trip to the grocery store, we stay home. I am appalled by others who think they can go from house to house or gather but not touch other people. And I agree, we need to continue celebrating life’s moments, just differently. Hugs!!!

    • Lisa says:

      I know what you mean. I see so many people out and about with their children going all over the place. My family is happy to stay inside. Hugs right back 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing with us your perspectives again for the month, Lisa. I hope your child stays as safe as can be, it must be highly stressful and worrying. Sending love from Singapore xxx

  3. Two of my sons turn 20 and 10 in May, parties and celebrations had been planned. Yet now I won’t see the eldest as he lives away and for the soon to be 10 year old we are planning a super fun isolation celebration.

  4. Lisa says:

    I’m so sorry you can’t celebrate with your older son. I’m missing two of my older children, too. It’s so very hard for us moms 🙁
    I’m glad to hear about your younger son’s celebration plans. I know you have to be a little more creative, but will be worth it!

  5. Niamh Kane says:

    i cant believe how many people are not taking it seriously. Sending good wishes to you and your family.

    • Lisa says:

      It’s really sad to see those who don’t care about others. I know that many people are essential workers and have no choice, but to protect the vulnerable and the front-line workers, it’s so necessary to put other peoples lives above our short-term happiness. Stay safe and have a blessed weekend 🙂

  6. Alice says:

    I feel like my chronic pain has prepared me for this current pandemic situation. The social distancing side of things is a little easier for me than most people I imagine. The stress and worry of it all can easily set my pain off though. I too have suffered increased neck pain as a result. Stay safe x

    • Lisa says:

      Oh, I wish the increased pain wasn’t always the thing we have to expect when stress levels go up. Take care as much as you can 🙂

  7. Cynthia says:

    I know it sounds odd, but I am stressing less during this pandemic than I do normally. The reason is that now that everyone in my area has to stay home I have no reason to feel guilty for staying home and caring for my body. No excuses to come up with or long explanations of why I can’t attend an event or say yes to an outing. Prayers and thanks to your child for the work they are doing during this time.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you for the prayers 🙂 It’s great to hear how you’ve decided to look at this crisis with a positive outlook and turned it into a way to care for yourself. God bless.

  8. Catherine says:

    It is a strange time. My husband is a key worker but I feel that he still isn’t taking the virus seriously, and he has no regard for his family’s well-being due to his own (unacknowledged) battle with depression. He is a waste operations manager and comes home late every night wearing smelly, dirty clothes that he leaves in our kitchen because there is nowhere else to put them. I asked him to change at work before he comes home, but he refused. He thinks I am making a big fuss about nothing. Meanwhile I am left to counsel our young children (aged 6 and 9) whose lives have been ripped apart because of lockdown, and in their words, “Stupid Covid-19, making me miss my friends and my school.”

    • Lisa says:

      I believe that conditions like anxiety and depression are creating such problems during the quarantine. Everyone reacts differently, but it certainly makes things worse. I’m sorry you’re having such stress from all of this.

      I’m sure the kids are also sad about this. I homeschooled my kids for many years, and when things got stressful at home we took breaks. You might try doing the minimum amount of schoolwork and try to create something fun or different. Maybe let them do things that you normally don’t allow or try to skype their friends. Let them help plan and cook meals, do lots of arts and crafts, let them take pictures of things in the yard, let them build forts in the house, etc. Here are some other posts that I wrote that could be helpful:
      https://thefrugalgrandmom.com/homeschool-tips/
      https://thefrugalgrandmom.com/instruction-in-gratefulness-2/
      Stay safe and God bless you and your family 🙂

  9. Hi Lisa, it’s interesting that for once we know what April brings in some sense, huh. Stress does really affect us all physically, I feel it too in my body. I tend to enjoy working at cafés every now and then as it gives me a change of environment, but now i can’t either, and sitting in this chair all day is killing me lol. Sending hugs!

    • Lisa says:

      I really wish that you could go to a cafe and work in a pleasant environment. Sitting is awful! I recline in a recliner because it takes the pressure off of my spine. Hugs to you, because we sure need them. The stress seems to be getting worse, but I hope and pray for better days.

  10. Rhiann says:

    Hi Lisa, thank you for sharing your perspective with us this month, with the current global crisis I suppose it’s no surprise that most of us, if not all have chosen to use this month’s prompts to discuss the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. I hope you and your family are staying safe and well, Rhiann x

  11. Thanks so much for sharing how you are feeling this month, Lisa. Reading through all these entries, it’s clear that we are not alone and we’re all feeling similar. Sending love from Taiwan. Take care!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Carrie! It does help to know that others are going through the same feelings. Hugs to you 🙂

  12. Kathy says:

    I love your celebration ideas. My son turned 26 years old this week, and I didn’t want to brave a store to find a card for him. So I created one out of colorful cardstock, and mailed it to him. It made his birthday more special since we cannot get together now.

    • Lisa says:

      That’s wonderful! I know it must be hard to not be there for his birthday. Being far away from my oldest two kids is the hardest thing!

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