While at first, delving into daily updates was part of my routine. I have begun to avoid the news. Especially in the evening, for the same reasons I don’t consume caffeine past the afternoon. I start my weekdays with The Skimm (use this link to subscribe) so I remain knowledgeable of current affairs, and then I tune it out.
There’s nothing new, except growing statistics. Since March 5 – just two short months ago – the United States went from less than 150 cases to over a million as of yesterday. The death toll in the US surpassed 9-11 before the end of March and Vietnam last week.
Yet there are those who still believe it’s not that dangerous and push their right to “freedom” while endangering the lives of others. COVID-19 has now exceeded deaths from heart disease and cancer this year. Why this graph is not enough to motivate people to be extremely cautious baffles me.
But enough about what I can’t control.
I can stay home. I can wear a mask. I can encourage others to do the same. I can advocate for running as a lifestyle and help others to see it as a path to better mental and physical health. I can be the convener of my friends on Zoom, so we can find a couple hours every so often to support one another and share hope.
We can meditate. We can journal. We can go for a walk or run. We can think about a meatless diet or at the very least commit to better portion control so we can fit into our jeans again. We can create vision boards with the things we desire to have in life when this is over. We can remind ourselves about all that we have to be grateful for right now.
We can fill our Facebook feeds with photos from vacations past and influential album covers and Instagram with our cute pets. We can block the people and organizations that spread misinformation. We can just choose to avoid social media all together and use our frustration and anger to strategize for election day.
We can donate to important causes making a difference in this fight. We can ask others to give too. We can look for the signs that a majority of us will come out of this as better humans. Like this. And this. And this! And at the beginning of every week we can turn into a new episode of Some Good News with John Krasinski, a weekly Pandemic gem that is restoring our faith.
The conclusion of week seven brought a feeling of I finally got this. Embrace good news. Limit the amount of bad stuff that infiltrates my day. Schedule workouts – and do them. Make good food choices. Lose myself in work projects during working hours – only. Sign up for a virtual race.
Make self-care a priority. Delve into a good television series (Kurt and I are currently watching The Last Dance on ESPN and finishing up season 1 of Ozark on Netflix) and read a chapter or two of a good book before bed (How to Hike the Appalachian Trail by Chris Cage is giving me ideas).
Don’t think too much. “Look for the good stories” is my mantra now when getting my daily dose of the news.