Oct 23, 2020
With the numbers rising again in the pandemic, we are finding it necessary to draw back into our protective shells of social isolation. With the arrival of cooler weather, this will be another challenge that we will endure. In some ways, it will be easier. We have learned a lot about how to stay sane when we have limited contact with our friends and families. In other ways, it might be harder. We have the holiday season coming up and the entire winter stretching before us.
How can we prepare for this?
I feel better when I try to be proactive about a situation. So, I’ve been asking myself, “What can I do this fall to make sure I’m as physically and mentally prepared as possible for the winter?”
A few answers might be
- Get a flu/pneumonia shot.
- Call the doctor for that “thing” needs to be done, but you’ve avoided since medical practices reopened last summer. It could be your mammogram, allergies, birth control, replacement eyeglasses, that tooth that’s been funky lately, etc.
- Check your home medical kit—does your thermometer work? Have your cold/flu medications expired or run out? Do you have a couple extra boxes of tissues? Does your humidifier need to be cleaned? Does it still work?
- Find a face mask that really works for you—comfortable, a good fit, protective, easy to wash, etc.
- Stock up on a few food items that you can prepare easily if you end up sick with the flu and shouldn’t be shopping. (Note I said stock up—not hoard.)
- Think about ways you can keep moving—even if you are stuck indoors during a blizzard or a pandemic. Find something you truly enjoy—and make an appointment with yourself to do it regularly, if not daily.
Look around your home. What do you need to do to make it a refuge and safe haven as opposed to a place that you are going to be stuck for the next few months.
Do you work or study at home now? Look at your workspace. Is it conducive to productivity? If not, what small thing could you do to make it more work-friendly? Do you need someplace to keep your materials organized and easily put away when the workday is done? Start looking now for that perfect sized box to fit your work supplies. When you are done working, put everything away. If you are lucky enough to have an office area, spend as much non-work time away from your office area. Leave work behind!
Do you have winter weather gear that will make it easier to get out of the house? I found pull-on ice cleats that fit over my winter shoes/boots, making it much less stressful to walk outside when it’s icy. Having these $15 items help me feel much less confined during the winter. I didn’t know they existed until a few years ago. I found mine at a local hardware store.
How will you keep in touch with family, friends and co-workers? Some of us have been able to harness the internet to help us stay in touch with the people in our lives. But, what you don’t know how to get online? Get a friend to help you learn now—before the weather turns ugly. If your computer needs some upgrading to allow you to attend virtual meetings, it might be a simple fix.
What if you don’t have a computer or your computer doesn’t allow for online sessions? Pickup the telephone and make a call. A five-minute phone call can brighten your day. Or, dig out those notecards you got on your birthday, and send a quick note via the mail. Find a new pen pal, and start getting to know each other through the mail.
If you need additional assistance, help is available. In Massachusetts, you can call 2-1-1 to ask non-emergency questions on a multitude of subjects. Or, if you are feeling overwhelmed, call the Crisis Counseling Assistance Program at 888-215-4920.
The pandemic hit us hard in March—we had to learn an entirely new way of living. Add to that, the fear of the illness and grief over lost friends and family has been very real. Now, we better understand what we’re dealing with.
We can do this!