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Tips for coping with the crisis

Americans do many things very well. When action is needed, we are at our best. So take action: Amazon will deliver nearly all you need, from powdered eggs, milk, vegetables and other “perishables” to canned goods and everything else.

Think about your elder, disabled neighbors; order for them. Enliven your boring diet by ordering spices. Slip into a store where you can “distance” from others and buy seeds for carrots, beets, zucchini, broccoli, and you can eat the leaves as well as the roots and florets. Plant your victory garden.

I don’t use the WWII and London blitz verbiage lightly. Our real need, after basic food, is to keep calm and carry on (at home). As John Milton said, the only thing that God demands from us is a cheerful heart as we deal with what comes. We need to do what state and local governments decree (based on solid medical science, sign up at Oregon Health Authority), and we can be lights in the darkness of our own souls, and that of others, by repeating Milton’s injunction to ourselves.

The challenge for us now is cleverness in finding ways to be happy without our lives running on the rails they always have. The challenge now is the quiet, powerful courage of finding new ways to live, reveling in our cleverness in contriving (as our ancestors did during the Great Depression) what we need from what we have. In place of raging because we don’t have something we need, let’s challenge ourselves to figure it out.

Kids underfoot? Get clever. Distract the kiddos with a dog, cat or kittens (see my Facebook page). Exhaust them with play on green grass, avoiding playground surfaces. Turn on the TV, especially for animal and nature education. I know, not ideal long-term, but this isn’t the rest of their lives. Get them involved in all the fun new activities you will be doing for yourself.

Let’s create a new normal, a routine that you can follow for however long you need to. Your plan needs to include direct action for anxiety-reduction, exercise, mental distraction, mental engagement, emotional solace. Remember what Americans are good at? Action. What we are not traditionally good at? Endurance. So this is a multipoint plan to build “endurance without complaining” muscles.

Direct action for anxiety-reduction

Meditate. There are a million free videos and instructions online. Belleruth Naperstek, a medically respected leader in hypnosis and visualization, has her anxiety products at half-price. She is also offering free daily meditation at free.healthjourneys.com.

Exercise. Walk your new dog, or yourself, 30 minutes minimum every day. Breathe rhythmically. See my bio for the link to my free classes, including my Green Tool.

Garden. Even if you only pull weeds and repair winter’s damage.

Sweat. It burns off the cortisol you are generating with your worry-thoughts, clarifies your thinking and helps you get essential sleep at night. Check out doyogawithme.com and the Women’s Health Total Workout in 10 DVD. Dance your way around the living room for that 30 minutes daily, and laugh while you’re doing it, with or without the kids.

Mental distraction

Binge-watch happy, cheerful things. You need to support the biochemistry of joy. Take warm baths every day. Entertain yourself with audiobooks (e-checkout from library or get from Amazon), e-books, a new video channel. Dive into David Attenborough’s lifetime output of nature videos. Explore YouTube. Take a virtual journey: get an e-format guidebook, plan day, find videos and immerse yourself for part of each day of your virtual journey.

Let’s build our cheerful endurance muscles, challenge ourselves to be as clever as we can be, let’s think about each other’s urgent needs as well as our own, so that when this plague is past, we will have transformed our lives permanently.

Victoria Leo offers comfort and inspiration during this crisis. See www.facebook.com/Soaring-Dragon-295337430525356/; www.youtube.com/user/humanbio4everyone/videos; https://blastthruthosebarriers.thinkific.com/courses/. Email 600- to 700-word articles to Sally McKirgan at innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com.