About three weeks ago when we had a friend over for an outdoor dinner, conversation naturally turned to what else -- Covid. Our friend said he’s been having teeth issues and that his jaw has an aching pain. The culprit? He’s been grinding his teeth while sleeping.
He’s the kind of person who usually takes things in stride, including the life-changing pandemic. He realized that even though he’s been generally chilled about it all – on the outside – it has been quietly causing stress on the inside.
I’ll ditto that. I’m generally cool as a clam, too. But I couldn’t help adding to the conversation about my out-of-nowhere acid reflux episode that I had recently experienced. (And I was teased to no end when I used the word, “regurgitated”). Our daily lives are now all about moving around more cautiously. I go about each day starting with my morning writing, then change gears to make oatmeal for Louie and me. Then I take Lola for a walk. But before stepping outside the yard, I make sure to have my face mask. Even if I have already walked a block and notice I don’t have my mask, I return to get it. Back at home, if I’m talking to my neighbors or the mail carrier, I make sure to wear my mask. And I constantly wash my hands. While I am willing and proud to be playing my part in helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19, these necessary adjustments have changed our daily lives in major ways.
One way we cope is by exercising. Louie and Jacqueline practice yoga and Pilates regularly via Zoom. I have a daily ritual of early morning stretching (like yoga) and I take power walks around our hilly neighborhood and at the same time enjoy nature and breathe the fresh air. We also cook healthy meals together at home. And our Lola and Lawrence teach us every day that a simple existence calms the nerves.
Then a couple of days ago, I come across a health article: “You’re not nuts. This really is a crazy time. Here are a dozen ways to cope.”
I welcome this much-needed pep talk that could benefit us all for at least the next six months -- when experts say will be a time that the pandemic could take a turn for the better with the availability of vaccines. From exercise, improving your sleep, relaxation, and deep breathing to practicing appreciation, striving for optimism, and cracking a smile -- and from setting up a social phone tree to focusing on what you can change.
Yes, we can do it. I’m counting on it.
Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives