As I gave myself a big self-hug this week, so did my sister on the other side of my closed patio window. It was our loving exchange during a social distancing trade of things we both needed where the other had. This simple swap of goods with a distance embrace was a bright spot in my day.
This also reminded me about how important self-love truly is during this world's pandemic. While we may not be able to hug our loved ones right now, we can still give ourselves the love and care we need. This can mean something different for everyone; only you know what you need to nourish and recharge your self-care.
Self-care and self-love isn't just about what you can give yourself, it's also about what you can remove or limit from the day that isn't good for you. For me, it's less time reading the news. I like to stay up to date with what is going on outside my door, but I noticed that I had developed an addictive habit of reading the news more than five times a day. This didn't just begin recently. I'd been reading about the outbreak in Wuhan since January.
I'd been feeling shock and grief not just about the virus' spread but also about how Wuhan citizens were being treated as outcasts after the first lock-down. Some who couldn't get home due to city limit closures weren't even allowed to rent hotel rooms based on their residency. This discrimination made me feel sad for humanity. I had fears about this virus and human indecency spreading across the world. I pushed aside my feelings of paranoia at first, but I couldn't help feel engulfed by fear from time to time because I wasn't just afraid for myself.
My fear was for everyone I knew and everyone I didn't. I was also afraid for my husband who has an underlying condition that affects his lungs. As someone who has been known for canceling holiday outings to protect my husband's health, I did not know how to protect him from this. Aside from staying home as much as possible and wiping down every grocery delivery like a madwoman, I still don't.
Realistically, I understand I don't have control over everything that happens in order to always protect loved ones. But I do have the power to stop what hinders me. And I know I also have the power to persevere to keep going. We all do. A big part of