Tonight is the 5-week anniversary of the last time I left the office for the weekend, having sheltered-in-place ever since while trying to avoid anything contagious. I remember that day started with my body reacting physically and mentally to the panic-buying vibrations from the night before when I’d gone aisle by aisle trying to pull together a meal with the odds and ends left on the empty shelves. The shakiness resulted from my denial fortress being blown to bits and I scrambled to rebuild and reinforce. That morning before I even got to work, I needed to find a way to ground myself and bring myself back to reality. The great news is, that two things besides COVID-19 are contagious: Kindness and Laughter.
The quickest way to forget about your worries and your strife is to help someone else – and you both win. I personally experienced this while doing a half-marathon I didn’t train for, towards the last 3 miles every step became a debate as to whether another one would follow. …Until I came across someone doing their first half-marathon whose feet convinced the rest of his legs that they should quit though his heart was still in it. By running with him fueling him with distractions and encouragement, we both finished. With any difficult situation, we need to push through the initial shock of the situation then deal with the pain.
Some of the best solutions I’ve seen coming from this quarantine involved creativity and kindness. Obviously the many first responders have superhero volumes of both running through their veins and I’m so grateful for their incredibly selfless and dedicated actions. At the same time, an army of kindness soldiers began their march organically and it’s growing. Everywhere I turn my neighbors sew masks, run errands for elderly neighbors and friends, share food or TP with others, check in with people, tutor kids, lead online classes – it’s magical to watch. Whether direct or random acts of kindness, start by thinking of 3 things you could do for someone in your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to cost anything, write a note, explain to someone how to do zoom calling or walk someone’s dog.
Believe it or not, when I first learned that my work was creating a dedicated corona virus URL, I laughed because it sounded so odd. It’s a defense mechanism that pops up at the weirdest times. Along with teaching me about defense mechanisms, Psych 101 taught me that when we smile, our body releases endorphins – whether we mean to smile or are forcing our smile. Fast forward a few jobs into my career and I found myself standing in a circle with co-workers doing a team-building laugh therapy session. After retrieving my eyes from the back of my head, I saw other people feeling as awkward as I felt standing up to take their turn to laugh, for no good reason. Not for long. Immediately the snickering started, which then translated into giggles, which spread like wildfire until even the person who forced the initial chuckle now laughed so hard that none of us could breathe. The rush of endorphins intoxicated us, our abs ached so much that they inadvertently let go releasing stress and flooding our systems with oxygen. We felt renewed.
Look for shows, listen to podcasts, really find something that will make you LOL – IRL! I’m not suggesting you stick your head in a comedy sand pit and pretend like the world isn’t going crazy around us. It’s about balance. We’re more equipped to take in and absorb the craziness if we find a way to release it too.
What about you?
- Do you do random acts of kindness?
- Have you ever had a random act of kindness done to you?
- What is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard?
- This is mine (originally on America’s Funniest Home Videos)
- Do you have a favorite comedian?
- Do your kids laugh at your jokes?
- Do you laugh at your own jokes? (I do)
- Do you know any clean kid jokes?
This is part of an #AtoZ challenge so subscribe above – we still have 14 letters to go!