Coping with COVID 19

Coping with COVID 19 is a very important aspect of our present needs. Here are some suggestions from Murren.  He writes for the San Diego Union TribuneHe served in Peace Corps in Honduras from 1997 to 1999.

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Murren’s Suggestions for Coping with COVID 19

1 Write your Words.

Putting pen or pencil to paper and writing your thoughts works areas of your brain that are not used when sending a quick text. Send a letter to a loved one. Document this time in history in your own words, and try not to think about who might read it now or in the future.

Let it flow. Who knows? Maybe a future Ken Burns will find your letters or diary, and your words will appear in a documentary about what we are living through, and the human experience will thrive in those words, as you provide understanding to someone who did not experience it.

2 Get some Exercise

Murren says that one of the few ways he could get aerobic exercise at his Peace Corps site was by walking and biking. No gyms existed. After some time, taking the same routes got a little boring. But by simply traveling the route in the opposite direction, he gained new perspectives on the town’s views cape.

What was behind him was now in front of him. The ridge line he did not really notice before now provided beautiful silhouetted lines at sunset. Later, trying to not be such a creature of habit, as a lot of us tend to be, he took different side streets and footpaths when he saw them. The feeling of charting a new way offered more opportunities for “discovery.” Once again, if you take this advice, practice social distancing.

Cook something New

Peace Corps volunteers are always cooking and eating new foods. The grocery store doesn’t have your favorite food? No problem! Simply pick up that unfamiliar vegetable over there and put it in the basket. Back at home, get out your cookbooks or go to the web and find a recipe. Cook it. Eat it. If you don’t like it, that’s OK. Now you know you don’t like it versus looking at it and assuming you wouldn’t like it.

Find or Make your Comfort Space.

Murren says he still has his hammock from the Peace Corps days. It hangs in the back porch. Hammock, book, magazine, tea, coffee, beer, wine, birding, talking, sitting, silencing. When in my hammock on the back porch, he is in his comfort space, a place he retreats to. It is a “push-the-pause button” kind of space. Wherever you are, make a comfort space for yourself. Maybe it is a tree in the back yard that you like to sit under, or a favorite chair with a blanket. Perhaps it is your yoga mat. Whatever and wherever it is, recognize its importance, and then if others do not recognize it, help them to understand. How? Talk to people — from a safe distance.