There’s no handbook showing us how to deal with Covid-19 and social distancing. Other than stay home. But we’re adding one more: Kindness
While we’re doing that, we’re still trying to keep our jobs going, home school our kids, entertain our kids, feed them, workout, learn a new skill, bake, clean our homes…..you get it.
Since there are no rules on this, people are taking it upon themselves to police others in person and online.
Well folks, we created a handbook on how to deal with this “new normal.”
Golden Rule: Positivity
People are trying their best to get through this unscathed. If you surveyed 5 of your friends right now and asked how they have been handling the last couple weeks, most would say they are hanging on by a string.
When people are trying to cope or try to adjust to no longer having control in their lives, they’re going to do anything they can to get through. Shaming them is only going to add to the despair.
Not to mention depression and anxiety is at an all-time high. So gentleness is needed.
If a mom is drinking during the day, don’t make her feel worse by pointing fingers, but ask if she needs anything.
Or if she’s working out a lot, let her!
Are her kids on their devices more than you would let your kids? It has nothing to do with you!
Everyone has a different way of coping and we need to support that.
It’s Not About You
So many home bakers have been popping up and we are here for it! Those people are likely eating more than usual because we’re baking more than usual (that’s us we’re talking about).
That may prompt them (us) to post funny memes about how much they ate. Don’t assume this is about you. People can make fun of themselves without it being about anyone else.
Don’t take anything personally at this time. Emotions are super high and if you see someone’s post, but you don’t think it’s funny, keep scrolling.
Some of the humour you’ll see right now may be triggering for you, but you don’t have to lash out at the person who shared it. It was probably what she needed at the time, and she’s only thinking about herself.
And that’s ok!
Again, this is how they’re coping.
Be Their Cheerleader
Home workouts being posted online driving you crazy? Just give that person a thumbs up. This is how that person is coping. They don’t need to be told they’re doing something wrong. They need you to tell them they’re encouraging.
Can’t stand people sharing their kids’ homeschooling schedule? Maybe that family needs it, or their kids need that right now or things will go awry. Tell them they’re doing a good job.
Someone buying take out every night for dinner. Give them a huge round of applause, because they care enough to support local restaurants.
Wearing make-up and real clothes every day. Amazing! Let them know that!
Everyone is trying to get through one day without crying, so let them find some joy, any kind of joy!
This is our favourite thing to say. Don’t assume that you know what’s happening, especially at the grocery store. People are shopping for multiple families so don’t make them feel bad when they leave the store with a full cart.
If they are going to the store, maybe its because they couldn’t get delivery. Have you seen those delivery wait times?
Just be supportive.
We’ve seen people on social media do driveway hangouts. Great idea! Don’t judge your neighbours for doing the same. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they are distancing while they’re hanging out.
We tried this ourselves and measured out the distance. We each had our own drinks and chairs. It was fine. Everything was fine. But you still feel justified to let everyone who passes by know that we were following the rules.
Don’t judge. Let them know they’re doing a great job.
We know things are super scary right now, but shaming others for how they conduct their lives is just not productive. It’s adding to the anxiety and not helpful.
If you want to help others get through this time and follow the rules, offer some help and some positive reinforcement.
Now, we know there are some extreme cases, the people who are not following the rules and going to the store just to browse, or worse….much, much worse. They’re the few, and we’re talking about the majority.
The everyday people, your friends and neighbours, who honestly trying their best to make the most of a really bad situation and staying home.
There really is no handbook on the proper conduct during this time. We’re just trying to figure it out and everyday is a new day.
Your kindness will go a long way.
Apryl and Sarah