These are stressful times with the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement prompted by police brutality, both inflamed by mean spirited politics. Gentle self-care and community action are essential to coping in turbulent 2020. Self-Care starts with preserving a positive mindset and good health. Community action may seem counter to self-care if marching with crowds of protesters during this pandemic is the only way. Yet, it’s possible to be in solidarity with the protestors and our communities in other ways.

6 Ways to Cope

1 – Refresh Your Routine:  We have been encouraged to create a routine during the Covid19 lockdown. That includes the one you created explicitly or the one you just fell into during the lockdown. We have been at this for two seasonal changes; it’s time to hit the refresh button on your routine.  Perhaps not a total overhaul, just a few tweaks to renew and pump up your rhythm such as: Meditate, try a free app e.g. Calm, UCLA Mindful, Insight Timer; Create a garden in your yard, on your terrace or on your windowsill!

2 – Expand Your Social Contact Group: You have a core group of friends, family and colleagues you stay in touch with regularly and that is a good thing! You have others that you like, care about, wonder how they’re doing, have fond memories of, so get in touch email, call, write a note. Brighten their day by letting them know you are thinking of them.

3 – Try Making a Got It Done List!:  The notion is with all this time at home there is no excuse for not getting all your dormant projects done, but we know better. It seems the days are melding into each other and we wonder where did the time go! The To Do List seems to be growing rather shrinking. Stop keeping a To Do List and start keeping a Got it Done List! You will quickly realize all that you have accomplished and clarify your priorities, what you dread or do not care about. Perhaps its time to get some help with those things you dread tackling. Finally, if you do not care about it, simply take it off your list.

4 – Yes We Can! Focus on what you can do for BLM & Voting Rights:  You can support by calling or writing local and state governments to demand change. You can financially support the organizations in line with your values. All donations large and small are accepted, as these are financially trying times for many including non-profit organizations.

5 – Express Yourself!  An elder friend takes early morning walks in her hometown of Washington DC in the area around the Black Lives Matter Plaza. She created a photo journal of the posters, letters and messages left by protestors with her reactions to them. She could not participate in the protests but she could chronicle the movement and share it with others around the country. Experiment with your creativity!

6 – BLM & Voting Rights Intergenerational Exchange: Support your friends and family who are on the front lines by listening to their experiences. Share your admiration for their efforts and let them know you are with them in spirit, donations, and supporting legislative change.