“Let’s all be palm trees together” in facing COVID-19

A guest post this week from Walk With A Doc* – because this says what I’ve been trying to say about feeling helpless and worried during the COVID-19 viral outbreak.
Unprecedented suckiness going on right now, there is NO doubt.
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We’re all seeing the same news and it’s shocking us all, every hour.
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When things go sideways, it never hurts to receive a care package.
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We tried to throw one together for you.     .
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1) Please utilize these precious upcoming days to practice self-care. Get your 7-9 hours of sleep and feel proud about hitting that benchmark. Guess what sleep does for your immune system?
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2) Journal for a few minutes. Write down three things every day you are grateful for, three things that would make today great, and asks for an affirmation (“Today, I am…”)
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3) Go for a walk. Don’t laugh, all the leaders are recommending it. Go for a walk outside. Go for a lot of walks outside. Guess what walking does for your immune system? Every one of us will be dealing with a (temporary) new level of stress – buffer it way down with these walks. We need them now as much as ever. We are not helpless – we can and we will do this. Out of the ashes, rises the phoenix.
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4) Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Make calls, write letters, send texts to people just because. Watch that show on Netflix your friend’s been wanting you to see and talk to them about it. Stay in the game. This is temporary.
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5) PLEASE listen to our experts at the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. This is real.  China, Taiwan and South Korea are seeing great progress with their COVID-19 interventions. Let’s be positive. Let’s be supportive, and let’s learn from those who have been there. Seeing the way through this is more than half the battle. You can rejoice in your sacrifice.
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6) Perform senseless acts of kindnessGive a stupid big tip to someone not expecting it. Someone has just given you the power to profoundly turn someone’s day around. Jump on it. Guess what Helper’s High does for your immune system?  Yep.
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7) Look at U-Haul (stepping up to aid college students being sent home early by offering free or discounted storage space during this time). There are going to be mountains of people and corporations rising to answer the call. Celebrate it, join it, and remember it when all this is over.
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8) Bakethis simple bread. The smell, the warmth, the taste – ahhhh. . .  Life’s pleasures.
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9) Think how happy your pets are with everything being cancelled. They just hit the jackpot! We can take this time to more appropriately return the love of our dogs and cats that are SO happy when we’re with them.
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10) There’s an iconic nephrologist in Columbus named Dr. Lee Hebert. He told us this story on kidney rounds I will never forget:
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Thousands of years ago, on a gorgeous tropical island, all the trees were talking amongst themselves. A horrible, deadly storm was scheduled to pass through that night. The oak trees said, “We’re Mighty Oaks, we’re going to stand tall and strong. Nothing is going to mess with us!”
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The palm trees said, “So this thing is just supposed to last a few hours? We’ll just lean over and let the storm come through.”
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Well, the storm came as scheduled and the following morning there wasn’t a single oak within 75 miles of this island. But that same morning, every single palm tree yawned, rubbed its eyes, stood tall and looked around at all its beautiful palm tree neighbors.
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Let’s be palm trees, together.
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© March 2020 Walk With A Doc

* Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio. Frustrated by his inability to convince his patients to adopt heart-healthy behaviours, Dr. Sabgir started inviting his patients to go for a walk with him and his family in a local park on Saturday mornings. That first Walk With A Doc event has grown to include over 500 chapters around the world. To learn how you can find  – or start your own! – Walk With A Doc  chapter near you, please visit their site.

P.S. Remember to WASH YOUR HANDS!

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Q: While your calendar and your life are disrupted, what are you doing to help yourself and your family?
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NOTE FROM CAROLYN:   I wrote more about managing many types of changes brought on by health crises in my book, A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease”.  You can ask for it at your local bookshop, or order it online (paperback, hardcover or e-book) at Amazon, or order it directly from my publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press (use their code HTWN to save 20% off the list price).

 

10 thoughts on ““Let’s all be palm trees together” in facing COVID-19

  1. Pingback: Clinical Hearts
  2. Although many are struggling to figure out “What to DO?” during this time of disruption, one of the greatest social contributions of the entire pandemic is the forcing of people to be alone with their Doul or Higher Consciousness and examine their priorities….

    How important REALLY are many of the things we DO? While we gather material goods around ourselves and fear for our own lives… where is there room for seeing the commonality in all humans and the value of serving someone besides ourselves?

    Countries that are “the enemy” are losing mothers, fathers grandparents…. Can we really remain enemies?

    In Social Isolation, in turning off our phones and TVs we can begin to have the space in our minds to see the larger picture.

    It is my hope that this pandemic and the next global crisis and the next one… will finally grab people by the heart and soul and wake them up to a more conscious, loving and wise way of living.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Jill – I too would like to imagine that those of us committed to social isolation during these uncertain times will view this unexpected time out as an opportunity for some quiet soul-searching. I read this morning that COVID19 is the first global pandemic of the social media age, the first of the “alternative facts” era.

      For that reason, I suspect that “our phones and TVs” are likely the coping tools that may in fact be reached for first during this unique pandemic. (In my own home, I turn instead to tidying: somehow becoming an obsessive sorter and scrubber helps me feel better during stressful times. My freezer is now a thing of beauty…)

      I do worry however about other sectors of our society who may not have the luxury of that soul-searching opportunity at the moment. For example, the mental health effects on our first responders and hospital staff (the reports from those countries who have already hit the peak of their own COVID19 outbreaks are already reporting on the devastating psychological impact of the extreme non-stop stress experienced by those staff during front line care). At the other extreme, I also worry about low-wage hourly workers who simply cannot afford being laid off from their jobs – and this is already happening.

      You bring up a solid point: there WILL be other pandemics, and other global crises – as there have always been. What will be learned and retained by all those who live through them remains to be seen!

      Like

  3. We’re ordering in dinner instead of of going out to eat. I’m calling my far away mum more often than our weekly appointment call (that we’ve had for 25 years).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, Jenn (especially since we have at least four family birthdays coming up soon – some of which already have plans in place for family celebrations at our favourite restaurants). But moving to a takeout menu (from the same favourite restaurants) will mean that we can stay home but continue to support local business during this upheaval.

      And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your decision to call your Mum more often than once a week. I’m sure she will appreciate that!

      Like

  4. Thank you for your writings. I survived getting through the aftermath of a heart attack and dealing daily with microvascular disease because of you.

    I felt like no one really knew what I was going through, the fear, utter exhaustion, etc., until I found Heart Sisters.

    THANK YOU for putting it all into words, standing up for us, doing so much research and for giving us women a voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for your kind words, Lynn. I’m so glad you found my site!

      I can’t take any credit for this particular article of course (it’s from the organization called “Walk With A Doc”, from their March newsletter) but its message really spoke to me this week, so I wanted to share it with my readers here…

      Like

  5. Thank you thank you thank you a million times thank you for caring and sharing….

    I am feeling the nausea and the chest pain…. I needed this.

    Liked by 1 person

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