We are navigating uncharted waters and, right now, the end is not in sight. Kids are out of school, parents are working from home and restaurants are only able to offer delivery or carry out. Governor Whitmer has issued a “Stay Safe, Stay Home, Save Lives” order and only essential business services remain open. Birthday, wedding and anniversary celebrations are being canceled or delayed. Some folks aren’t even certain what day it is! It feels like we’ve stumbled into the pages of a dystopian novel.
How do you find hope? Mister Rogers said his mom told him to look for the helpers. That’s easy to do right now- they are so evident! The doctors, nurses, hospital workers, fire fighters, police officers- while they are always looked upon as superheroes right now they are on the front line of fighting Covid-19.
The artists coming together to have free concerts online are helpers. They help lift our spirits and give us a chance to focus on something joyful. It’s been amazing!
The authors who are doing live storytimes, or teaching doodling or giving educators permission to use their books/words while doing social media storytimes - they are helping us get through the day.
The grocery store workers and delivery drivers that are keeping us fed and our homes well stocked are literal life savers.
It’s important to reach out if you are struggling. I heard a five finger strategy to deal with anxiety about the unknown. First, take a deep breath. Hold up your hand and focus on five things you see around you that are positives in your life. Then focus on four things you can hear, three you can touch or feel, two you can smell and one you can taste. This activity plants you in the present and shows you are surrounded with tangible ways to reinforce good things are still in your world.
Finally, check out East Lansing Public Library’s website. There are links to connect you with helpful ideas, and ways to keep you in touch with books and other materials. We care about you and look forward to the day we can open our doors and welcome you back to ELPL.
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.