By the looks of this beautiful Florida sunset, you would never know that there was a trouble in the world. The outbreak of coronavirus has seemingly brought our world, as we know it, to a screeching halt, and is causing unbelievable amounts of stress in our world. These feelings can be compounded by the fact that we are all necessarily being asked to socially distance ourselves to flatten the curve of this virus spreading like wildfire. Anxiety about coronavirus can be overwhelming and fear inducing which then causes strong emotions in both adults and children alike. How we cope with that stress will make us, our families and friends, and even our community stronger.... that is IF we choose a positive response to that stress.
Now....let me be the first to say that I am not always calm in daunting situations, but I have become acutely aware that my reaction to stressful situations effects my family greatly. If I choose to handle things in a hasty manner and lose my cool, my kids and husband pick up on that quickly and the whole household seems to spiral quickly out of control. Even our sweet labradoodle, Chewie, can sense the tension. Poor guy.
If I stop, seek the joy in the moment I am in instead of being overwhelmed by the situation, take a few deep breaths and reset...the outcome tends to be 100% better.
Right now....we are in the thick of it and it seems to be getting thicker by the moment. At some point in the future...this pandemic too shall pass. I know....hard to see that right now. What will we have learned from it all? How will we be treating each other? Will we use kind words even in stressful times? Will we seek out the joy that may be difficult to find? Honestly...that joy has always been there. We, as a society have just been too busy to see it fully. Between the sports practices, music lessons, homework, work schedules, doctor appointments and so on....we have been too busy. Maybe this social distancing is exactly what our world needs right now. Please understand me. I wish that it wouldn't take a global pandemic to makes us halt our lives and take the time to reflect, slow down and spend quality time with our families and get back to the basics. But here we are.
Make sure you take the time to truly slow down. Smell the roses. Make precious memories with your family or friends that you can be around in your home right now. Bake those cookies, try new recipes, play those silly games, read ALL the books, eat together, watch those movies, get out in the yard...if you can and feel the glorious sun shine on your and for goodness sake....hear those birds! Yeah...those birds that you never hear because you drive in to your garage, close the door, and walk into your house.
We will be stronger, better and more resilient when we come out of this on the other side. Our kids will do the same as long as we lead them gracefully in that direction. This also means giving yourself grace.
One of our family's favorite past times is to reminisce about old vacations or telling stories about our grandparents and what they were like or even stories of our childhood. So during this stressful situation that we are all finding ourselves in, a way we connect with each other is by sharing these stories that we love. As we reminisce with our kids about our trip to the beach, or the national parks the last few summers, or even how I can remember my grandmother's kitchen and the "out of this world" bread pudding that she would make us, the kids have become very aware of not just the sights and sounds that they hear in those places, but the aromas too.
Scent memory is truly an amazing gift that we have, that is often forgotten until evoked by that special scent. When we smell that special scent....our mind almost goes through a time warp of sorts. Immediately we are transported back to that time where we were standing in a particular location and time from long ago. We can suddenly remember vivid details that we would have otherwise forgotten. Where we are standing, what we are wearing, who we are with, the conversation we had and even how we felt at that time...to name a few.
A recent study was just published on the power of scent memory. Take a look.
It is truly fascinating how our brain works. Scent memory is very powerful!
I challenge each and every one of you...what scent memory are you going to associate with this stressful, unprecedented time? What memories are you going to have after this all passes? What memories are you going to pass on to your loved ones? Choose joy, love and make precious memories my friends...especially ones that can be made through the powerful world of scent.
Lastly, take care of yourself and each other.