By Meadow Meeder
Healthy Community Specialist 

Coming Events--Community Center in Cathlamet

 

March 26, 2020



I sat staring at the blinking bar on an empty document for about two hours before I could type anything. I was searching for the right words, but they don’t exist. Nothing can prepare a person for what is happening right now. As I listen to the news, read articles and watch speeches, I can’t help but feel totally stunned. I have pulsing urges to ‘stay at home’ followed immediately by ‘Go help!’- constantly bouncing back and forth between hermit and warrior. I remember living through the confusion of 9/11 and the pain it wrought on the world. And Hurricane Katrina was one of many natural disasters I can recall being horrific, taking so many lives. But this is different, because the shock value coming from this pandemic was not originated by a cataclysmic blast or sudden destruction. The slow-motion unraveling of daily life, lockdown updates and infection tolls are not something we have experience in being witness. As a community and as a world, everything is changing rapidly, and this will continue to be a revelatory process.


Here is my takeaway at the current hour: Far more important than what you have or what you can do, is who you are. The day you were born, you became you-nobody else. I know in my gut that you are where you are, for a reason. In knowing that, we also know that we can only operate optimally with the correct fuel inside of our bodies. Some days, you may be better than you are on other days, and that’s ok, that’s human. However, in this transformative time, I challenge you to take care of yourself as if your life depended on it. Follow me here; If you increase your vitality, you will be more of who you are. Your ability to think, create, help, love, endure- will increase. You are all you have ever had, this whole life. Think about that and reflect on where you have been, what you have seen, who you have loved. Remember why you are here. When you remember why you are here, you will feel less lost, more powerful. Taking care of yourself so you can operate optimally looks different for everyone, but the outcome is the same. Perhaps you are a cook, a gardener, a teacher, a parent, a nurse, a counselor, a farmer, your service will be unparalleled as we move forward into the unknown. Thinkers, planners, organizers, volunteers and laborers, the innovation and dedication you share will create new systems that will save lives.

We cannot control this virus, we cannot control the shutdowns but we can control how we choose to get through this. Before you check on anybody else, check on you. How are you doing? Do you need sleep? Sleep. Do you need to talk to someone? Call. Balance yourself as much as possible right now, so that your mind and body can agree that you are who you are, where you are, for a great reason.


1. Connect. It’s our relationships that will see us through this. Find a way to invest in those important relationships from at least 6 feet away. Skype, Facetime, Zoom or just talk on the phone. Video chatting is like being in an episode of Inspector Gadget. You feel like a techno-wiz and you can see your people.

2. Self-Care. The old-fashioned way — nourishing foods, lots of sleep, mindful breaths and exercise. Exercise is especially good for your mental health. Unplug from social media and screens for a few hours a day, too.

3. Do something you love. Clean, cook, garden, sing, play games, create, read, write. Do whatever it takes to allow your mind to focus on the parts of your life that bring you energy and joy.

4. Know when to call for help. If you continue to feel overwhelmed and struggle to get through the day, call your health care provider, therapist or mental health provider and set up a telemedicine appointment. We’re all in this together. For questions regarding community resources or issues with essential needs call Wahkiakum Community Outreach at 360-795-8630 option 4. Make sure your voicemail is set up so that your provider can leave messages.


Go to https://www.co.wahkiakum.wa.us/478/COVID-19-Information for local information.

I leave you all with a little reminder that I look to daily, as inscribed at Delphi, “Know Thyself.” Be well, Wahkiakum. Follow me on Instagram @bewellwahkiakum for health, wellness, inspiration and slight humor.

 

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