7 Ways to Stay Kind During COVID-19
How to Stay Kind During COVID-19
Please check your judgement. This is a very vulnerable time. Before you judge someone, act out and/or make accusations, know that
judgmental attitudes and thoughts come from avoiding your own vulnerability. Before you just in to “help” in a harsh and shaming way, please consider other possibilities of how they may be doing the best they can, despite it being below your standards and capabilities. The list below is for your consideration of how you may show more kindness to others.
- If someone isn’t Wearing a Mask: They may have PTSD triggered by covering their mouth. Wearing a mask may completely render them unable to function, thrown instantly into flashbacks or panic attacks when a mask is put on.
- If a person Passes or Stands Too Close: First, do you know how far 6-feet is? Many are assuming it is much farther than it actually is. Also, they may be neuro-divergent, thus unable to keep track of a social context. This very new boundary rule may not stick, and although informed, may keep falling out of their working memory. For many with ADHD or on the Autism spectrum (not all) staying compliant with social distancing, despite their best efforts is not much different than demanding someone in a wheelchair climb stairs.
- If they Buy what You Think is Too Much: They may be making their single outing for a month, reducing risk of more errands. They may be buying for multiple families and at-risk persons who are unable to get out to the store. Delivery right now is unreliable and can take more than a week’s notice to plan, usually more expensive, and can require implementation that not everyone is capable of doing. This is especially if it requires technology that many do not have or are not familiar with how to use.
- If they seem Amped up or Irritable: Maybe they are sensitive to their asthma or rhinitis medications. These medications are often steroids that when on top of anxiety or caffeine, hijack their whole nervous system. Especially sensitive persons. So, it may not be about you; they may be thinking the kindest thoughts. But their jitters, shaky hands, voice intensity or speed, or being quick to be annoyed may simply be a product of them keeping their airways open during not only this respiratory system threat but central Texas’s Oak blooming season.
- Be Patient, Plan Ahead, give the Benefit of the Doubt: Everyone is feeling differently right now. Many are grieving. Many are disoriented leaving their homes so rarely and entering a surreal public setting. Prepare in a way so you feel like you’re in a hurry.
- Set Boundaries with Tact: Assertiveness and Compassion can coexist. Practice being clear and concise without being harsh. We are learning together and from each other.
- Visit your own Vulnerability: When you are judgmental of others, it usually means there is some vulnerable emotion that you are avoiding. Maybe you know it’s there, maybe it’s so, very well hidden. I am not asking you to drown in this emotion or runaway with an unpleasant thought. Visit it. Sit with it for a moment. Let it percolate with a soft lens while taking a daily walk. Name it. Identify the message within this feeling. Admit to yourself what you may be fearing or grieving. Find healthy ways to flow through this vulnerability, share it with someone you trust, and nurture yourself the way you would a dear loved one.
Be Kind. To other others and yourself. We are physically distanced, but not socially disconnected. Get support. Be support if you have bandwidth. Our well-meaning survival brain can interrupt this sometimes. Courage Counseling is still offering telehealth services, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of support to you.