Our world is being attacked by a vicious virus. But we are also facing a mental virus that threatens to destroy hope.
That virus is dread.
Multiple scientists and pundits are predicting the fall and winter of 2020 will be the worst season ever.
We will see an uptick of Covid cases coupled with the usual flu outbreaks. They warn that we may experience a worldwide tragedy — an apocalyptic pandemic.
A prophecy of dread.
The definition of dread is “to anticipate with great apprehension.”
It is a level stronger than fear, because it feeds on the imagination. It fills in the gaps with the worst possible scenario which grows with each new dread-filled prediction.
Dread not only believes the negative outcome, it escalates the emotion of fear and makes it feel more personal.
Every year, I dread winter because I don’t like to be cold, I hate driving on icy streets and the entire landscape is as gray as my mood.
Winter is a personal attack called Seasonal Affective Disorder. So I have to prepare myself with comfort and strategies to avoid excessive gloom:
- A daily dose of St John’s Wort to lighten my mood
- New soup recipes to warm up the kitchen
- An abundance of great reading material
- Projects that excite me and bring color into my world
- A focus on the end of winter as I mark off each day
- The enjoyment of the holiday season which creates a break in the calendar and adds fun time with family
Each year, I try to invent new ways to make it through the November – February imprisonment. This year will require even more intentional methods to escape illness and tragedy.
To fight the dread of the anticipated 2020 winter season, we will need to be even more diligent to look for hope. To constantly remind ourselves to steer clear of that apprehension fed by the reality of Covid-19.
As a lifelong list-maker, I’ve come up with some strategies to help me approach this fall and winter with a more positive attitude:
- Continue self-care and other-care. Read “wear a mask, social distance and pay attention to hygiene.”
- Lockdown was working, so I plan to continue my stay-at-home discipline except for essentials. I will try to talk myself out of fudging on what “essential” means.
- Fill my home and office with fun projects such as decluttering (again), some DIY wall art, maybe finally painting my office.
- Stay even more connected to family and friends
- Start a new coaching process for teaching others how to Write a Legacy
- Stay informed but only watch the news at certain times of the day and only in small intervals
- Pray my guts out for the end of Covid-19
- Help my son and his beloved plan their wedding
- Focus my journaling on more gratitudes and less grumblings
- Sing more often and with greater volume
- Surround myself with color — none of those drab wintry grays
- Plan for how I can buy my next car
Will you join me with your own practical strategies? I’d love to hear how you’re planning to face the dreaded fall and winter of 2020.
Let’s fight against the spirit of dread by letting hope carry us through. Let’s look forward to 2021, to a clean environment, a fresh start and freedom from viruses of any kind.
©2020 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
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