Paulelmo's Blog

Do the next right thing (Thoughts on staying sane in the Covid world)

Living in the Covid world, I find a lot of my sobriety training is also beneficial with helping me manage the stress of our current situation. Hopefully, someone can apply this and make this fearful trip a little less so.

You hear a lot of catch phrases and advice in the realm of sobriety and the rooms of AA, and these can prove helpful if we apply them to our situations. One of my favorites is “do the next right thing.” This advice has proven especially helpful to me, but it has done so largely because I apply it differently to my situation than a lot of other people.

Without context, look at those five words and think about what word is the most important one to focus on. I’m betting your mind landed on the word “right.” In my time spent in AA meetings, this is where most people place their focus.

I was no different; early on in my sober walk I applied this with the focus on doing what was “right.” It only stood to reason that I wanted to focus on doing what was right, as I had spent so much time doing what I, and others, deemed to be wrong. It wasn’t until I began to focus on a different word that I really began to see how useful this advice could be.

The word that I began to focus on was “do.” “Right” is such a subjective term, while “do” is more concrete. “Doing” is a binary state; you’re either doing something or you’re not.

If we’re doing something, whatever it is, staying active, what we’re not doing is sitting around and thinking about how scary this all can be, and we’re not spending large chunks of our time reading all of the doom and gloom that can be found in the news.

Plus, if we’re doing something, we feel accomplished, we are accomplished, and when we’re accomplished we have a better and brighter view on how this is all going to turn out.

I could get wordy with this, but I won’t; it doesn’t call for it. It’s a simple message: stay busy, stay active. Get outside and soak up that sunlight and fresh air, and give your body the good respiration and Vitamin D that’ll help strengthen it against this virus.

That’s all, friends. It’s easy to get locked down by this; there’s plenty that can overwhelm us if we let it. But if we occupy ourselves, we chase a lot of that scary stuff from our minds and strengthen our bodies against the illness that exists in the world, in every form.

I love you; I do. I love you more than ever because we’re all going through this incredibly unsettling time together, and I know how daunting it is for all of us. I’m praying that you stay healthy through this and that you’re using it to strengthen yourselves and your families. I am literally here if you need to talk. Hit me up on IM, and I’ll pray with you or do whatever I can to help calm some of the nervousness this all brings about.

Until then, stay busy, find a project, get outside and enjoy the weather, whatever weather it is. Until soon…

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