Coronaviruxiety=Anxiety + Corona

Coronaviruxiety is what I’m calling Corona Virus Anxiety. For the past week, we have been on a gradual path of Coronaviruxiety, watching what would happen with a pandemic, not wanting to believe or going full hog-wild panic with fear, trying to figure out a happy ground for us, all without knowing what’s going to happen.

The Coronavirus has everyone feeling anxious. Even if you don’t believe you will get it- and hopefully you won’t, there is a buzz about it that’s hard to ignore. We haven’t seen anything like this in our lifetimes. That, in itself, is freaky. So, let’s do a bit to write through this.

We have the time-now more than ever- so why not?

Writing can be valuable at a time like this. It doesn’t keep you disease-free, but it can help you be more resilient, it can help you deal with anxiety, with fear, it can help you be stronger in yourself to deal with all of this. It can help you put in perspective what other people are saying, what you know and what you don’t, it can help you understand what you really believe, think, and feel about the Corona virus,

So, let’s write!!!

  1. WRITE about how you have been seeing the Coronavirus evolve and what state of mind you are in right now. Write about what people have told you or what you have read. Write about how you are staying safe. Maybe you write what it is like to wash your hands for at least 26 seconds. I have seen songs with cartoons in Spanish and English about washing your hands. I saw a cartoon earlier that said the average person can scream for 20 seconds, so with that you will have washed your hands. Really, it doesn’t matter how, just write it down. Maybe you write it as an advertisement, maybe as a cartoon, maybe as a short play or movie. Or just write down your feelings. Your thoughts. *Write about what makes you anxious and what you are not worried about right now. *Write about ways you are being strong now, what are you doing to take care of yourself and your community?
  2. WRITE your wishes for you and your life right now in 20 words or less.
  3. WRITE a story about being in school. Start with this line: “The teacher actually made me sit down and write twenty times, ‘I will not touch my face.'” Go from there. What happens when she makes you do that? Does it make you touch it more? Do you rebel and write something else? What happens next?

We can use writing to build our strength, to build our resilience, as well as to increase calm feelings, compassion for ourselves and others, and awareness about our environments and the situation. Writing about what we think and feel and just getting it out, will help us do the best we can under the circumstances and it can give us the space to make smart decisions and care for those around you.

We’re all in this together. So, let’s stay connected to others even in our social distancing, let’s try to help one another to stay as balanced and strong as possible, and to do the best we can in this challenging situation.

Other fun ideas of things to do while the Coronavirus is around:

  1. Write a little bit every day
  2. Chronicle what you are doing during this strange time
  3. Start writing a book- about you, about any ideas you have
  4. Write your blessings & all the good times you’ve had.
  5. Write poetry
  6. Read poetry
  7. Write a letter to a friend
  8. Read a book
  9. Read a good murder mystery
  10. Write a short story murder mystery.
  11. Read the philosophy of Jean Paul Sartre, of Friedrich Nietzsche, of Simone de Beauvoir and write your arguments or agreements to them
  12. Take 20 minute naps every day you can
  13. Drink water all day long
  14. Drink tea every afternoon
  15. Play a board game—Scrabble, Monopoly, Checkers, Chess, Dominoes etc.
  16. Make a collage from old magazines, junk mail, old greeting cards, anything you have on hand
  17. Catch-up with people
  18. Call a friend and actually talk on the phone- not text
  19. Zoom or FaceTime with someone on the phone or computer, talk to them, see how they are doing
  20. Sit outside with a neighbor- hanging out keeping the 6 foot distance
  21. Sit outside
  22. Walk in your neighborhood
  23. Take a notebook with you on a walk and write down things you notice
  24. Garden
  25. Write about gardening and gardens
  26. Play with your pets
  27. Write a short story about a pet or someone else’s pet
  28. Play an instrument you have/ if you don’t have one, make one (make a drum out of a can or bottle, or a rattle with beans in a bottle). Take a video recording on your phone of you playing it. Then watch the video and write about what you see. That’s meta.
  29. Listen to music you like, that makes you feel good.
  30. Write about how you feel as you listen to a song you like, maybe you even use one of the song lines to inspire what you write
  31. Listen to a different kind of music that you don’t normally listen to
  32. Write a song and sing it out loud.
  33. Look through old pictures
  34. Choose a photo to write about, thinking back on that memory
  35. Really sit and play with your kids
  36. Make a list of all the things you would like to do that you haven’t had a chance to do before now.

That list should keep us busy, we just have to make the effort and if we don’t want to do any of those things, we can write about why.

I want to end with a quote by Kim John Payne:

“Rest nurtures creativity, which nurtures activity. Activity nurtures rest, which sustains creativity.”

Take care of yourself in these times. And come write with us. Come write about you.

Best,

Liza

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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