Nothing is “business as usual” and our “new normal” is being redefined and tested in new ways every day as the entire world, for perhaps the first time in history is experiencing one, very humanizing experience in solidarity.
I will be following up with more of my thoughts as well as some new, exciting BBXX original content not only to help you distract yourself in order to get through this — but consciously to use it as an opportunity to dive deeper into yourself, your relationships, and to reexamine the way we think about each other and the world.
As a friend put it — “If I can’t go outside, I’ll look inside.”
So, we invite you to take a metaphorical walk with us, journeying inwards.
Here is your Coronavirus Connection Kit 1.0, with some of our favorite reads from the past week or so, to help you get started on your journey.
Lots more to come 😉
- Listen to or watch a workshop on “Mindfully Navigating Fear + Anxiety During COVID-19,” by our friend and anxiety coach, Amanda Huggins. Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with her as a part of BBXX’s new IG Live series 😉
- Shine Text made an amazing coronavirus toolkit with epic amounts of information and resources for everything from anxiety to meditation, navigating things like coronavirus as a parent to financial fears, etc.
- Or, alternatively, if reading about other people’s problems is what makes you feel better about your own, check out “Dear Therapist” from The Atlantic 😉
Things To Do
- A master list of all the live streams happening, from workout classes to art classes and beyond.
- Ask & answer the 36 questions that lead to deeper connections, famously popularized in this article by The New York Times. Check out the science to prove it.
In case you’ve already graduated from the 36 questions, try this list of 50 questions or master this list of 200!
- Listen to a series of Headspace meditations for better relationships with yourself and others, or specifically for couples.
- Take inspiration from this lovely list of 50 testimonials of random acts of kindness and ideas for how to give back to others. Via The Nudge Text.
- In case you feel like shedding a few tears, take a minute to read this incredibly impactful, intimate story of one doctor and the new meaning of “I love you.” Reading it will allow you a deeper sense of empathy for healthcare professionals through a better understanding of the sacrifices they are making in their personal lives and relationships.
“Getting through the outbreak will not be easy and the worst is yet to come. None of us will emerge unscathed. But I believe that saying goodbye for now — and then keeping our distance — is our best hope of surviving and being able to return to a time when I can hold my wife and children close without a sense of fear.”
- An ex-pat publication in Spain shares people’s experiences — coping strategies, advice, and acts of kindness — as they profile everyone from bookshop owners to nurses in their series, the “Lockdown Diaries.”
- Speaking of acts of kindness, here’s a list of 50 lovely, crowd-sourced ideas for random acts of kindness and ways to give back, via The Nudge Text.
Marriage and Partnerships
“In most times of crisis, we can turn to others for succor and comfort. In this particular crisis, we’re strongly encouraged — if not forced — to self-isolate. That puts an enormous burden on our partners. Even under the best of circumstances, we can tire them out with a familiar soundtrack of stories, observations, and anxieties.”
- Esther Perel is doing a FREE four-part series: “The Art of Us: Love, Loss, and Loneliness Under Lockdown” talking about the current normal, what it means for your relationships, and how you can move forward in a time of physical distancing, uncertainty, and grief. Each conversation will be broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube, every Wednesday at 3pm EST, from April 1st through 22nd.
- To Have And To Hold, In Quarantine And In Health
- Does every quarantine scenario have to resemble Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat”? Might some couples grow closer?
“We learned to talk to each other again. We’ve been married thirty-four years, and we’d drifted into some pretty serious bad habits. Being put together for twenty-four hours a day for two weeks, we wound up learning a lot about each other’s fears, hopes, and dreams.”
- In some cases, couples find that the time alone at home has helped reignite their sex life and/or that sex helps them cope with the stress. However, on the other hand, many people find that stress has put their sex life on hold. Learn about how much sexual intimacy changes for different people during a pandemic.
- As with sex, some couples find that, in general, the pandemic has strengthened their relationships — while other people might feel it’s on the verge of breaking it.
- As stories spread of divorce rates going up in China, people are lending advice on how to get through coronavirus as a couple.
“The truth is, we don’t know yet what the impacts on relationships will be,” said Anne Hollonds, Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies. “But based on previous smaller scale and potentially more contained events, we know stress levels will be high, and in some cases will actually lead to the end of relationships.”
- On the other end of the spectrum, in some cases, Coronavirus can manage to help a couple in the middle of divorce focus on what really matters and get along better. So, even if you do end up getting divorced because of this pandemic, at least when the next one rolls around there’s hope you can become friends because of it. (laughing emoji)
- Famous people reading children’s books
- Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, reads children’s books on his Twitter every night.
- Durham County Library hosts online storytime for kids
- The Atlantic on How Parents Can Keep Kids Busy (And Learning) in Quarantine
- The NY Times on How To Home School During Coronavirus
- NPR: Coronavirus triple duty: working, parenting, and teaching from home
- The New York Times: Your Money: A Hub For Help During The Coronavirus Outbreak.
- Mana Financial Life Design’s latest newsletter including a wonderful graphic detailing the most important info
- BBXX + Mana Money School ebook — A 10-Day Guide To Money & Relationships
- Why people are texting their exes and how apocalyptic feelings leave us searching for safety in something that feels familiar.
- A cute BBC video with crowd-sourced content about dating & the struggles of being in a long-distance-relationships during the quarantine.
- “Apocalyptic Booty Calls” — you’ve been on three dates together, but are you quarantining together? Well, as it turns out, for some people the answer is yes, you move in together.
- Ideas for virtual dates during the quarantine.
- Tinder Passport — where you can change your location to swipe with people anywhere in the world — is free until April 30th.
- A list of ridiculous Coronavirus themed pickup lines.
Psychology & Loneliness
- Book: The Psychology of Pandemics
- The Wall Street Journal on loneliness as a health hazard and The New Yorker on how isolation will inevitably take its toll.
- The NY Times on ways to counter the loneliness of social distancing.
“Social isolation has been linked to a 50 percent increased risk of dementia, a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke.”
- Vox hashes out the pros and cons of digital gatherings and whether they’ll live on after the pandemic dies out.
- In this short video, “Voices from Solitary: Fly in the Ointment” a prisoner diagnosed with terminal cancer narrates the raw, human struggle of missing his wife and the desperation of loneliness.
- A doctor wonders whether extreme social isolation was the cause of his patient’s premature death, rather than a coincidental circumstance in an article about the threat of technology and social isolation, far before Coronavirus even existed.
- Speaking of technology and social isolation, this is what gamers can teach us about how to survive social distancing.
- Hot tip: get outside! Science says darkness can be extremely damaging, especially if combined with being alone.
The Good News
The good news is that the world isn’t all bad news!
- In addition to the 50 ways to give back that we mentioned, here are a few other inspiring articles, fun facts, and must-watch videos.
- Acts of kindness such as people offering to venmo anyone in need in their neighborhood and a restaurant in SF offering non-profit lunches and dinner.
- A 17-year-old in Seattle built perhaps the best, most straightforward website out there for tracking Coronavirus cases, rate of growth, and the number of recoveries. The best part? He built it back in December.
- Joy, humor, and connection remain stronger than the virus.
- An AMAZING series of videos of people in Italy dancing, playing music, and screening movies on their balconies together.
- In Spain, people are playing bingo from their balconies and one couple even decided to get married on theirs.