By Alisha Ramos & the GNI Team

This week has been a tough one as COVID-19 is top of mind for us all, so we thought we’d say hello a little earlier than our Friday newsletter, with a note from Alisha and some resources that are getting us through the week.

👋 Hi there,

It feels like everyone could use a hug and a reminder to take care right now. With COVID-19 top of mind for many of us, we’re collectively doing our best to not only understand the virus, but to navigate the news of its spread, and make small decisions throughout our days that keep us safe, while keeping life moving forward.

Because it feels like it’s more important than ever to take care — and that’s what we’re in the business of around here — I wanted to share some advice, based on what I’m doing during these tough times:

1) Keep an eye on how you’re consuming your news

I think it’s possible to overconsume the news. Personally, I’m checking in with my NYT app 2-3 times per day. That is it. It can tempting to refresh our Twitter feeds and Google “Is Coronavirus in [insert your city here]?” every five minutes, but self-preservation is important. For now, I’ve stepped away from Twitter and any other “news source” that is more commentary and less news. I’ve also turned off most of my news notifications so I can be more intentional about how and when I consume.

When there are conflicting pieces of information out there, I consult trusted sources like the CDC and World Health Organization.

2) Take care of and look out for those who are most vulnerable.

According to the CDC, older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions are the most at-risk. If you’re sick, keep your distance. If you’re not sick, check up on these people and see that they have all the groceries, medication, and anything else that they need.

3) Spend time with people you love.

In the midst of everyone suddenly working from home, or avoiding a lot of outside-world-contact, things can get a little lonely out there! This is an opportunity to host a comforting meal for friends or schedule a group Facetime with long-distance friends. Checking in on each other and making sure you’re staying in touch with your people — it can make a world of difference in feeling less alone during tough times.

4) Discover (or re-discover) indoorsy activities for a while.

If you’re finding yourself spending more time indoors than usual, take it as an opportunity to embrace your creativity and try something new (other than binge-watching Love is Blind, but also that’s okay too). Would you try collaging? (Which, according to the NYT, is hot right now). Would you try embroidery? Maybe adopt a few more harder-to-care-for plant babies and invite more color and vibrancy into your home while developing a skill? If all else fails, you could cook your way through Nothing Fancy and share the wealth with others who may also be having a hard time processing all that’s going on right now.

5) Don’t forget about the simplest forms of taking care.

Staying home or working from home more often? Set reminders to hydrate, stretch, and take a screen break. Set your work area up with simple items to make your space feel more calm and cozy. Light a candle and set aside one full minute after lighting it to just sit and think, take a deep breath and just BE, before diving into work.

6) Invite some levity and humor into your life.

While at first, I was annoyed by how many jokes and memes were happening on the internet during such a tough time, over the past few days, I’ve actually come to appreciate having some humor and light throughout all this. My hands-down favorite is this website that generates hand-washing infographics based on your favorite song lyrics. Here’s a good read on some memes that are spreading helpful information and keeping our spirits high.

The bottom line is: take care of yourself, and take care of your community and others around you during this uncertain time. The world needs more kindness and light right now, and I hope you can spend some time this weekend reflecting on how you can bring more of that into your life and others’.

Take Care,
Alisha Ramos and the GNI Team

Here’s what we’re reading:

5 Ways to Prevent and Prepare for the Coronavirus | NPR
Want To Do Something About Coronavirus? Here are 5 Ideas. | Vox
Tips for People With Mental Illness for Making It Through a Quarantine | Lifehacker
I Have OCD. This is How I’m Dealing With Coronavirus. | Vox
How to Deal With Anxiety About CoronaVirus | Teen Vogue
The Handshake is on Hold. | New York Times
Looking for a Cozy Refuge From Coronavirus Talk? Stay Offline.
Why Outbreaks Like Coronavirus Drive Xenophobia and Racism — and What We Can Do About It | The Hill

Photo by Curology on Unsplash.