Op-EdOpinion

WILLIAMS: Looking for Answers?

This coronavirus that has us sheltering in place has taken some through many different emotions. Some have experienced fear, concern, stress and many negative feelings. There’re some who’ve used this time to do positive things that carry with them hope and good feelings about what they’ve been able to do for themselves and for others.

I encourage you to try looking on the bright side of what’s going on in your life. I’ll tell you first what I do. Every day, several times each day, I say a prayer for someone or something and I immediately feel better. I take a walk outside and just observe the beauty of the flowers, the sky and environment in general. I find there’s always something out there that makes me smile. Even though I have on my mask and gloves, I bow my head each time I come near anyone just to let them know I see them and I acknowledge their humanity. I can’t always tell if they acknowledge my recognition of them, but I feel good knowing I have acknowledged them.

There’re so many things one can do so as not to sit around and bemoan the fact that this virus may have changed our lives forever. It’s so important to be physically and mentally active. In my case, I walk between four and five miles per day. One day during the past week, I walked 5.2 miles. Imagine how excited I was about that extra .2 miles! That may not sound like such a big deal, but I knew how long it had taken me to get there! I put that in my success column. You don’t have to do all the big things immediately. Try a gradual approach to whatever it is you set as a goal. In my case, I’m ready to set a new walking goal. That helps to keep my mind off negative things I might be thinking if I just sat around saying, “Poor me.”

Often when you are looking for answers, you can find them within yourself. Get the attention off yourself while thinking of something else. Read a good book — one that you can’t put down until you’re finished. Call a friend to share what you’ve just read. If you tell the story of what you’ve read in an exciting manner, it’s possible you can get your friend’s mind off the negative and proceed to do just what you’re doing.

Don’t tell yourself you can’t do certain things. Learn to do the thing you’ve been saying you can’t do. Gather facts instead of sitting around in fear. Get involved in an online seminar or learn a new language. There’re so many great things you can do. In my case, along with Bishop Joe Simon, I’m soliciting unregistered voters. Along with members of the National Congress of Black Women, we’re teaching people how to register online. It’s easy. Help by steering people who aren’t registered to https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote. Tell them to check Voting and Elections and follow the prompts. If they have a problem, they can call 877-805-8447. There’ll be someone to assist them.

There’s another easy project you can do to help while taking your mind off your fears. Adopt a nursing home. Call the director and find out what products would be helpful for you to donate. Ship the products without ever having to go to the nursing home. If you’re looking for answers, whatever you do, instead of sitting around in fear, think solutions by making a list of at least 10 things you’re capable of doing. Select from the list and do as many as you can. Don’t just sit around in fear.

Williams is national president of the National Congress of Black Women.

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