Monday, March 23, 2020

Fellow Patients, We Can Help Others Cope With The Side Effects Of This Coronavirus Pandemic

I understand this is a trying time for everyone.  COVID-19 is disrupting the lives of people all over the world. People told to shelter in place are experiencing the effects of isolation. As people living with chronic pain and chronic illness, we know what that means.  We know the experiences associated with having our lives disrupted every day. We can help.

It makes us feel good to share helpful measures with our fellow warriors, and today that includes the world. What can you contribute? Following are excerpts from old blogs that everyone might find helpful during these times.


I find great strength, comfort, and diversion through poetry and photography, and I am thankful that I have found ways to fill up my thought spaces by writing for others who share this journey with me. 
…Hobbies give us reason to relax and take a break. They are our weapon against boredom and idle hands. They create the presence of desire in our lives and keep our mind open to opportunities for exploring our creativity. Learn to make jewelry, read palms, fish, line dance, take photos, make birdhouses, collect antique watches, start a joke book, crochet, or hand glide. Take up scrapbooking, wood-burning, or calligraphy; it's totally up to you… [Excerpt, day 69, Spring Devotions in the Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain series.]

***Presently, I am working on a jigsaw puzzle I bought a couple of years ago. I had forgotten how much I loved to do them. But, like so many of us, I have to be careful not to sit with my neck bent for too long. The good news is that I don’t need to worry about it being on the table for as long as it takes. We won’t be having company.


In my blog, The Setting, the Shutter, and the Power of Resolution, I talked about my 2015 New Year’s resolution - "Learning to use the manual settings on my new digital SLR camera". I think of that blog as a metaphor for transforming adversity into opportunity.

***Photographs speak a universal language. Whether you are taking pictures or going through old albums, we can become mindful and create feelings that soothe us, especially during trying times.



For me, writing poetry heightens my senses and provides an alternative path that promotes mindfulness. The words I chose give my thoughts texture, making them palpable, at least to me. Writing poetry provides a beautiful detour because unlike physical pain and illness there are no boundaries, no limitations. We have unabashed freedom to explore and express ourselves using colors, shapes, and concepts we might not otherwise.

I am in awe of the power of randomly chosen words and their ability to bring me peace. Whether I am working through a difficult situation or embracing the wonders of the world, I know when I'm done I have formed a connection to my inner being I only know through poetry.

"Poetry is writing about yourself waiting to see what will show up, the words are the finger points of your soul.”

~Sandford Lyne, author of Writing Poetry from the Inside Out

*** Like photography, poetry is a creative way of chronicling our life’s events and provides a conduit to express our feelings. You may have one you would like to share, maybe one you wrote after you read my blog on how to write “I am” poem. It’s time for all of us to be creative in our own midst ─ to share with others things we never thought we would.


As a once board-certified emergency nurse, I know the risk to our people on the front lines of this virus.  I am pleading with people to follow the CDC guidelines. This pandemic is serious. We must take personal responsibility for protecting others and ourselves.


In healing,

Celeste Cooper, RN / Author, Freelancer, Advocate

Think adversity?-See opportunity!

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