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This is not directly related to Airbnb but is related to our common dilemma. I asked a friend about preparing for the emotional assault that is coming. Specifically I asked how we can prepare emotionally for people getting sick and dying without our usual institutions and rituals in place. To be frank, I mean how do we deal with it and help others deal with it when our loved ones become ill and we aren’t permitted to visit? How do we grieve when the normal institutions and rituals (wakes, funerals, church, temple, gatherings of all sorts) are limited. This isn’t just Covid19. People die all the time and the usual protocols are now suspect. This is her answer:
Firm YES, it IS possible to psychologically prepare, but as in all preventive and preparation measures whether physical or psychological, it doesn’t mean you will be fully prepared.
Just as washing hands and covering coughs boosts your chances but doesn’t guarantee, psychological practices can boost your chances though there is never a guarantee that you’re going to be all the way resilient and high flying for the long haul. Most of our informed practices are about boosting chances.
Some things you can do to prepare:
immerse in nature more if you can because social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean total isolation,
engage in helpful acts or behaviors (even digitally) as more good feelings in your “bank” to temper anxious feelings, 3) be abreast but not obsessed (ooh, I should coin that)-- stay aware but do no obsess over the grueling details in the news, particularly for the vivid anecdotes. If you’re feeling anxious, you can do yourself a favor and not click on that link about that particular person’s situation that may have little to offer you in preparation,
see if rational thoughts can help, like reminding yourself that your increased worry and anxiety will not reduce anyone’s anxiety or help anyone, just as you can’t be hungry enough to help the hungry or poor enough to help the poor. You matter and your mental health matters. You aren’t being selfish by taking care of your mental health needs, in fact you are doing everyone a service by allowing yourself to be that much more charged up. Or remind yourself that every wave of anxiety passes because the body simply cannot withstand it forever (can you run a marathon forever? No? Neither can your anxiety. It WILL come down).
Be very conscious of your behaviors right now and take care of them. Our routines will be thrown off but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Especially sleep. That’s a catch 22 because when we’re stressed we might sleep less (or sleep too much) yet the change in sleep can also cause more stress, same with changes in diet. Soo, be as helpful to your body as you can, give yourself room to sleep and eat well as much as you can, and every little bit you do to take of yourself behaviorally adds to your resilience. Truly, any mental illness is a culmination of factors-- it is never one cause. There are genes, biology, early life experiences, your social networks, behaviors, diet, etc etc etc. In every patient I have met with, and in every human, there is a plethora of risk factors but also protective factors, and whether a person has a diagnosable disorder comes down to how many risk vs protective factors tipped the scale. You want to boost the protective factors that you can control, such as your daily behaviors, your thoughts, and your focus (focus on your feelings: on the news, on reality, on anything and paying attention to how it makes you feel, and acting on it as soon as you can if it’s not making you feel good). This is emotions 101 that we have naturally as toddlers and children (“No! I don’t want that!” Says the 2 year old) that our parents, schools, and society have socialized us to ignore. It’s time to reconnect to yourself, your feelings, and what makes you feel intrinsically good-- and I said *intrinsically, meaning, not via escape of something unwanted, but approach towards things/experiences/feelings that *are wanted and joyful (this is not instant gratification either, joy is deeper and longer lasting). What makes you feel joy? Ask yourself about your experiences each moment just like Marie Kondo would ask of your belongings.
*EDITED TO ADD: This is NOT same as blanket positivity (“just be grateful!” “Just look on the bright side!”) that is actually unrealistic, unproductive, and even harmful. Don’t bypass or sugarcoat or gaslight the truth outside of or within you. If you are already feeling anxious and numb, sit with it and allow it-- literally what it means to “hold space” for your feelings or those of others around you. The virus literally gave you the out to do this by shutting down all of society, giving you reason to be anxious, but also giving you the time and space to address it. Meet yourself where you’re at with kindness and compassion, and interestingly, usually the emotion transforms of its own more readily when it is allowed to exist and take up the space it needs. In grief counseling this also applies. Patients undergo what’s called “complicated grieving” if they have never allowed themselves to fully grieve, which is a longer term, slower, and more painful process (I volunteered with the Children’s Grief Center in El Paso in undergrad and learned this there).
I hope it’s enough. There is going to be a lot of emotional damage. People a few days ago were bitching about refunds. Shortly people are going to have deaths in the family. I’d love to help but feel helpless.
I just can’t with this right now. We lost a very close family member a few days ago and are bracing ourselves for our flights to be cancelled that we have scheduled to take him back to the family cemetery and do the the memorial next month. Everyone of us expects it to get shut down and are mulling over what plan B would be. It won’t be a streaming solution. We would most likely just postpone.
@LoneStar, my sincere condolences for your loss. March 3rd my friend and next door neighbor died at the age 47 after 2 long years of battling cancer. Her memorial service has been twice postponed. I worry for her grieving husband and daughters who jumped directly from home hospice care, and her death, to prepping for this virus and now remaining so isolated. It’s a horrible situation to deal with on top of everything else. Please take care.
Cremation. You can take the ashes back for burial any time, and if he’s a veteran, VA will still pay for the burial and headstone. My condolences for your loss, although he had a long life it’s still a loss for everyone.
Thank you. Incidentally, this is why I was so desperate to make sure there was enough TP last week. Four female relatives flew in to give their support…for a week! We were lucky to have found it when we did. If we’d waited a day longer to go stock up the relative’s house who doesn’t drive, we would all be up the provervbial creek…without a wipe!
Yesterday, my face felt like it was falling off my face. Hard to explain what that means, but its akin to becoming desperate.
Why? My primary income is managing a home in another state. Yes, cancellations are piling up.
Why? I also do demos…at $100 each, six of them have been cancelled this month.
Why? I refuse to take the penalty for taking my SS early. I’ve got to wait to 66 and 2 months.
Why? I do mystery shopping. Some of the jobs have been cancelled.
Why? My 14 yr old dog and 18 year old cat are getting very old. Please stick around for a bit.
Why? The sign in Lowes said that all freezers are gone and none will be expected for a while.
Why? Drought. I left Calif due to the drought and high taxes. Whoops…Drought in Oregon coming.
Uncertainty and lack of control over our environments is very stressful in the best of times. You certainly do have several things to juggle. Hopefully you can get by while the worst passes and then build up reserves for the next wave. In other words, knowing Americans and our President’s worries about his upcoming election we will run headlong into a frenzy of relief spending as soon as it seems the crisis has passed. Families will pack into Disneyland, NFL seasons will be sell outs, vacations deferred will be vacations taken. Wise people will be gathering firewood for the coming winter while others are cutting every tree in sight. You’ll not be caught out again and before you know it you’ll be 66 and 2 months.
And no one likes to think of it but some of us could sell our house and downsize to move in with others and live on the proceeds. No matter how bad it gets we will still have rich and fulfilling lives. Different kind of rich and for many it will be a better kind of rich. Shoot, we might even save the planet for our grandchildren.