Why don’t I be a good “friend” to myself, especially in a pandemic?

Make no mistake, please.

The picture above is not one of Bambi. This is her new little friend that she was so lucky to see yesterday from the window (little forest in the back of her backyard).  

Not only he is cute, he is also a respectful, “coviwise” fawn. Indeed, he did not knock on their door to visit and play. His mom (and health authorities) must have raised his awareness about the coronavirus pandemic.

How ironic because on the same evening she met him, Bambi learned a beautiful quote about friendship, thanks to “Plus Belle La Vie” (a daily fun sort of soap-opera from Marseille on TV5-Monde); she has been watching this fun French soap opera from Monday to Friday for over 6 years now. She is grateful to her mom for introducing her to it when visiting Sackville. Anyhow, she loves that show so much that she combined it to biking (otherwise, she would be too lazy to exercise). This combination resulted in TV watching, relaxation, and a 30-minute of healthy/even singing behaviour.

To come back to the saying about friendship, it is by Richard Wagner and it goes like this: «Quelle noblesse d’avoir un ami, mais combien plus noble d’être un ami». This means: “How noble to have a friend, but how much more noble to be a friend”.

Isn’t this beautiful? Bambi thought to herself whilst biking. It made her think of her new “deer” friend who kindly confirmed the arrival of spring, despite the remaining snow. It also confirmed what she knows so well: Atlantic Canada is truly charming.

Talking about friends, she cannot help not to wonder: Why don’t I be the best friend that I can be… to myself, especially nowadays?

Friends are usually kind with us, patient, authentic, loving, and most importantly respectful. They care and they know how to listen. They are also whom they are (like us… yes, no one is perfect. Even better, they do not feel the need to pretend to be perfect when around us, thank goodness).

During a pandemic, it is perhaps more necessary than ever to be a good friend to oneself before caring for others. If we are parents, when we feel calmer, our kids sense it and it calms their anxiety, if any. Not always easy when we are all stuck under the same roof, especially when this can exacerbate tensions or when we worry about our precious seniors or younger ones, especially if they are more vulnerable for whatever reason.

We can begin by accepting the change in our daily life and that this would be a tough, and likely lengthy, journey. Thus, it is OK to feel all the mixed feelings we may go through, sometimes all at once. We can set our own daily routine. Routines fill time and routines can be soothing, whether we are by ourselves or with others. If it is harder to concentrate, we can take little breaks. We try to focus and we do what we can. We enjoy the moment. We work (those of us who are able to do it from home… or who still have a job 🙁 ). If not, we keep ourselves busy differently. A little project here or there. Some of us cook to survive or for pleasure (others just eat!). We entertain our kids or call friends, etc. We take little breaks again… etc.

We take or we set a time to keep being informed whilst knowing when/how to take a distance when we feel too anxious (we are constantly bombarded with information on COVID-19). Of course, a critical sense matters more than ever whilst processing information and new knowledge.

We check on our loved ones, when we can. Yes, we miss them but we can reach out to them. We can hang on to good memories or dream of next ones. We can even call them or see them, thanks to technology. We try to focus on the moment (even if it is hard at times) and we dream of next springs and next re-unions with our loved ones, or next touch or hug or kiss, etc.

In the end, pandemics will pass by, like anything else in life. The cloud of a health tragedy, along with an economic crisis, will both end up moving… and the sun of resilience is always hiding behind it…awaiting to shine.

We find our own ways to keep hope. We also accept that some of us may/will sadly lose loved ones (just like in life in general but… in a more condensed manner).

Even if it is clearly a nightmare around the world, we try to keep an existential (and scientific) perspective.

The world is more resilient than we think. Our own world too and each one of us, despite the moments of grief, despair, fear, and doubt.

If we feel stressed, it is a good thing. It would have not been otherwise, as we need to be anxious to be mindful about the coronavirus (protecting ourselves and others). Plus, without any stress at all, we would be like those “covidiots” 😊 (http://bambisafkar.ca/index.php/2020/03/25/two-covidiots-being-fined-whilst-swimming/). Talking about the latter post, it helps to also keep a sense of self-humour/humour.

If we are a good friend to ourselves, we would be “coviwise”. By being the latter, we are also a good friend of others in our community and in the whole world even.

We can turn our own thoughts from: “Poor me, I’m stuck indoors” to “although it sucks, this is for my own protection and I am contributing to the protection of others”. No, I am surely not alone; the whole planet is in the same boat. I am contributing to the huge battle against the virus from out of the comfort of my own place.

OK, enough of philosophy. It is getting late. Time for Bambi to go to sleep… but before doing so, here is a joyful song, celebrating the spring. It is dedicated to her new little friend :). Bambi would also like to send a friendly wink to her mother-in-law who learned this Armenian song from her piano teacher in her young adult years. Of course, Bambi cannot help not to think of her friends who would understand the lyrics, whether they are in Amherst, Bandol (France), or Montreal. Best wishes! A friendly thought also for Lebanon (three more weeks of self-isolation), to those elsewhere in the Middle East, and in Armenia. This song is for you all, awaiting peaks of curves and/or surviving capital controls. Bambi hopes you will all be safe.

The song is called “Karoun Karoun” [Spring, spring]. Yes, there is a spring post-pandemic!

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