3 Ways to Avoid Regret During the Pandemic Shut-In

While I’m humbly blessed and grateful to work from home, Covid-19 has brought us our share of financial and lifestyle challenges. Like everyone else, I’m a little stressed as I cope with the uncertainty of the future. I keep telling myself I need to look for creative outlets that won’t worsen my situation or bring later regret.

As a Social Worker, former grief counselor, and human, I understand the consequences of regret. But I also understand how to avoid it.

Regrets basically relate to those things that we wish might have been different, better, or more in the past that continue to impact us as time goes by. 

The Grief Recovery Method Support Blog.

But, it’s not so easy to avoid acting out when tensions rise. Especially in the privacy of our homes. Problem is, the outcomes won’t change. Regrets have lasting effects. Here are three habits I’m employing, while at home, to avoid later regret:

#1 No Pandemic or End of World Movies

Why are scenes from “Contagion”, “Outbreak”, and “I Am Legend” playing through my mind on an annoying and endless loop? I’m regretting every pandemic or end-of-world disaster movie I ever watched.

I Am Legend, Pandemic, Covid-19
Will Smith and Alice Braga on the set of I am Legend in New York City. Editorial credit: Steve Broer / Shutterstock.com

Movies and books are my escape, and sometimes, they are my addiction. While they add quality to life, they also plant images and seeds of thought. Those seeds lie dormant until watered, never decomposing. Oh, how I wish they would decompose. Then I’d finally be rid of the image of Linda Blair’s head spinning when she played Regan in “The Exorcist.” I was five when I saw that film but some images never die.

Seeds of thought become ideas that sometimes make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. But we can always find the facts by seeking out the truth. Check out this video on YouTube about distinguishing reality from fiction in Pandemic movies. I’m not sure if it’s helpful or not. But it reminds me that if watching a movie makes me feel anxious, then I need to avoid it.

#2 Don’t kick the dog

Pets during covid-19. Shut in with pets
By Mike2479. Used with permission under Shutterstock Standard Licensing.

I’m often up and writing around 4:30 a.m. Clover lays n the hallway between Mel, whose sleeping in her bedroom, and me, as I click away on the keyboard in the office. Esmi prowls somewhere down the hall. I can tell when Clover spots Esmi. Her head perks up, her ears twitch, and a quiet whine escapes. Then, thunderous pounding of feet and claws tear down the hall. This isn’t so bad at 8:00 in the morning. Well … okay, yes it is. This chasing nonsense never ends. The cat teases, the dog chases, we raise our voices.

It. Never. Ends.

Once, I stuck out my foot to stop Clover from chasing Esmi, and I accidentally kicked her. Ever kicked a German Shepherd? Wearing only socks? They’re pretty solid all the way around. I didn’t break my toe, but I certainly damaged something.

There is danger in acting before thinking, and it often ends in regret.

(BTW, before judging my pet-ownership skills, you should know that i just took the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Quiz. The results proved I am a “Loving Handler”).

#3 Hide the Nutty Buddy Bars

Nutty Buddy. Stress eating. Poverty, covid-19
By ZikG . For editorial use only. Used with permission under Shutterstock Standard Licensing.

Growing up poor taught me to be resourceful, but it also taught me to eat the good stuff before someone else does, or at least hide it. Forget toilet paper. (We have plenty of wash cloths and laundry detergent). I need to make sure I don’t run out of Coke and Nutty Buddy bars. But you know who loves Nutty Buddy bars more than I do? Her name rhymes with Smell Bob and she’s an artist who often gets the munchies. But Mel didn’t grow up poor. And we’ve always been able to get more at the grocery…

Until now. Are the folks at Little Debbie still working? My stash won’t last too long. Funny, before this pandemic, I’d hadn’t eaten a Nutty Buddy for a long time. What’s that about?

Poverty has a way of rearing its ugly head, slipping into the cracks in people’s lives when they’re young and then re-emerging later in life.

How Growing Up Poor Affects Your Approach To Food Forever

We’re all stocked up on food. Some of us more than others, but I’m trying to pace myself so I don’t eat all the good stuff first.

While there is a reason for concern, and stress motivates us to improve our situation, we need to be careful to measure truth correctly and place our trust in what gives us hope. I admire mankind’s genius, and I humbly support efforts to find cures to any disease or illness, but my hope is embedded in a higher power. One that can see tomorrow and upholds every promise in the wake of disaster.

Hope provides a foundation for peace amidst devastation. It’s what allows me to get out of bed prepared to tackle the day, striving to avoid regrets.

How are you coping with the isolation?

If you want to escape reality while you’re here, check out our cryptids of month. Feel free to print of some coloring pages for the kids. If you like fairies and/or romance, join our newsletter and download the free ebook No Longer Alone. It’s all free and hopefully entertaining.

Thank you for reading. Stay safe.