Even in Our Most Difficult Days…

…we are blessed to share moments of great joy with women and their families.
This beautiful piece turned up in one of our social media mailboxes today. New York Times “Well” writer Tara Parker-Pope reflects on the good in our lives. We hope you will find something calming in her words.

March 18, 2020

Dear Readers

Every day brings a new question, a new worry, a new fear about the coronavirus pandemic. It’s essential to pay attention to public health advice to practice social distancing and to stay home to limit contact and reduce the spread of infection. And it’s also essential to take care of yourself, particularly when it comes to stress.

For me, my regular meditation and mindfulness practices do not seem sufficient for these times, so I have added something new to my routine — a hand-washing and gratitude exercise.

Every time I wash my hands, I focus on my feelings of gratitude. I start with the doctors, nurses, ambulance and hospital workers on the front lines of the pandemic. I think about the countless numbers of hourly workers who are restocking grocery store shelves, working at pharmacies and staffing checkout counters. These people are coming face-to-face with hundreds of people each day, putting themselves at risk so the rest of us have food and necessities. I think about sanitation workers collecting our trash. I think about the young man who provides maintenance and cleaning to my building, while grandparents care for his 9-year-old and 1-year-old children.

A gratitude practice does not sound like much, but we know from research that a daily gratitude practice is good for us, helping us reduce stress, get better sleep and stay healthier. Thinking about the sacrifice of these people gives me a boost (and I also share my thanks in person when I check out at the grocery store).

We all need to mentally prepare for the fact that the pandemic — and the disruption that comes with it — is going to be with us for a long time. But my advice to you hasn’t changed: Stay informed, practice self-care and be kind.

Stay home if you can, and stay well.

–Tara Parker-Pope