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February 19, 2021

How to Keep Love Alive in the Time of a Pandemic.

Love in times of a Pandemic.

This ongoing pandemic has definitely brought some major changes to our way of life.

Thank god we don’t live in the times when sending messages through pigeons was a way of life, but we have surely made some adjustments to how we connect with love through these tough, crazy times.

One thing that I love about this pandemic is that it has shone a light on an almost extinguished type of love: self-love.

Being that it is crazy, difficult, and risky to see other people, we are spending an awful long time with ourselves. This can be scary for some people, like me, who have not really learned before how to spend quality time with themselves.

The subject of becoming best friends with myself was really more of an idea. The idea that, as long as I was having a good time and staying “busy,” then everything was good. Hell no, it was not.

Listening to our inner self, as we would sincerely listen to our best friends, can be so beneficial.

It can help us lean into our feelings, whether we are happy because it is raining or tired of walking from our living room to our kitchen as a change of scenery. Maybe we feel sad because we’re missing all the people we haven’t been able to hug. Listening can help us acknowledge these feelings and simply let ourselves be—without the need to criticize.

Do more of all the activities that truly make you feel happy and alive. For instance, I love having some “spa time”—face masks, candles, french bun, and a sing-along-playlist paired with steaming vanilla coffee. It’s the best.

Our body is our home, and it screams for nurture, respect, and love.

We can feed our mind and stomach more healthy stuff. Better books, more veggies. In our daily choices, we can make a habit of choosing what is most beneficial to us—whether we choose ingredients in the kitchen or doing activities.

Quality time with ourselves can include adding exercise to our daily life. It feels refreshing—who doesn’t love feeling strong? Not to mention dancing for cardio is so much fun.

Getting ready for the day, even if we will be at home all day, feels so good. It’s nice to feel fresh, fully awake, and ready to tackle the day.

Just like having fun with friends, feeling their care and acceptance, and being genuinely silly feels great. We can learn to extend those qualities to ourselves by being loving, caring, and fun, even if no one else is around.

There is, of course, the “other” type of love.

Yes, it is more challenging to meet people nowadays. But also, because of it, we are learning to be way more selective; we don’t just want to meet someone for fun. We crave connection, we crave genuine conversation, we are thirsty for a human caress, not just a sweet one—a real one, I might say.

This time of pandemic is teaching us how to connect through distance and space. Even if we cannot see each other, we are learning what it means to be there. We can send each other texts, we can do video calls (loving Zoom, anyone?).

We can send each other a coffee or an order of miso soup through an app. We can watch the same movie and I can see your handsome face on the screen at the same time. This can be torturous, to see you and not kiss you—so not fun.

In the past, not living in the same time zone or even the same country was an acceptable reason for us not to be connected to our family and friends. Now we know that a quality 10-minute video call can be a way to deeply bond with all those who are too far away.

The pandemic has also taught me to read bedtime stories to my seven-year-old niece through video calls—so much fun to do.

The pandemic has brought back the classics as well.

Dating. In the past, going to a restaurant or the movies was a date’s first choice. Now we are more mindful. We appreciate the time we can see each other—it is no longer a given.

Most places were closed and now they still are.

What can we do if we actually see each other?

Well, we can spend some quality time. We can go for walks or go for a hike. We can bring our favorite books, and I can read inside your arms.

We could make spaghetti together and then kiss, like that spaguettilicious moment in Lady and the Tramp.

I have also experienced that online concerts just for two can be so magical and make a date night so fun. My date and I watched Andrea Bocelli’s concert in the car with a view of a Bay Bridge at night and some french macarons—what a treasure that moment was.

I guess to every darkness, there is always light—love, in times of a pandemic, is really not too bad.

“A love poem” in this pandemic life.

Dear Josephine, I long for you to connect online
So I can touch your beautiful face through the screen and see your eyes.
I have sent you salmon sushi—I know you love it most.
Can’t wait until our next hiking adventure.
Comfy, sweaty, face mask, and all.
I will wait for you inside my room—I will send you flowers, antibacterial gel, and a yoga mat.
Please enjoy the time you have for yourself.
I will too.
Don’t forget my heart does miss you.
I think about you every morning, every night.
If you see my text, please respond immediately.
It already kills me not to see you—my hope for us to kiss in person will never die.

~

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