HITS Daily Double



As I prepare for another isolated work week, I am setting some parameters about how best to take care of myself, both mentally and physically.

I was feeling lots of symptoms on Sunday—runny nose, overall achiness, scratchy throat. So naturally I was wondering whether the virus had reached my house. But then, out of the blue, I realized I’ve always had allergies, and I know how they feel. So I took a Mucinex D, and my problems have abated. Then I went on Instagram to check on my family and friends and found Rob Light (@lightgolfer, pictured right) posting about Allegra D and Flonase. It made me realize how universal our situations are right now, so I figured I’d write about some of the ways that I am coping. Maybe some of them will help you, too.

1. Know the date and the day of the week. Things are becoming somewhat of a mishmash right now, so this helps me out. (I definitely thought Saturday was Sunday.)

And, know it based on more than just looking at your phone. Have a calendar nearby and have the day and the week relate to something tangible. My dad’s birthday was April 1, so this week makes me think about him. He’s been gone for a while now, but memories matter. It’s also the week that The Masters would have taken place, marking the beginning of spring. It’s my favorite HD program of the year. I Googled to check when HD programming started to become prominent. It was 1998. I learned a new fact, and I set my week into motion.

2. Make sure you fill in your calendar and have events. Of course, Monday and Tuesday are radio days, as the world turns each week, and I always enjoy watching the add boards build. We have a HITS editorial meeting every Monday and will continue that tradition as best as we can in the New Normal. But I also have a FaceTime workout scheduled with my trainer around 3pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and make sure I take a half-hour walk every day, usually sometime between 4:30 and 6:00. I love the extra daylight this time of year, and the walk helps me clear my mind. Of course, we can work from our couch or from a desk at home. But getting up and out for a little while is necessary for me. I say hello to the few people I pass as we move to opposite sides of the street. Some are glad for the contact and smile or nod; others keep their heads down and keep walking.

3. Meals are essential, of course (although my breakfast and lunch need to get on a better schedule), and cooking dinner is essential for my mind. People keep sending me memes about the “Coronavirus 15 lbs.” they’re putting on. That isn’t me. Self-isolation has made me less hungry; I generally don’t eat until I need to. But we’re all who we are, and meals are an easy way to fill in your time and give the days structure. When I need to nosh, I try for something healthy (and save my ice cream fix for the evening).

4. Accept that your natural anxiety is responding to something real this time, and don’t punish yourself even more because of it. Take care of yourself. My neck is tight, so I use a heating pad; my back is stiff, so I ice. So what?

(L-R: Terrence McNally and David Schramm)

5. Reach out to someone, a friend that you may have lost touch with or just haven’t spoken to in a while, because life does that. Put it on your calendar so you actually do it. Two people called me this weekend and made me smile. Now I need to pay it forward.

A final comment: Be aware that someone you know, or someone within one degree of separation, will get sick and possibly even die. It happened to me twice this week and three times this year. I will fondly remember playwright and friend Terrence McNally and actor and friend David Schramm.

Remembering them will be a part of my week, whether I schedule it or not.