By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been six days since Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced schools would close. Just four days since we could sit in a restaurant.

These sudden changes have led to a wide-range of emotions for many. WCCO spoke about it with psychologist Kirsten Lind Seal.

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“This has been a really, really hard week, and from everything it looks like, we’re headed into some continuing hard territory,” Lind Seal said.

Normally, she might say get dinner with a friend, go to a concert, even enjoy a work conference.

“What we’re left with is really what I would say are our inner resources, what we actually possess ourselves, and that’s where I think can be a very helpful place to focus,” Lind Seal said.

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She’s says it’s important to know it’s OK if your emotions are all over the place.

“Just understanding your reactions are valid and legitimate can help us get a handle on them,” Lind Seal said.

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Then, focus on where you are now. That might mean meditation, or baking the lemon pie your kids always wanted.

“Will this help control the coronavirus? Absolutely not. Can we be so joyful in the moment that, ‘Look at this lovely lemon pie we made’? Absolutely,” she said. “So, basically, trying to find joy in the smallest moments in a time of dread is I think what will keep us sane.”

So what are you doing? Our Facebook fans left these suggestions:

  • Losing yourself in books
  • Spring cleaning
  • Helping others
  • Enjoying your pets
  • A jigsaw puzzle
  • A lot of video chats
  • Talking with grandparents and elders

A Bloomington custodian even says he’s deep cleaning the schools — #stayingsafe.

We reported Thursday about a metro neighborhood that had a “social distance celebration” in the form of a car caravan for a 12-year-old’s birthday.

“We all have this strength inside, even though it doesn’t always feel like it,” Lind Seal said. “We can do this. It’s going to be long time, there’s going to be a hard road ahead, and human beings are eminently adaptable.”

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Lind Seal says it’s also important to eat and sleep as well as you can, and try to keep some kind of schedule. Get dressed in the morning like you normally would, while at the same time realizing it’s OK to take a few days off.

Heather Brown