Charmin. The New Gold? What Toilet Paper Has Taught Us About Surviving Disaster
Life certainly took a turn in an unexpected way in recent weeks with the rapid development of the Corona Virus or Covid-19 spreading like wildfire throughout the world.
Few times in history have we had this type of pervasive global challenge collectively shared by almost every country, culture, business sector and general population.
To say that it’s a shock to the system of human’s habitual nature is an understatement.
Who knew that going to a grocery store to buy toilet paper would result in the startling reality that you have a greater chance of buying TP on the black market than at your local Fred Meyer or Target store?
The new ‘gold level’ currency. Charmin two-ply?
It leads one to consider which reality are we in? Are those that have successfully hoarded 2 years-worth of toilet paper and hand sanitizer receiving the feeling of safety they so obviously thought they needed?
Or have we let fear once again lead us to blindly act from the perception of lack only to end up creating the exact self-fulfilling prophecy of shortage we were so afraid of experiencing in the first place?
Is that who we want to be as neighbors? As a community? As a nation?
I started to think back on some of our history’s toughest times. World Wars. Depressions. 9-11 and most recently the Recession of 2008. Not one of them started out with 24-hour television coverage of toilet paper shortages. Get my drift?
What got us through those times was a sense of selflessness, pulling together, reaching out to others in need, pooling resources, collective problem solving and open, supportive dialog. It was “We’re together”, “One for all”, “How can we help?”, not supermarket aisle wrestling takedowns over a Charmin 6-Pack.
How can we start to shift then, as individuals, a community and a nation, away from the bickering, the picking sides, the ‘them vs. us’ mentality and kick some serious American butt in dealing with this ‘invasion’ like we have in all the other cases we’ve had to face in the past?
I understand the fear of uncertainty. Sudden change is never easy.
But we have better choices. Consider choosing them. What are they?
1) Let's shift our perspective away from fear of lack and focus on courage and compassion. It’s our sense of community that will get us through this rough patch, just like it has in previous hard times. So, reach out to those around you and lend whatever kind of support your family, friends, neighbors and businesses feel they need. Trust me! It’ll make you both feel better!
2) Ramp up your self-care! Fear and stress takes a major toll on our body and mind. Take the time to give yourself some real concentrated effort in caring for your mind, body and spirit in whatever way you feel works best for you. Take more walks in nature, meditate or pray, do things that calm and relax (or exhilarate) you, learn a new skill or read an inspirational story. Whatever it takes to reset that mindset to a more grounded and more positive place of peace will have far greater benefits than you can imagine.
3) Focus on gratitude. Uncertain times often create a feeling of hopelessness. We feel out of control and unsure how to move forward. (Hint: It’s not making a hit on a delivery truck full of Charmin). It can help substantially when you are feeling overwhelmed to stop and reassess things from a place of gratitude for the things that ARE going right in your life.
The reasons are all around us. Our health, our family and friends, a roof over our head and the glorious beauty that surrounds us here in Oregon are just some examples. I'm not trying to be a Pollyanna here. Even if you're circumstances are less than idyllic, I guarantee you there's SOMETHING in your life worth being grateful for!
4) Embrace your humor. No matter what kind of awful situation you may find yourself in, humor will always take the edge off and that shot of endorphins is a plus too! It’s good for the soul and the body and everyone appreciates a good laugh during the trials and tribulations of life. Watch a funny movie, share a good joke, make someone laugh so hard they pee a little. It's the gift worth giving.
I’d love to hear what YOU do for yourself to shift away from fear and overwhelm in tough times! Leave a comment below and share it to inspire others!
In the meantime, stay safe! We will get through this!
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