I’m fascinated by two trees at the back of my property. These trees are well over 100 feet tall and are close to 150 years old. The fascinating part is that they grew toward each other, circled around each other, and are now intertwined so thoroughly, that it’s difficult to see which branches belong to which tree. As I took my dogs for a walk yesterday and looked at those trees, I thought that nature had provided a good lesson. We should all stand tall and stand together.

My trees were around during the Spanish Flu, but most of us are in a position now that we’ve never experienced before. Be like my trees and stand tall and stand together.

The world has changed over the last few months with COVID-19, and we’re all going to have to find our new normal. In addition to the fear or realization of losing someone we love to the virus, the economy is also taking a big hit. So how can we imitate those two trees that have weathered extreme heat and cold, numerous hurricanes, and likely witnessed the Civil War?

Stand Tall

It’s easy to get discouraged when it seems that everything around us is going crazy. Instead, try to stand tall by focusing on the positives and allowing yourself a chance to de-stress.

Focus on the Positives

Laid off or furloughed? More benefits are available now than ever before. Working from home? Think about all the extra sleep you get, the gas and tolls you’re saving, and the business attire you don’t have to wear. Instead of dwelling on the frustrations of trying to work in a tiny space or that you have small children screaming in the background, focus on the extra time you get to spend with your family. Going into work? Instead of worrying about exposure, look around to see how you can help limit the spread to yourself and others. And instead of grumbling that you have to go in when others don’t, be grateful that you have a job when so many don’t.

Give Yourself a Break

Give yourself a break occasionally. Enjoy your chocolate or a bag of chips. Have a glass of wine or drink another Pepsi. Go for a run or do some yoga. Paddle on your kayak or take a dip in the pool. Putter in your garden or take another nap. Don’t overindulge, but do what you need to do to stay calm and relaxed so that you can stand tall.

Stand Together

Legend has it that Benjamin Franklin said at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or ... we shall all hang separately." As we globally declare war on this pandemic, we all need to stand together. There are several things that we can do to hang together, so that we don’t hang separately.

Help a Co-Worker or a Neighbor.

Some of your colleagues might be going through tougher times than you. Check with HR to see if you can donate PTO. Check in with neighbors, especially those who are elderly. Volunteer to do simple tasks such as grocery shopping, walking their dogs, or running errands. Even just staying in touch with someone by text or video chat can go a long way to helping someone feel connected.

Donate Food

Many kids are not able to receive the food they usually get while schools are closed. Contact your local school district or donate to your local food bank. You can order and have items delivered, and you can also donate pet food for pet shelters near you.

My trees were around during the Spanish Flu, but most of us are in a position now that we’ve never experienced before. Be like my trees and stand tall and stand together.

Lori Church is an experienced F&I manager, a graduate of the University of Denver s Sturm College of Law, and director of compliance for Holman Automotive.

Originally posted on F&I and Showroom