What if I’m not thriving?

A COVID-19 Survival Guide.

By Leah Persichelliselfie with oas staff leah with family on couch watching movie
OAS Staff

Welcome to the thrive guide! Say what?  You say you’re not thriving?  Not baking sourdough bread, having family game nights, and doing virtual CrossFit?  Well then, welcome to my personal “Survive Guide” where the Instagram version of COVID-19 quarantine does not exist.  

Here we embrace the chaos, the laundry, the messy house, the questionable food choices.  Here is where we give ourselves a break and forgive ourselves our sometimes poor choices.  

Given that this current situation provides us with no comparisons, it is difficult to know what is “right” or expected during this time.  We can find ourselves on the extremes – quarantine overachieving vs. full-time couch surfing – but I imagine most of us fall somewhere in between…each day bringing its own set of challenges; some days we rise to the challenge while on other days we barely scrape by.  My personal survival guide says that this is perfectly acceptable.  

Now is not the time to be unkind to ourselves; to set idealistic/unrealistic expectations. For me personally, being kind to myself looks like:

  • Listening to my body and exercising on most days, but not being maniacal about it. 
  • Trying to eat reasonably healthy, but making peace with a couple of extra pounds as the daily activity has decreased and the baking has increased.  
  • Getting outside – even if it’s just to sit in the back yard with a glass of wine.  
  • Trying to facilitate distance learning for my kids, but setting the bar a littlelower than what I think is the “ideal”…and watching the bar hit the ground on some days.  
  • Allowing screen time rules to be so flexible I’m not even sure they could be considered rules anymore.
  • And on some days, simply shutting down and accomplishing nothing except keeping the kids and the pets and myself alive.  And even that feels heroic.

This new and unexpected lifestyle is hard, and the uncertainty can be crushing…especially while trying to keep a family afloat.   Perspective and “letting myself off the hook” has been keeping my mental health above ground – most days.  I try to relish in the smallest moments of joy – sitting together on the couch and reading with no fighting, even if it lasts 15 minutes. Bliss!  

So please, be kind.  To your neighbors and your family, but especially to yourself. Keep the faith. Have hope. And when that’s not possible, take a break and shut it all down if you can, and wait for the emotional storm to pass.

Most importantly, if things are feeling too heavy, and getting out of bed begins to be an insurmountable task, reach out.  There are many people and resources in our community to help carry the load (myself included). Stay healthy, friends and I can’t wait to see you on the other side for a long, awkward hug.

Big love,




Deschutes County 24-HOUR CRISIS PHONE LINE

Available 24/7 to anyone who is experiencing a crisis or needs crisis support. 541-322-7500 ext. 9

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance

Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance Website.

Pandemic Partners of Central Oregon

Facebook group for any requests, needs, community support.  Pandemic Partners Facebook Page Link.

Follow link for more resources:

St. Charles Mental Health Resource Page