Friday, August 12, 2022


The meaning of “Stay the course” – and why it’s so important in today’s world

Here we go again! COVID seems to be resurging. Again. Annual fall festivals are opting out for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. In our vicinity, schools along with several stores are closing down. Again. It may be the death knell for some of the smaller mom-and-pop places that were able to squeeze by during previous pandemic spikes. They may not be so lucky this time. My heart goes out to them.

My heart also goes out to everyone else as we stare ahead, trying to catch a glimpse of what the future brings. Didn’t we just go through all of this? Several times? It’s tempting to give up, but then I remember one of my friend’s favorite sayings: “Stay the course.”

“Stay the course” might be what exhausted firefighters tell one another. Or what hurricane survivors whisper to themselves as they attempt to clean up the mud and muck. “Stay the course” might be the rallying cry for ICU nurses and tornado victims, too. No matter what you may think about the pandemic, climate change, or the government, this has been a rough several months. Really rough.

What does “stay the course” mean?

“Stay the course” appears to have its meaning rooted in nautical terms. “Stay” refers to the heavy ropes or guy wires that hold the “course” or mainsail in a steady, fixed position to keep the ship heading in the desired direction. I always thought the axiom was passive. Turns out it’s a call to action. Keeping the ropes tightly holding the mainsail in a fixed position requires constant attention.

Here are some things you can do if the catastrophes of the recent months are getting to you:

  • Check in with a friend or family member. Tell them how you’re feeling. Ask how they are faring, too. By encouraging others, you may find yourself buoyed up a bit, too.
  • If you begin to feel yourself on a downward emotional “slide,” check in with your health professional. There’s no shame in seeking help.
  • Try an online class or renew a forgotten hobby to give yourself something positive to consider.
  • Exercise every day. Inside or outside, your choice, but do it! Take a walk. Ride your bike. Use an exercise video or online exercise class. Get your heart pumping. Your emotions will thank you.
  • Turn off the news. At least for half a day. Give your brain (and your emotions) a break from the topics that tend to grinch you out.
  • Get outside. Take your RV for a trip, even if it’s to a local campground. Once you’re settled in, you’ll feel a million miles away … and, hopefully, better prepared to “stay the course.”

We’re all in this together. Again.


Think there’s nothing to do during a Pandemic? Think again!



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11 months ago

Good thoughts, and a good photo! I liked learning that stay the course means ‘get busy’ not ‘sit tight’.

Wren Grace
11 months ago

Turning off the news is an important step in self care! (No news is good news!)

Tommy Molnar
11 months ago
Reply to  Wren Grace

The best piece of advice so far . . .

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