The Covid-19 pandemic and the Quarantine that resulted is unprecedented for sure. Daily reports of positive tests and deaths can be a challenge for anyone much less a counselor whose desire is to aid in human suffering. I’d like to share some of that personal experiences with you; the good and the bad challenges and blessings in hopes of aiding you through yours. For me personally Covid has been challenging to say the least. It has forced me and many others to redefine our means of how we connect to those we love and care for, including ourselves. I know for me, it has magnified my deficit in self-care and has forced me to address my neglect in my own mental health. The Covid Quarantine has changed “normal” and that has been very uncomfortable, as change usually is. This discomfort has affected each individual uniquely, but it has affected us all. It has forced us as a society to look at our direct and indirect effects on those around us. As I have seen, this has either created mindfulness or resistance, but either way it has forced us to address larger issues within ourselves and society. For me personally, I miss my freedoms, but I still want to stop the spread and do my part. So I guess this is to say, I have many feelings both selfish and selfless, and that’s okay. It’s challenging to have opposing feelings in a time of uncertainty. The only certainty I have is in God’s promises and I choose to hold on tight to those. After all, we are not promised a comfortable and suffer-free life. I am determined to come out of the Covid-19 crisis stronger and more mindful than before. A few ways to achieve that is to view this challenging time as a lesson and as an opportunity to be grateful.
So what is there to be appreciative about during this time? Covid has allowed me to see my day to day life through a new lens. It has forced me to realize just how blessed and abundant my life truly is. I took for granted my freedom in being able to do whatever I want when I want. I choose to see this as an appreciation because it puts into perspective what really matters in my life and makes those things so much more meaningful. The Quarantine has forced me and many others to come to a new understanding of the famous phrase “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone”. It has encouraged me to reevaluate the things in my life I had once taken for granted and see them through the new lens of gratitude. I realize how blessed I am to have family that I can visit, to have a steady income where I don’t have to worry about how my bills are going to be paid, to have a grocery store that has all the essential items needed for daily living, and to have a place I can go to worship the Lord. Without the Covid-19 Quarantine, I am unsure if I would have seen these once “basic liberties” as now freedoms to cherish and to be thankful. Appreciation in the midst of discomfort is a choice. So I urge you to choose gratitude. Choose joy, even when it feels scarce. It’s there, I promise.
Helpful Tips to Promote a Resilient Mindset through Challenging Times:
1.Give yourself a healthy serving of compassion.
This is a lot. This is uncomfortable. This is uncertain. This is confusing. If you’re noticing changes in your performance at work or your interactions with others, please know most of us are as well. It’s okay! It’s tough and we are all still learning to adjust. We will make it through this.
2.Give yourself what you need. Be INTENTIONAL.
Whether it’s talking with a friend, taking a bubble bath, making a yummy meal, or painting an art piece; take care of yourself. Try to get out for a walk in the fresh air or move your body in some way. It’s not just kids who have energy that needs to be expelled through movement.
Find opportunities to be grateful and express that gratitude. It can be through journaling, calling friends and family and telling them, or even a mindfulness practice. Just find a way to acknowledge the moments of joy amongst the struggles.