Coronavirus Silver Lining
It’s been about two weeks now since my family and I have been sheltering-in-place, hunkering down in our New Jersey home due to the coronavirus outbreak. We only leave the house for groceries and exercise, if the weather permits. We don’t know how long the quarantine will last, and I think that may be the hardest part —the not knowing feeds fear and uncertainty, and the what ifs start to seep in, causing anxiety towards the future. But there’s a piece of advice that has helped me, and it comes from a well-known book called Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe: “DON’T PANIC!”
I know this idea might seem late in the game at this point—being that all the hand sanitizer and toilet paper are gone—but try to remind yourself daily not to panic. Try not to dwell on the negative what ifs. Instead, spend time connecting with the positive things this situation is offering; not only to you but the world. Here are some positives that may resonate with you to help ease any fear or anxiety in these unprecedented times.
I know there’ve been a lot of memes about families in quarantine driving each other crazy, but all joking aside, appreciate this time together. Other than taking a vacation, when else do you have this kind of togetherness? Make the most of eating every meal together, watching movies, or doing housework. Enjoy the creativity that is born out of boredom. For parents who normally work long hours away from home, embrace these extra hours to snuggle your little ones or impart wisdom to your teen. Time is a gift no matter how it’s given.
You can also use this time to learn a new skill or teach a loved one. Perhaps you always wanted to make gnocchi, sew something, or learn yoga. Why not use this time to learn something new. It will help distract you from everyday stress and routine, plus, challenging your brain to do something different is like lifting weights for your mind. If you have children, teach them simple home-life skills, like how to cook an egg, sew a button, iron a shirt, or load the dishwasher. There are so many everyday things we do around the house to keep it functioning, why not use this time to prepare your kids for adulthood.
Enjoy the Silence
The whole world has gone quiet. In almost every country around the globe, cities are empty and everything is closed. We are all being forced to stop. Stop shopping, going to the gym, and eating out at restaurants. Stop working and traveling. There’s a saying, “Stop the world I want to get off.” It sort of feels like this has happened. The merry-go-round of life and its routines and exhaustion have stopped. Perhaps this is a much-needed break from the pressures modern society has created for us all. I know the planet is benefiting from our silence. Air pollution has gone down and waterways are clearing up. With so much debate about climate change, maybe this human “time out” will help prove that we have a big impact on Mother Earth.
Breathe in the stillness of life right now.
If you’re someone who usually has a busy schedule, give yourself permission to enjoy the art of doing nothing, or at least doing less. Use this pause to evaluate your life and how you can make changes to align with your soul’s purpose. It’s hard to change direction when the merry-go-round is always turning. Now that it has stopped, perhaps a shift is needed to reawaken your heart.
We Are One
I know there’s a lot of bad stuff happening as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. People are losing loved ones, medical staff are being overworked and exposed, the economy is suffering, and many are going hungry. It can feel scary and a little bit surreal, like a Hollywood movie. But where there is dark, there is light. Out of despair comes hope from the indisputable fact that we are all one. No matter your race or gender, even pay grade, humans have never been more connected than right now. With the help of the internet, our empathy for each other is through the roof. This event is uniting us. It’s leveling the playing field. It’s a wake-up call that we are all in this together and that we need each other to survive—literally.
After two months of strict lock-down, life in China is resuming normalcy. They’re getting back on the merry-go-round. Soon the rest of the world will join them. My hope is that when we do jump back on that merry-go-round, we ride it differently. I hope when life resumes, we don’t forget that we’re all connected. I hope the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t for nothing and that it forever changes our thinking and hearts in a positive way. And lastly, I hope it inspires a global paradigm shift to take better care of all those that share this planet with us.
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