The last couple months have been tough for pretty much everyone I know. Some people are sick or have family members sick from Covid-19. Some have lost jobs and are worried about their future. Some are deemed essential workers and are putting their health – and that of their families – at risk every day while they serve others. And nearly all of us have been isolating at home and dealing with the stress that comes with that.
Life pre-Covid-19 feels like an eternity ago, a world and lifestyle that is faint in our memories. Life post-Covid-19 is unknown, which can be stressful and anxiety producing. We are in a weird place in time – the pause between one way of living and another way of living. The space between an inhale and exhale. A reset, if you would, between the old and the new, and potentially better, way of living.
I feel that this time is forcing all of us to grow and evolve in some way. From my own personal experience, the greatest periods of growth in my life have been those times that were the most difficult and uncertain. They were usually times where I felt that my entire world had collapsed around me – and in some ways it had. The collapse was needed so that I could build something new in my life. Sometimes the things I ended up building were clearly visible, such as moving to a new state or new country. Other times, what I was building was internal, such as learning to love myself more or forgiving others. Each time, I came out of that collapse a better, more authentic person.
It can be downright scary when you are alone and have to face “you” in all your authenticity for the first (or 100th) time. There is no escaping your fears, your feelings, your hurts and old wounds. You don’t have your day-to-day bustle to distract you. There is only so much binge-watching you can do before you start to feel restless and uncomfortable. And yet, this type of experience can lead to the richest of rewards – greater understanding of yourself and your needs, increased self-awareness and confidence, and a deeper feeling of peace and joy through the release of things that have been holding you down.
What has been coming up for you during this time? How have you been managing your stress and all this change? If you’d like some tips on how to manage change, please check out “Endings and Beginnings: How to Handle Change with as Little Stress as Possible” for some thought-starters:
Please remember that you don’t have to do this entirely on your own. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help during this time! Sometimes just expressing your emotions and what is coming up for you to a trusted friend, family member, therapist or member of the clergy can give you clarity and peace.
Surrounding yourself with positive people and empowering news can also make a big difference. There are a number of sites out there that are filled with “good stuff.” One personal favorite of mine is Unified Caring Association, a non-profit membership organization focused on helping children, animals, reforestation and the elderly. Among other offerings, UCA focuses on good news and inspiring stories and currently has an entire section of their website dedicated to empowering and entertaining stories to help people during this time. The video of senior citizens playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with their wheelchairs made me laugh out loud. (Full disclosure: I am on the Board of Directors of UCA.)
And finally, please share your stories, both your triumphs and your stumbles, during this time. We are all in this together. Your life lessons can help another person. Your successes may serve as a point of inspiration for someone who is really struggling.
I’m keeping all of you in my heart and hope each one of you gets through this time a stronger, more authentic version than you are today. Sending each one of you lots of love and healing energy.