Many of us thought Coronavirus wouldn’t make it here, and wouldn’t affect us. Most of us felt comfortable, cozy, and distanced from any sort of global pandemic.
For many of us, life as we knew it has been turned upside down, as we let our new future unfold one day at a time.
We can use this time to go inward, to stop the distractions of work, coworkers, unnecessary errands and social obligations, and actually pause and figure out what we want out of life, what we want out of our relationships, and choose how we are going to rewrite our stories.
As our former lives are stripped away from us, we have an opportunity to see this time as a reset, a blank slate, and choose what we want to add back into our lives.
We can take this time to watch movies, listen to podcasts, make art, bake, deep clean our homes, re-organize. We have an opportunity to self teach, self heal, and get to know ourselves more deeply than we ever have. We can catch up with old friends, make write, do home work outs, Marie Kondo our homes.
We can meditate, make gratitude lists, get stronger, more flexible, spend entire days reading in bed or on a blanket outside.
Let’s use this time to reevaluate our lives and think about everything we are learning because of the Coronavirus.
We are learning what our kids learn in school, and getting a taste of what it is to be a teacher.
We are learning what it’s like to work from home, and how much of the day we actually spend bullshitting and how much of that time could be used differently.
We are learning about our tolerance for being around others, and about our family members, partners, or roommates.
We are learning about our tolerance for being alone, and how comfortable we are with our own company.
We are learning that we need others, and the priceless value of a hug, a held hand, or a kiss on the cheek.
We are learning about what it’s like to be alone, what it’s like to be together, how we fill our time, how we spend our money, how we make our money, and what we’re contributing to the world.
We are learning where we could cut back spending. We are learning if we were really happy at the jobs we lost, and what we might like or need to do instead. We are learning how to get more creative in the kitchen, and that “there’s nothing to eat in the house,” was a big, fat, lazy lie all along. We are learning who we’ve been out of touch with, and who has our back and cares about us. We are learning who people really are when shit hits the fan.
We are learning how to work out from home, the importance of live streaming events, and the blessing of technology. The cell phone is not feeling so evil now. It has become a beacon of light and connection.
We are learning where our economy falls flat in the face of a pandemic, and which industries stand. We have a chance to re-write the rules to operate in the face of a pandemic. We are learning as we go.
This pandemic has blessed us with one thing: it turned off the “autopilot” system we were all operating under. Too busy to care or consider, we now have a lot of time to evaluate the lives we’ve been leading, and have an opportunity to choose differently.
We are learning how to entertain ourselves. Some of us are learning, painfully and maybe for the first time, how to be alone.
It will get worse before it gets better, I think we know this, but how can we pandemic-proof our world? Because this probably isn’t the end.
Let this shake us to our core. Allow yourself to feel your fear, your grief, your sadness, and especially your joy and gratitude, and let this awaken you to the fact that life is fragile and also a blessing. How do you want to show up in this world, when all this is over? How do you want to show up in the world now, in this new way of life? Life is happening, it’s just different.
If you’re into self help, self care, self development, this is really an amazing exercise in utilizing your tools and taking care of your mental health.
Your calmness, your happiness, your well being never has to do with the outside world. It’s still an inside job, even if you’re in the middle of a storm, even if you’re in the middle of a pandemic. Think of this as the ultimate workout for your mental health. If you can remain calm, trusting, and find joy and stay healthy in troubling times like these, you can rest easier knowing you have an inner strength you will take with you to the grave.
You can still do things that light you up. Find new things to light you up. Allow yourself to feel it all and release it all. Forge ahead.