You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.Michelle Obama
With the streets bare of pedestrian foot traffic, businesses shut down and supermarket lines snaking out the door, the world feels unordinary and strange. Instead of lending a hand and supporting those who need comfort more than ever, people wrestle for the last can of beans or soup; the toilet paper crisis amplifies our anxious hoarding mentality.
There are pronounced worry lines on people’s faces. Their brows furrow as they talk to families and friends – some of them with masks on, some without. Tension is palpable in the atmosphere. As the saying goes, every man for himself. And right now this is more crystal clear than ever.
The prospect of any one of us falling seriously ill is a haunting thought in our minds.
This is no easy time for anyone, it’s true. But if you’re willing to see it, there is a silver lining, given that you take precautions to protect your health and others.
Stress weakens the immune system, and a negative mindset only worsens the situation.
We need to view things with a sense of positivity, entirely succumb to the fear that’s been driving the mass hysteria. This is not to say that we should be completely in denial of what’s going on. Reducing our time in social environments as much as possible is vital in order to avoid getting others sick, as well as ourselves.
Yet, while we remain healthy, we can use this long pause in our lives to reflect on our personal sense of life, and maybe establish new goals and align with the things that truly matter to us.
So here’s a list of 5 reasons this break may be benefiting us:
- We’re being forced into living a simpler life. With shops closed and online orders processing slowly, materialism is no longer in the front line of our attention. We’re not really consumers anymore – we’re humans. Our ability to love and connect with others around us may become acknowledged and applied, once we’re able to see through the thick fog of doom and gloom.
- We’re learning to preserve and limit our indulgence when it comes to food. Since grocery market supplies are restricted, it’s forcing most of us to keep a watchful eye on how much we eat and use. I’m not necessarily suggesting starvation, but the fact that our society is known for gluttony, I’d say this is a positive side effect from the whole crisis. The environment is thanking us for this.
- We’re charging our creativity. We’re naturally creative beings, but our overloaded day-to-day lives can leave these creative juices stale. I’m not necessarily talking about creating masterpiece art or making poems (although you can do that too!) But, for example, finances is a gigantic issue at the moment, and this crisis calls for us to get creative and find ways to gain more money from a different outlet. Or maybe we have to get experimental with the different foods we’ve got stored and explore various dishes.
- Our values are re-assessed. Now that life is slow-paced, perhaps it’s easier for us to withdraw from the chaos and take a look at our own life. Maybe we’re forced into seeing what really matters to us (as cushy as this may sound) and start living in alignment with those values.
- Positive action may feel more neccessary. Now, maybe if we know what our values are, perhaps we can also do some good in a world suspended by fear. Maybe in your household, community or workplace you can make a positive impact for what aligns with you personally. Something as simple as helping other people out or making them laugh, for instance. For myself, I plan to take spreading environmental awareness up a notch. I’m going to use this time to actively reach out and promote useful information through online – since this is the primary source we have at the moment.
Fear, or Empowerment?
In times of need, we can either choose to withdraw into a sense of hopelessness and fear, or empower ourselves to take charge of our lives and focus on what needs to be done – coronavirus-related or not.
Right now, our emotions are fragile, and it’s understandable that fear can easily get the best of us. While society seems to be collapsing and our health is left at risk, fear won’t help us. Precautions can only do so much. But in the meantime, it’s up to us to transform our mindset. Do we want to continue living a good life, or improve the one we had before? Are you going to focus on the negatives or the positives of the situation?
Gratitude comes in handy
At the expense of sounding banal, there are a still many things we can count our blessings for. Most of us still have a roof over our head, food in our cabinets, technology at our disposal and people we care about to enjoy our time with. We need to maintain our good health, of course, but not just physically.
Emotionally, mentally and even spiritually, too.
Trust me, I cannot wait for life to go back to normal. The stillness of the world is unsettling due to its unfamiliarity. Isolation and a silent town or city is not something we’re used to. But the time is ripe for inner reflection. And since we don’t have the power to stop a worldwide pandemic and regenerate life back to normal, we should take advantage of this introspective time.
So, my question to you is, can you use this period of uncertainty and trepidation to heighten your awareness and become more conscientious of your own life – instead of giving into panic mode?