Right now, we may feel as though our lives are being put on hold indefinitely… because in many ways, they are. How we lived last month seems like a lifetime ago. Even though we don’t know when we’ll be able to return to the office, go back to dine at our favorite restaurant, or even hug someone we haven’t seen in a long time, there are some things we don’t need to wait to do.
Don’t wait to be patient with yourself and others.
You know what’s not happening right now? People aren’t walking around saying, “Well, the last time I went through a global pandemic…”
This is new to ALL of us. As we see the leadership around our country and the world working tirelessly to find solutions to meet needs, we as individuals are doing the same for our own physical and mental health. What one person uses to deal with the stress may not be what works for another.
This season is when as individuals we see the best and worst of ourselves and others… everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are given moments to reveal themselves. Be patient with yourself and others. Most of us are making this up as we go along.
If you’re seeing parts of yourself that disappoint you, it doesn’t mean you’re failing at life. The standards by which you may normally hold yourself have to be loosened a bit. That also applies to your friends, family, and coworkers. We’re experiencing something new, unsettling, and anxiety-inducing. Applaud moments of strength for yourself and be patient when weaknesses peak through. Extend as much grace as possible to yourself and others, knowing that we’re all trying our best to get through this together.
Don’t wait to unpack what’s happening.
As we navigate the “new normal” created by covid-19, this period undoubtedly holds potentially life-changing lessons for us all.
Professionally and personally, every aspect of our lives is being impacted. Relationships are tested. Some will survive, and some won’t. Our health is challenged, either by acquiring the virus or by adjusting to the stay-at-home lifestyle. Mental health (yours and those you care about) needs regular check-ups. It seems even with many things being brought to a standstill, there’s a lot going on.
You may feel responsible to put on a strong front for your family right now. Perhaps you have pressure from work to pick up the pace and keep it “business as usual.” Take moments to relieve yourself from the stress of these roles and practice a bit of self-reflection. Even just 15 minutes of time alone to think about what’s happening in your life can help. Journal your thoughts; emptying your mind on the page can provide tremendous mental and emotional release.
This will end. Starting to process it now will give you a head start and help you find direction when it’s over.
Don’t wait to plan what’s next.
Speaking of when it’s over, starting envisioning your life post-covid19. Details may be impossible because at this moment, we don’t know when stay-at-home guidelines will be lifted. Likely, that will also vary based on where you live.
Still, you can give thought about what our regained mobile freedom means. Will you devote yourself to more structured family time? Will you travel more or will time at home be a priority? Did you learn aspects of your company during this crisis that confirm it is where you should stay or did the experience guide you to look for new options? Were their organizations and charities that you saw make a different that you now want to volunteer and connect with?
This time can be dark or enlightening. Even as restricted as you may feel now, you have the freedom to choose what you bring out of it. We’re all at a fork in the road; what positive direction can you take from this experience?
Even when our lives seem to be paused, you can still carpe diem – even today.