COVID-19: Seeking a silver lining
COVID-19 is frightening.
Most of us are wondering what COVID-19 will mean for our future. Not knowing what to expect is stressful.
In fact, the three largest contributors to stress are: 1. uncertainty; 2. lack of information; and 3. lack of control. I’d say the Coronavirus has checked all three boxes.
Many people are struggling with boundaries, privacy, and managing emotions while quarantining at home. Negotiating space, finding ”me time” for self care, and sitting with the uncomfortable feelings challenge even the best coping strategies.
So, let’s get back to basics.
There’s no magic bullet but perhaps the closest thing is gratitude. Take a breath, get grounded in the now, and connect with your core values. Look around you and notice how many have manifested in your present life. Stay there for a moment.
It’s okay to feel fear, loneliness, and a host of “negative” feelings as you navigate this unfamiliar territory.
Notice them and acknowledge their flow through you. They don’t last forever. They come and go, constantly changing.
Maybe you’re learning new things about yourself.
You could be finding that you value social connection, safety, and predictability more than you realized. What action can you take today that will increase any of these while quarantining?
Because of our brain’s survival based “negativity bias”, we naturally notice and hold onto the bad easier and longer than the good.
So, you might be focused on minute to minute updates on COVID-19 and feeling pretty horrible.
But when good things happen – and they are happening all over the world right now – notice them and focus on that.
Seek it out. Take it in and notice how it feels.
The more you connect with gratitude, values, and the good happening around you, the easier it is to do so in the future.
This is you rewiring your brain.
Strengthen the thought patterns (aka neural pathways) that lead you to the feelings you want to feel and the way you want to be. Spend at least two minutes everyday noting what you’re grateful for. Write it down. Share it with a friend.