The past few weeks have seen most of the world’s countries go into some form of a lockdown, with terms like ‘quarantine’ and ‘social distancing’ a part of our new vocabulary. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has shaken up life as we know it. Reflecting on the current global state, it’s common for feelings of overwhelm or anxiety to build. It’s okay to feel bogged down by the uncertainty – our lives have been upended and the world is experiencing a collective shock. This is far from what we define as normal.
But, here’s the thing: in times of crisis, there’s room for incredible possibilities. Margaret Drabble sums it up beautifully:
“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”
Embracing a New World
At points in our lives deemed critical junctures, positive potentials will show themselves – and we have the power to embrace them:
A time for re-evaluation and reflection.
While we may have been charging ahead at full speed before, the universe has given us an opportunity to hit the pause button. A chance to slow down, breathe and reflect. Reflection helps you sift through the chaos and organize your thoughts. It becomes a useful tool for learning about yourself, for forming an understanding of your values and for growing. If you’re unsure where to start, here are some steps you can take to practice reflective work. This crisis has acted as a reminder that we do need to periodically step back from our busy lives and re-evaluate what’s important to us.
Some of us might be feeling stuck as we attempt to navigate through the ongoing pandemic. If you’re finding it difficult to organize your thoughts, know that you don’t have to struggle alone. Professional therapists can offer invaluable support and guidance during these troubling times.
Reconnect with the essentials.
What do you value?
During periods of crisis, we tend to shed what’s unnecessary and rediscover the things we truly hold dear. With our once-hectic schedules reduced, plus all the other busy things consuming our attention put to a halt, we can be more in-the-moment – and experience what it really means to be human.
This might present itself in the form of hands-on hobbies, like cooking or art, or in experiencing the beauty of nature. A study led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter revealed that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces were likely to report better health and wellbeing than those who didn’t.
Reconnecting with the essentials helps us stay grounded, which in turn reduces stress and promotes healing. Think about using this time to connect back to what you love. Read books, admire greenscapes, make art, and rediscover life’s simpler pleasures.
The joy of being with family.
“I wish we spent more time together.”
How many times have we said this about our families, when life was in full swing and plans kept piling up? Before the coronavirus pandemic, many of us missed out on countless quality time with our families – time we’ll never get back. Parents around the world have been spending less time with their kids on average, and in one recent survey conducted by Centrepoint in the UAE, 46% of 5,043 UAE residents polled said they spent less than one hour a day of family time.
Now, with other activities put to a halt, there’s a beautiful opportunity to connect with loved ones again. To spend quality time with one another when you couldn’t before. By spending more time together, you’ll certainly make new memories, and you’ll discover new things about each other that can strengthen your bond. Take comfort in knowing that through all of this, we have new opportunities to connect with others on a deeper level.
The human side shines through.
We’ve seen the videos of doctors in Iran dancing to uplift patients’ spirits, or entire neighborhoods coming together to make music on their balconies in Italy. People are lending each other a helping hand. We’re seeing people holding fundraisers for their neighbors and volunteers sending daily deliveries of essential goods to at-risk groups. Through all of this, with everybody facing difficulties, the human side is shining through.
Entire communities are coming together with empathy and compassion. Heart-warming moments are being created across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic shows us that in times of crisis, humanity prevails.
The flip side of fear is love.
Love is a universal language – humans are deeply rooted in love, it’s a part of our nature. It’s important to remember that even though there are feelings of worry and fear right now, the flip side of that is love. There is so much potential for all around us right now to take better care of ourselves, our families and our communities.
Receive compassionate, confidential support.
If you’re feeling stuck, anxious or afraid through all of this, know that you do not need to struggle alone. Ayadi’s fully certified therapists are here to listen with an understanding heart and full confidentiality and offer professional support to help you navigate these unprecedented times.