With every news channel, radio station, newspaper, and Twitter trend focusing on COVID-19, it's so easy to get caught up in the wave of negativity, panic, and paranoia. The gravity of our circumstances is absolute. However, that doesn't mean you should give yourself license to ruminate, panic, or assume the worst. When times are dark, we simply need to try a little harder to look for the light.
Now more than ever, it's important to put your circumstances in perspective, and to try the find the silver lining. I know it's easier said than done. You’re probably worrying about paying bills, staying healthy, and keeping your family safe. However, today, I would strongly encourage you to come up with a list of benefits of your current circumstances.
Let me be clear: Looking for the silver lining is not about denying what is going on around the world, and pretending that everything is fine. It's about remembering that in bad times, there is still good to be found.
I reached out to friends and family in isolation, many of whom have been laid off from their jobs. They all share the same concerns. However my question to them wasn't, "What worries you the most?" it was "What are the benefits of your current circumstances? What is your silver lining?" So if you're struggling to find something positive about your present situation, here are some "bright side insights":
- Self-isolation keeps you, and your loved ones, safe by reducing your risk of exposure.
- Being isolated at home is a chance to spend quality time with your family or pet. Or, if you live alone, to re-connect with yourself. When was the last time you played a board game, watched a movie, or read a book?
- It's a chance to sleep in. It's also an opportunity to take a break from the daily "rat race," and from morning/afternoon traffic. Can anyone honestly say they miss rush hour? Moreover, less traffic means less pollution.
- It's an opportunity to catch up on home projects you never seem to have time for, shows you've been meaning to binge-watch, or books you have been wanting to read.
- As one colleague mentioned to me, it's the perfect time to lose weight! You'll be less likely to order fast food, and can cook as a family at home.
- It's an opportunity to pause, take stock of what is truly important, and enjoy the little things we so often take for granted.
- Even though we are spending time apart, this crisis is bringing the world together. (If you haven't watched the video of Italians singing and dancing on their balconies, I highly suggest you take a few minutes to watch it.)
Although I encourage everyone to practice caution, and to take the current circumstances in all seriousness, don't allow yourselves to get too caught up in fear, worry, and paranoia. Things may seem dark now, but they will get better. Don't lose sight of what is important, and make sure to count your blessings every day.