Silver Lining: 6 Ways of Seeing the Best in a Challenging Situation
I posted this blog many weeks ago, but when I transferred my website to a new platform, it was lost in conversion. The links on my Facebook pages now send the post to an error page…sorry about that. Although we’ve been dealing with this pandemic situation for a while now, these ideas are still pertinent, and I think, useful, so I decided to repost this to my new site and update the Fb links.
We’re in a challenging, memorable time for sure. It’s easy for people to develop a state of concern, worry or outright panic during a pandemic, especially with today’s media. But what if we look for a silver lining in our current situation? Yes there’s a huge trickle down effect and the future is unknown, but if we can consider possible positive effects we will not only feel less stressed and anxious, but we’ll add positive energy to the collective and begin to behave in a way that benefits everyone.
What possible good could come from this time of social distancing, of the inability to work, of children staying home from school, of no extra curricular and social activities? Here are some of my thoughts:
Silver Lining 1: Self Care. What I think of first are the countless times I’ve heard from clients, and friends, that they just don’t have the time to develop a healthy self-care practice. After working, taking care of the kids and driving them all over the place for sports and activities, and other activities they’re engaged in, there’s just no time for yoga, walks in nature, creative outlets (art, music, writing), reading or other alone time. It’s difficult to work even 5 minutes of meditation into the daily schedule. Well, now there’s time. Dedicate some of your ‘down’ time to yourself, build yourself, your immunity, your energy so you have more to offer to others. You’ll also be providing a good role model for your children so they’ll learn the value of taking care of themselves. More on Self Care
Silver Lining 2: Being in the Now. There’s a definite movement these days toward mindfulness practices, an overall increase in meditation time and focus on increasing awareness and consciousness. Now that we have more free time, we can allot some of that to going within and refocusing. There are fewer distractions right now, so we can start or expand our meditation practices, focus more on being mindful and going within, and considering what we want the future to look like. One benefit of a mindfulness practice is increased immune system function, which is certainly a good thing right now.
Silver Lining 3: Family Connections. What a perfect time to reconnect with family members, when you’re not shuttling back and forth, cramming in meals before and after, spending hours in commuter traffic or too many hours at the office. Now there’s time for engaging in dialog with everyone, enjoying meals together, playing games, going for walks and watching movies or doing other activities together. There’s even more time now for reaching out to extended family and friends, on the phone or online video platforms, for catching up with those you just haven’t seemed to be able to make time to talk with. We’re practicing ‘social distancing’ physically, but we can still connect in other ways.
Silver Lining 4: The Environment. Now that so many people are working from home, and not attending events and activities, traffic has decreased substantially. It’s much easier to get around when we do venture out, and our air quality has improved. What if many businesses realize that having employees working remotely actually works well and allow them to continue to do so? What if we realize how nice it is to not be driving all the time here and there and decide to cut down on daily trips…to consolidate shopping trips and errands. This not only saves gas money and creates more time at home, but cuts down on emissions. This could be a new trend toward practices that could benefit the environment going forward.
Silver Lining 5: Revisiting What’s Important. I’m betting that some, if not many, people will be re-evaluating life’s focus and purpose and remembering what’s really important, to them and their families. They may realize that quality time with those close to them, and slowing down to actually enjoy nature and quiet time and all that life offers, is so much more important than amassing as much money as possible or cramming in the maximum number of activities for themselves and their children. We could return to more simple lifestyles and life views.
Silver Lining 6: Realizing a Dream. What if this time allows some to put energy into something they’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t/wouldn’t spend the time on? It’s a perfect time for starting that novel you always wanted to write, to find an online art class or language program, or begin an online program in a related or completely new field. It could be the perfect time to start a new business you haven’t had the time or energy to pursue. Travel plans may be on hold, but it’s a perfect time to begin a new outdoor activity you’ve been interested in.
Someone once said that adversity is the mother of invention. What other positive results could occur now as a result of this global crisis? Sure, we could focus on all of the inconveniences and difficulties, worry about money and the economy, fear for our health and well-being. But, that will just contribute to the already rampant fear, wear down our immune systems and leave us more vulnerable and unhappy. What if we focus on the potential positives, reach down and access our feelings of hope and trust and faith that not only will things work out, but perhaps even end up being better than before it all started? As long as we have all of this time for thinking, let’s make it Positive Thinking and use our new-found time to create something amazing!
As we begin the transition toward a new normal, as businesses begin to reopen and some people return to work, things may become even more stressful at first. And settling into the next phase will bring with it much uncertainty. It will be helpful to remember…and continue to implement, what we realized during our stay-at-home period. I hope that we will all continue to focus on Self-Care, Being in the Now, Family Connections, Revisiting What’s Important and Realizing our dreams.
Someday the events of 2020 will be just memories. Let’s make them as positive as we can by making the most of every day and appreciating all that is good out there.