“In the midst of winter I found there was, within me, an invincible summer” wrote Albert Camus, verbalizing our way to building resilience no matter what the world keeps throwing at us.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic messed with about everything we cherished and enjoyed doing, from daily routines to dear relationships and from health habits to the world as we knew it before the year 2020. So it does not come as a surprise that we find invincibility - as a direct goal rather than a byproduct of working towards developing a winning attitude - to be just one more of those personal strengths that adds too much responsibility over what we could hold on to right now. And just maybe what we need is to surrender to the little things we can control and spend time understanding and monitoring our thoughts, feelings and reactions to what is going on around us, with a view to improving our stress levels and becoming mindful of this moment in time.
Since the world has literally hit the pause button, the answer to our next steps is found in contemplation and not escapism: doesn’t a fight-or-flight response appear outdated? Now is our opportunity to face fear and open up about it, talk about loss and the trauma of being left alone, unemployed, marginalized and scared. And although we are fed up with the trauma and the drama, yet let’s feel liberated by the fact that we stay right there and own the pain: we sit next to it until there is time to say our goodbyes (and there will be a new day!).
It is also a time for sharing stories and sticking to values. Values will be our compass.
There are no easy answers to what we will personally make out of the mess that the world has got into but I know that the human spirit is unconquerable. We will build from past experiences and develop coping strategies. But first: let’s cultivate the right mindset, prioritize our self-care and attend to our mental health needs.
We will start from the place inside.
(guest blog, first published on September 30th, for jasminedeanecoaching.online)