It goes without saying: these are unprecedented times. As the world grapples with the spread of COVID-19, there is a lot of uncertainty. And, knowing that this virus could have a major impact on our wellbeing and our loved ones, it is no surprise that many of us are feeling anxious and scared. That is a common response when things happen beyond our control.
As countries close their borders, cancel events, close schools, and ask people to stay home, we are left to navigate a new reality. Much has changed, but many other things haven’t. We are still people with lives, emotions, relationships, and responsibilities. Our lives may change, but they don’t stop. And these are the opportunities where we can reclaim a little bit of control amidst the chaos.
Last week, during a session with a client, we were reviewing her amazing achievements of late. Through our work together, she has found herself in a very positive space, with more confidence, a stronger relationship with her husband, and feeling ready to create the future she wants. There were many things to celebrate and many positive emotions. Yet, at the same time, she was deep in grief, having recently lost someone dear to her. She was truly experiencing a mix of emotions—much joy and sadness—all at the same time.
And that is exactly what life is: A constant mix of emotions. We may be facing a global crisis, but our children can still be making us laugh. Our pets can offer us comfort. We can appreciate the sunshine. We can feel fulfillment in our work or personal accomplishments.
We can feel anxious and afraid, but we can also feel moments of happiness in our daily lives. As feelings arise and change, we need to honour them and give ourselves permission to feel whatever emotions come up in the days ahead.
That said, it is easy during these times to let the negative emotions engulf us. We may need to work a little harder to notice the positives around us, which are also present. Hold on tight to the good news, to the progress, and to the people who are making a difference during these disruptive times. Reach out to others by phone. Do simple things for yourself. Breathe deeply to find your inner calm.
It is our gratitude for the small things and finding the positives that will carry us through. I wish you many of these moments in the coming days.