If you have been through hardship in your life, then you know that hardship and problems offer you potential gifts depending on how you deal with the situation. I can imagine some of you rolling your eyes, scoffing, or otherwise reacting in disbelief that there are positive outcomes of a quarantine. Yet, as someone who has weathered lots of hardship in life, I can assure you that this pandemic does offer you potential gifts.
While you are welcome to skip to that list, I hope that you will consider reading what I am providing between here and there – because some of that is absolutely for YOU! Nobody likes this pandemic. Nobody likes dealing with the hardship of these unprecedented times, but I’m here to help you look on the bright side and learn to cope with it!
You might be feeling helpless and out of control. You might be filled with worry, fear, panic, anger, resentment, depression, and anxiety. I completely understand and quite frankly that is reasonable given the circumstances. Most people simply were not prepared for what has happened. What I know from dealing with tremendous hardship, is that hardship has the potential to either break us or make us bitter or to help us be more resilient, more focused, energized, and better people all around. I desire to help you get through this and come out the other side with a better life. I believe with all of my heart that is possible for you – if you are willing to entertain that possibility.
This pandemic brings a whole host of new issues and problems to the forefront of life. We are in a position that we have never had to deal with before on this level. It is an opportunity for us to bring LOVE to the center of our LIFE and grow and develop.
At the beginning of quarantine, you may have thought that this wouldn’t be a big deal. Maybe you have home projects you were glad to gain more time to work on. Then, overtime, you started to feel more anxious for no reason.
In addition, to the unprecedented pandemic we are all facing, there are also simple reasons we may be feeling more anxious than normal.
While we all need shelter to survive, humans were not made to stay indoors for all our lives, and research shows staying inside for prolonged periods can fuel anxiety and insomnia. Why? When we block out the sun, our circadian rhythms that regulate our appetite, mood, and sleep, get thrown off. So, if you’re feeling off, some of the causes may be easily fixed! Keep reading to learn more!
How you deal with hardship or big problems depends on a variety of things, including the coping mechanisms or strategies that you use in daily living, how you deal with your emotions, your level of emotional intelligence, your beliefs and attitudes about life, your religious beliefs, and the choices that you make.
If you didn’t have great coping mechanisms or strategies in life prior to the pandemic, then it is extremely likely that you might be hit harder by the pandemic than others, but that’s okay! It’s never too late to start developing strong and healthy coping mechanisms. And, now more than ever is the best time to start!
What many people don’t realize is that how we manage our emotions has a large impact on how we deal with difficult times. How high is your emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ)? The higher your emotional intelligence or quotient was prior to the pandemic, the easier this will be for you. Don’t worry if you don’t know what emotional intelligence or emotional quotient is. You can check out this blog post on it to learn more.
We are not living in a society or a world where people excel in dealing with their emotions. Most of us are not ever trained in how to manage, process, and deal with our emotions. So, the more you learn about it, the easier life will be for you during the pandemic and afterward.
The coronavirus has left many of us feeling like we lack control.
Let’s talk about the choices you can make as a result of the pandemic, to change the way you view it’s place in your life. These are my views on choices you can make:
You get to choose how this will impact you.
You get to choose how you will use this to benefit you.
You get to choose how you will use your increased time (assuming you are in the category of not working during this time).
You get to choose how you will deal with or not deal with your emotions.
You get to choose if you will practice learning how to manage, process, and deal with your emotions vs. ignoring them.
You get to choose how you will move forward from this.
Before I get into the potential gifts of the pandemic, let me address the issue of money and the financial impact of the pandemic, which is beyond belief. While it remains to be seen at this moment in time how things will play out, there is no doubt that the pandemic will have a crushing impact on the economy and the financial stability of individuals, families, businesses, and organizations, as well as entire countries.
We will get through it.
History has shown that when there is a tragedy, a catastrophic loss, a war, a terrorist attack, or mass genocide – we always get through it. The current pandemic might mean that you will have to go into debt or borrow money. You might have to change how you spend money and what you spend money on. You might have to change your financial plan moving forward.
If you have food, shelter, and the basic necessities – you should be grateful. Not everyone has that. If you have an abundance of money or assets – this could be your time to be compassionately generous with people you love or strangers. Miracles happen frequently out of the worst of times. Hang in there because things have a way of working out. And you play a big role in how that goes.
Undoubtedly, there are several downsides to this tragic and stressful crisis we are all experience. However, as with almost anything, there comes with it several positives. What are they? Find out for yourself:
1. It can help you appreciate the fragility of life.
2. It can help you appreciate the little things.
Often we neglect to appreciate the small things in life, until we face tragedy. During this time it may be easier to notice and value things like a warm smile from a stranger, having food and toilet paper, nice weather, or help given or help received.
3. It can help you gain the gift of humility.
4. It can help you re-evaluate your life.
When faced with the possibility of death it makes us realize we want to make the most of the short life we all have. Consider: what is your life for and what do you want out of life?
5. It can help you determine what’s important.
During this time where many of us are diving into introspection, we can gain the gift of clarity and decide what is important to us and what’s not. Which will allow us to have a clearer focus on our goals and how to achieve them.
6. It can help you become a better person
Hardship and seeing others experience hardship along with us can allow us to be more compassionate, more loving, more kind, less righteous, less judgmental, less arrogant, and so on.
7. It can help you gain a sense of humanity.
After all, we are all in this together.
8. It can help you re-evaluate the people and relationships you have in your life.
9. It can help you make changes in your life.
With the extra time and introspection you have, you have new opportunities to grow in the areas of health and wellness, emotional intelligence, relationships, and adjusting how you use your time and to improve it moving forward.
10. It provides you with the gift of learning.
Whether it be new skills, habits, and practices.
11. It provides you with the potential to have more LOVE in your life.
More love, joy, happiness can become a concrete priority instead of an evasive illusion that might happen one day.
12. It can help you make new friends.
Either who help you or whom you help.
13. It can help you to value your time.
And how you use it – the more you value your life and life in general – then valuing time is a natural progression or evolution.
14. It can help you take charge of your life.
In a new way, perhaps for the first time ever, which can be both exciting and scary.
15. It can help you learn to and manage and control your emotions.
See my post about disaster relief.
It can help you learn how to generate your own happiness.
Instead of letting the circumstances dictate how you feel and how happy you are, you can learn how to take control of your own happiness.
17. It could help you get connect or reconnect with God.
Or, whatever you believe in.
18. It could help you grow and develop.
You can grow in so many rich and compelling ways. This is such a deep and amazing topic that you can read more about here.
19. It could help you overcome your struggles.
Whether depression, overwhelm, anxiety, fear or low self-esteem, consider this time one to help you learn to cope with and overcome your challenges. Why now? Research shows challenging time can help you become stronger more than during regular time.
Life is changing. How things will end up remains to be answered. What is clear is that we are up against it together: we are in a group trauma. Not everyone is experiencing a trauma, but a very large percentage of the world is in a trauma right now. It is hard, and it is going to be hard for a while. In the midst of this time of difficulty, there are plenty of things that can be done to help you get through each day.
Be true to your word. Keep your promises. It will help you feel better.
Yes, we are all getting bored these days and may be tempted to talk about others on our phone or Zoom calls. But, there is no integrity in gossip. It only hurts you and others.
Watch comedies. Tell jokes. Make funny videos to share.
How? Through growth and development. After all, most of you have extra time right now.
This is proven to help you regardless of what is happening.
Call people or get on Zoom or some other communication tool. It will make you feel happier and feel more connected during this time of isolation.
Forgiveness is for you not the other person. Forgiveness does not mean forget.
Turn off the news because it is NOT helping you. If anything major happens, someone will call you or you will find out about it on social media.
Don’t force things: it never helps.
Figure out what you can do to and start making plans to do that. Science shows giving back not only benefits the world, but makes you a happier person.
Your living space, your closets, or anything.
You can learn more about this in my post on ways you can start increasing your vulnerability.
Live in the now.
Art and hobbies can bring you entertainment and help you live in the moment.
If you have never done that – it’s a great time to start.
I am a fan of this and do it all the time. I have this covered this subject in one of my posts. It’s effective and quite fun!
This is allowed with social distancing. You can even walk around your living space and get lots of steps. Trust me, I have done that in bad weather when outdoor walking didn’t work.
This is a great way to give yourself something to look forward to – reunions, potluck dinners, parties, road trips – this can really elevate your mood!
If you don’t have any hobbies – now is the perfect time to start one. I am an absolute believer in hobbies and have reasons why everyone should have one.
With a few rare exceptions, most hardships in life offer you potential gifts if you are open to receiving them. How you react to difficulties can make you a better person and make your life much richer. This might not be how you are used to handling or dealing with hardship, but I promise you, as a trauma and coping skills expert, you can not only get through this pandemic, but you can flourish and come out of it stronger than ever!
Of course, if you are or become seriously depressed or considering suicide, please call 911, or your local or the national suicide hotline. Please tell someone. Your life matters. Also, I am not a therapist in any way nor a medical professional, therefore this is not medical advice but simply suggestions from a trauma expert who has a degree in the school of hard knocks.
Need More Help?
How can I help you get through this pandemic with a more powerful and happy life? What do you need? The whole point of my website is to help my beloved readers to live a life that they LOVE. It is about developing the skills, habits, practices, attitudes and beliefs that provide you with a powerful life full of love.
I know how hard life can be. Trust me, I know how painful this is for you right now. It breaks my heart that you and the world is experiencing this right now. I wish it was not so. But it is our new reality and how you deal with it will impact your life moving forward. Please let me know how I can support you during this time of hardship!
Lisa A. Lundy, B.S., DTM
Blog Name: Love.Life.™
Author of The Super Allergy Cookbook – Allergy & Celiac Cookbook (September 2007)
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