Unfortunately. . . .
Need I say more?
That's 2020 in a wrap.
Truthfully, so many people are recognizing the impact of social isolation on their mental, emotional and physical health. In what ways have you taken advantage of more time at home? A slower pace of life? Fewer opportunities to go out and conduct your life as normal? How are you discovering your own resilience in the face of challenging times?
Have you reevaluated your typical coping strategies, or are some of them no longer working as they used to in our pre-pandemic times?
In the Chineese symbol for crisis, I was told were the characters for danger and opportunity. Covid-19 has certainly brought both danger and opportunities to many of us.
In my practice, I have come to appreciate tele-health. Before the pandemic, I didn't care for it much. Now, I find the convenience of working from home can be very effective and sometimes more effective than in the office. Clients are more comfortable in their own homes and appreciate not driving to the office. The commute times for us both are zero. I'm frequently wearing my slippers while working at my computer and tho I always dressed comfortably for work and maintain a commitment to my casual appearance, I was not wearing slippers to the office.
Families are negotiating how they share space and manage time. Everyone being home all the time requires more communication. People need privacy and space as well as times of closeness and connection. Learning how best to balance this is a challenge for most families. I notice that clients are needing to learn to be more intentional with the people in their lives, in order for everyone to accomplish their goals.
Of course, we also all know the distractions and challenges of working from home, children not in school, more frequent interruptions, technology challenges and everything at home getting messier quicker.
The rise in tele-health provides an opportunity for people who have previously thought about seeking therapy or life-coaching to address concerns they needed to attend to and never got around to doing. Some people's symptoms have worsened under the stress that we all are experiencing. If you are not receiving services, consider this time to be the opportunity side of the "crisis."
How does the pandemic make you evaluate what's important to you? Are there loved ones in your life who live alone, whose isolation has increased? How are you working to stay connected?
Many of us were hopeful this pandemic would last a few months, but all pandemics in history tend towards 2-3 years. Although our scientists are busy at work on a vaccine, we vary well maybe in this for the long haul. Deaths associated with poverty, poor economy, mental health challenges associated with our pandemic will not be included in our "death toll" count for the pandemic, and unfortunately are equally lethal realities of living through a pandemic.
Personal Lessons and Reevaluations from the Pandemic
I really miss seeing my extended family who can't travel due to Covid-19. I particularly miss the interaction of my children with their grandparents. I recognize their grandparents don't have many years remaining to their lives, and this time not shared together brings grief.
I learned that I used to travel a lot, and my home was a launching pad and landing zone between trips, and now I have learned to live inside my home. I sit down in places in my home that used to just be for others or walking past or looking at. Changing my chair, changes my location and sometimes it's just enough to have a small change of scenery, I don't always need a far away destination.
I make ceramics and have learned to slow down, pay closer attention to details and in so doing I have increased my abilities.
I learned that I don't want piano lessons anymore, and if I return to playing, I want to play songs I enjoy-- the beginner songs that I have played all three years of off and on lessons are boring and difficult to force myself through. Pre pandemic, I watched my son and a friend teach themselves a song on the piano from YouTube videos. Although I haven't tried it yet, I realized I need to stop playing for now, and when I return to it, return with a technology integrated approach and find a way to infuse more joy into it for me.
I have done some personal growth work on myself and worked on strengthening the relations with those close to me in my life.
I adopted and trained a dog (still training in progress, but doing great so far)
I launched a second child
I have found that Zoom can connect me to my loved ones, and is not a substitute for a meaningful in person experience, but is a good enough connector.
Next up on my list is some more landscaping and gardening in my yard before winter.
What have you learned? What opportunities have you taken? What is still on your list? What re-evaluations have you undertaken during this Pandemic?