Life during COVID-19
The world, today, is both a familiar and foreign place.
We are together, but apart. We are united, yet divided. We remain hopeful, and terrified.
We find getting through the tasks of daily living are more complicated by masks, distancing and disinfectants. Stores are curbside, closed or have curtailed hours. We have more time, but everything takes more time. We are tired from constantly thinking, calculating and making mental adjustments.
Emotions are cyclical. People’s temperaments are tried. Patience grows thin. Leadership is polarized. Resources are stretched. Grief seeps in over the realization that life will not “go back to normal” anytime soon.
At 60 days into “sheltering at home” we are “Zoomed” out, zoned out and burned out. The sprint to return to normal has become a marathon. Spirits are restless and we want to break out of our homes and do things, be together, engage in summer rituals, celebrate graduations, proms, weddings and, yes, even attend funerals. The pang of disappointment in the absence of our group rites of passage to celebrate, mourn and unite, is a stark reminder of the necessity of ‘togetherness’ in our lives.
We all need to find a way to persevere in this extraordinary time. This health crisis teaches us how vulnerable we are, how dependent we are on one another and how much we need to care enough about one another to join together in this fight and recovery. ‘United we stand’ is a motto we can rely on to rebuild what is lost during COVID-19. Unity, cooperation and responsible actions can guide us through the darkest journeys.
What I know for sure is that any collective change begins with individual change. At a time when we are all feeling so helpless, we can look within ourselves as to how we are either contributing to the problem, or the solution. It can be as simple as what we post on social media, to the conversations and rhetoric we are speaking, or the direct actions we take in our families and communities.
I also know, for sure, that each of us will be changed, forever, by this time of struggle. Will we allow these events to transform us into something for the better or will we be a victim of our circumstances and bitterly blame these forces we pin our problems on? This is a personal decision we each must make for ourselves based on our values, our spirituality, and our conscience. This is not a time to be reactive, but a time to make deliberate and intentional choices.
We are participants in shaping how this all turns out. Each of us is responsible for what we bring to the table, how we show up, and the impact we have on those around us. We must begin to set the vision of what is on the other side of all of this. The task is hard when we are staring down a million unanswered questions, but we must think above the chaos. Knowing, that, even the eye of a tornado has a quiet, still, place within.
For today, go slow, be thoughtful, choose wisely and find a way to make positive memories in the midst of this pandemic. This storm will pass and we will carry on. Make the choice today that you will be better on the other side of COVID-19.
CADC, NBCCHT, ACH, CCT
Dr. Denise Casey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a Certification in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling and a National Board Certification in Clinical Hypnosis. She is also Certified in Cognitive Therapy and has studied addictions and hypnosis at advanced levels.
Her general experience in working with young adults to seniors has equipped her to deal with a wide variety of issues. Dr. Casey is highly skilled, deeply compassionate, and presents a very casual and caring atmosphere.
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