Covid-19 talk is everywhere. It’s on the news. In our communities and it's at the front of our minds... daily.
A lot of what we see is heartbreaking… but even more of it… is inspiring. And that is what I choose to focus on. The good. The happy and the UPLIFTING.
Life in lock down…
is, shall we say, interesting. People all around the world are literally abandoning the streets and spending almost 24/7 at home with their fellow ‘lock down mates’ – family and friends. There’s no doubt it’s testing us all. Like nothing ever has. It’s not natural. It’s not ‘normal’ in our society and it’s definitely not something we would hope for more of in the future. (As much as we love our fellow lock down mates… we also love a break from them… right?!)
But… the thing about this weird social shift, the thing about this ‘stay at home’ advice…. It’s probably the best thing that ever happened to us. ‘WHAAAAT? Don’t worry, I can hear you screaming at me from over there on your lock down lounge with your lock down ugg boots and lock down cuppa.
Trust me… this time at home WILL be good for us. Here’s why..
It will FINALLY make us appreciate our freedom
You have to admit we have it fairly good here in Australia. We have little to no issues moving around as we please. Everyone can enjoy all corners of our land. We can move, settle and move again. We can take road trips and get a job wherever we like. Life is good. And it’s for everyone to live. Essentially we are free. No threats, no bordering countries, no wars. Nothing! Being ‘safe at home’ (aka in ‘lock down’) ought to make us eternally grateful for what was, and what will be again for us in the not too distant future.
It will help us learn what really is important to us
We all harp on about work/life balance don’t we. Yet day in, day out, we work work work. We fight to earn more and have more. We hustle hard to achieve the ‘Aussie dream’… which looks different to us all. We often leave our families for days or weeks at a time. We sneak in to kiss them goodnight then leave for work before they wake in the morning. We think our absence will make the heart grow fonder. Or that our absence will ‘be worth it’ one day. But, our gut and our heart tell us otherwise.
This time in safety at home will definitely allow us to reconsider and rewrite our lives. It will force us to contemplate... what else is there? What else can I do? How can we make this better for everyone? How can we have our cake and eat it too? (Because sometimes, you can!) It'll also allow us to re-order our priorities. Does money come first or is it time with loved ones that matters more? Is buying a new house really worth it or are we better improving the one we have? Should the kids stay in that school or is there a better one for them? I'm sure you could add your own contemplation here!
When we live with less 'noise' (aka the everyday hustle!) we often make way for new, healthier perspectives and find that our thoughts become less entangled. Covid-19 and the associated isolation will allow the path to true happiness to present itself.
It will help us find joy in the simple things in life
From board games to movie nights to chalk drawings on the back deck. Covid-19 calls for it all. We are literally facing creativity as a means for our very own survival. Singles. Families. All of us. You only have to jump on Facebook or Instagram to see people sharing funny videos or doing challenges to make us all laugh. People are exercising more and getting to know their friends and family more (good and bad!).
We are being still. We are ramping down, defying the cultural trend to continually ramp UP our lives. And… we are aren’t feeling guilty or beating ourselves up for it. For once. We are chatting over more cups of tea. Connecting for knock offs via Zoom, Skype and House Party. We are putting teddies out for the children to see or writing letters to the elderly who are alone and scared.
We are, finally, finding joy in the simple things in life. Just as the generations before us have. This can only mean good things for our mental health.
It will allow us to connect with loved ones like never before
During this period of being safe at home people are finding the most amazing ways to stay in touch with their friends and family. We may be by ourselves but we certainly aren’t alone! People are hosting virtual birthday parties, book club meetings, choir rehearsals and more. Why? Because we are really starting to understand the value of connection in keeping us mentally healthy! How often in ‘pre Covid-19’ days did we find ourselves “too busy” to catch up with friends? How often did we make excuses for not attending party A or family catch up B…? This crisis sure is forcing us to confront the price of disconnection and self-inflicted isolation during ‘peace time’.
It will allow us to step up and live the life we WANT… not the life we think we HAVE to live!
Covid-19 has changed every facet of our day to day lives. All but the essentials have been stripped away from us in efforts to protect life. It’s forced us to reassess the home we live in, the job we do, the people we are friends with, the way we make money, the things that are essential in our lives, the way we shop, the way we care for ourselves and others, the way we plan our routines and the way we live largely through habit and comfort …rather than intention.
All around our beautiful country people now have time to breathe. To step out of the rat race. To think. To ponder. To question and to GIVE UP what doesn’t feel right. We are all starting to assess life from a macro level rather than from a micro, and rather intense, level. We are looking to the future. Many of us are enjoying the extra time at home with the people we love. We are enjoying having time to do the gardening or watch that Netflix show. Times are changing and that in itself is reminding us of our own mortality. LIFE IS SHORT. We are now appreciating this and looking to get rid of what we HATE and bring in more of what we LOVE.
Covid-19 WILL PUSH US FURTHER TOWARDS THE LIFE WE WANT. It will guide us away from the self-inflicted should’s and towards the future focused… WHAT IF?
What if… we can live on less money and spend more time with our family?
What if… we can find the courage to make that huge move?
What if … we can FINALLY find work/life integration?
What if… we can start to enjoy more of the simple things in life?
What if… we can start to appreciate each other more?
So there you have it; Covid-19... 5 Great Things It’ll Teach Us All.
The next time you feel sad, flat, lonely, overwhelmed or angry… revisit this article and RENEW your heart with the positives of Covid-19. This is an horrific disease and a desperately sad time for all those directly impacted by it but to honour those lives lost we must take stock and live the live we deserve. A life which fills our heart and allows us to appreciate what is.
If you need extra support during this time you may like to read some of these other articles I’ve written;
Look after yourself. And don’t forget sessions with She are still running during the Covid-19 crisis. You can make your booking here. It would be my pleasure to support you. x
Until next week…
Yours in better mental health,
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Erica has a passion for Women’s Health. She works with women who want to be heard, supported and empowered! Erica is a survivor of many life experiences. A Mum. A travel lover. A green thumb in training and an eternal optimist!