You Can Actually Enjoy the Unique Benefits of Temporarily Restricted Living
We're all too painfully aware of the global impact of the Coronavirus.
Our hearts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected.
Tracking the impact of the virus physically, physiologically, socially, and financially, has afforded a comprehensive view of the many ways in which the pandemic permeates our daily lives; it requires us to recreate a new (may it be temporary) "normal" way of living.
Thankfully, as time has gone by, we have seen improvements in testing, treatment, early identification, and a wide variety of preventative measures designed to help protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.
But amidst the serious consequences, is a silver lining.
Sometimes just recognizing and acknowledging the light shining through the clouds can lighten individual and collective moods.
As we continue to battle the virus medically, prevent its spread socially, and attempt to recover financially, consider some of the positive ways the pandemic pause has impacted our lives:
1. Community Cooperation. If you didn’t know your neighbors before the pandemic, you probably do now. Whether you have been borrowing supplies or sharing advice, communities are working together to promote resilience and recovery. It's unfortunate that it sometimes takes tragedy to prompt kindness and compassion, but remember that our socially distanced new community relationships will outlive the virus.
2. A Family Affair. For the first time in their careers, breadwinners lucky enough to have the opportunity to work remotely are able to spend more time with their families. Within dual income households, even amidst the chaos of dueling Zoom calls with children in remote classrooms and parents in remote boardrooms, there is the comfort of having everyone under the same roof. Even workers who have (again, hopefully temporarily) lost their jobs can focus on a bit of positivity as well, because they are able to provide childcare and spend quality time with loved ones as they regroup and refocus career plans.
3. Socially Distanced Friends With Benefits. Through Zoom and other virtual platforms, both introverts and extraverts can revitalize existing friendships, while making new ones. This, all from the comfort of home. People who feel socially awkward at large events and not fond of the nightlife scene to begin with now have an opportunity to interact with others on an even more level playing field, and do so with less anxiety, creating a more relaxed social environment.
4. The Home Court Advantage. Working at home in comfortable clothes (at least from the waist down if you spend your day on Zoom calls) with easy access to a hopefully fully-stocked kitchen, would have sounded like a dream job arrangement pre-pandemic. Post-pandemic, it has become a reality for many teleworkers. We should relish this perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to mix business and pleasure, working expeditiously but comfortably, able to focus on both family and finances during the workday.
5. Virtual Enhancement. Virtual platforms have greatly enhanced educational opportunities. Special interest seminars, conferences, meetups, and all types of self-improvement events are being offered remotely, usually for free. So whether you are learning French or how to give a French manicure, use your extra time to take advantage of the seemingly endless array of unique opportunities for self-enhancement.
6. Professional Development. Virtual networking events offer the opportunity to mingle with movers and shakers globally that we would never otherwise have a chance to meet. With "chat box" and other features allowing participants to exchange information quickly and efficiently, business development has never been easier, and might never be again.
7. Then There Is The Gift of Time. One universal pandemic-related benefit is the time saved as a result of COVID-19 related restrictions. Families are using the time normally spent commuting to work, driving kids to school, and running errands --- to instead --- celebrate precious moments they would otherwise never have had the opportunity to enjoy. Watching your children grow is a much richer experience when you are actually able to spend quality time with them as they do.
Weathering Uncertainty By Forecasting Positivity
While we collectively hope for a quick cure and a return to normal life, appreciating the various facets of the pandemic silver lining is one way to optimistically anticipate a bright future, while enjoying the benefits of the present.
This article was first published in Psychology Today.
Wendy L. Patrick, JD, MDiv, PhD, is an award-winning career trial attorney and media commentator. She is host of "Live with Dr. Wendy" on KCBQ, and a daily guest on other media outlets, delivering a lively mix of flash, substance, and style. Her over 4,500 media appearances include major news outlets including CNN, Fox News Channel, HLN, FOX Business Network, and weekly appearances on Newsmax. She is author of Red Flags (St. Martin´s Press), and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Reading People (Random House, revision). On a personal note, Dr. Patrick holds a purple belt in Shorin-Ryu karate, is a concert violinist with the La Jolla Symphony, and plays the electric violin professionally with a rock band. Read Dr. Wendy L. Patrick's Reports — More Here.
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