Finding joy in the time of Covid-19
Today marks 115 days into the Lockdown in South Africa and 8 months since news of the first corona virus case in Wuhan China. World wide the pandemic has claimed approximately 606000 lives across 188 countries
In South Africa restrictions have been imposed and then lifted and then imposed again. News sites are filled with horrific accounts of trauma filled hospital and girls being raped while returning home to fetch their masks. Somehow it feels as if the world has broken and the midst of death, isolation, unemployment, gender based violence, hunger and mental illness ... it becomes almost impossible to envision it fixed.
This is, however, not the first (nor will it be the last) global challenge we will face as a species. As a result of this, part of our legacy will be how we manage our common humanity during this crisis. Faced with this daunting responsability, I sometimes want to withdraw and hide from the world and its problems. This can be useful, for a time of recouperation and reflection, but the call remains to engage as fully as possible.
This requires us to make a conceals decision towards hope (hosing hope is not a decision to ignore the reality of the world. Instead it is about challenging air perceptions so that we are able to respond more effectively.
How to choose hope in a time of crisis
① Take life one day at a time.
During a crisis the rules of life are constantly changing. Trying to predict and control in uncertainty is an almost impossible task. Insted focus on what you can control in the here and now.
② Choose to be the best You, you can be.
Working on being the best possible you should not be an exercise in comparison. Rather, it is about doing the best you can with what you have
③ Choose your access to media carefully.
Media sources abatiable online can provided sensationalised news and fake news, this can increase feelings of hopelessness and create unnecessary despair. It is our responsibility to choose. what information you let into your life.
④ Choose the people you interact with care. with social distancing in place, one can often crave human connection.
It is, however, important to keep connected to relationships that help you and not relationships that harm you. Try and spend your time with people who are taking a pro active place in solution building
⑤ Practice an attitude of gratitude.
Practicing gratitude provides an opportunity to focus on what we have and not on what we are lacking in our life. Gratitude is a practice in hope, that the hope of what we have and what we may be able to become.
⑥ Choose to take care of your body and mind.
Times of crisis can often result in us neglecting both our physical and mental health. However, out thoughts, behaviours, biology and emotions are linked. Thus, taking care of one helps take care of the other.
⑦ Practice laughter and smiling.
Research shows that including humour in our live increases a positive mood and perspective by relieving stress.
⑧ Help others where possible.
In times of crisis there is often a feeling of isolation in our suffering, when that is the very thing that connects us to each other. By connecting our humanity with the humanity in another we start to play a role in creating a world we can bear to live In