Top 10 silver linings I've found amidst the clouds of COVID-19
Vanessa Holmes, Social Worker
- I’m liking this new, slower pace in life. Prior to this pandemic, I was always running around, busying myself with “stuff” to do...for what reason? I’m not sure anymore.
- I’m valuing the engagement with my neighbours. All I saw of my neighbours before was them pulling in and out of their driveways. Now we smile and chat in the streets and simply enjoy our micro-community.
- I’m enjoying my baby more than ever before. I’m loving my newfound time with my baby (22 months old). When he was going to daycare, I had a grand total of just 4 hours a day with him, largely filled with meal times, morning and bedtime routines, etc. Now doing fun things are the priority: blowing up balloons and drawing funny faces on them, sorting laundry and putting it on our heads and giggling uncontrollably, taking long, rambling walks and paying attention to the sounds around us (identifying bird calls, sirens, etc), learning to ride a bike...the list goes on!
- I’m grateful for the healing of previously challenging relationships. The expression we’re hearing a lot lately, “we’re all in this together,” has certainly held true for me during this pandemic. People in my life whom I haven’t always been able to get along with easily have found this time to be rather stress-inducing for them and our abilities to be there for one another despite our differences has been an amazing experience which I am so very happy about.
- I’m inspired by my clients’ resiliency. I work with one of the most challenging and highly-stigmatized group of individuals with mental health issues and I learn from them every day and these days, more than ever. They are able to put these stressful times into perspective and rise above the challenges we are all facing...sometimes better than those without their challenges. Perhaps this is because they’ve faced worse atrocities in their lives or maybe...just maybe...it’s about us (chronically) underestimating their ability to cope.
- I’m heartened by the kindness and generosity of others. From my friend dressing up as Chewbacca (or “Covidbacca”) and walking by the homes of birthday children to those running errands or making food for those in isolation, little miracles are happening all around us these days!
- I’m motivated every day by my colleagues at work. We are all getting up every morning and leaving our families to come to work where we are at risk of acquiring this illness. Despite that, the sense of cohesion amongst us has never been better, our focus and commitment to our clients never stronger and our sense of humour never...stranger! I owe it to all my colleagues for making work a better place despite these uncertain times.
- I’m more committed than ever to live with less. I’ve been trying to buy in less to consumerism for some time now by conserving, making homemade items, spending less and recycling more, and what better time to jump into this lifestyle with both feet than now: with stores closed and long line-ups to get into those that are open, there’s just not the same motivation to spend that there was before.
- I’m appreciating “me time”. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of work on myself and have come to a point of unconditional self-acceptance (USA). It doesn’t mean that I think I’m the best, it just means that I can give myself feedback without being critical, that I can fail without being a failure and that I can be perfectly imperfect. As a result, I can enjoy my own company, even if I’d like to spend time with friends and family too.
- I’m loving the deepened connection to friends and family. I’ve always been close to those in my life but I find our conversations to be more meaningful nowadays, talking about things that really matter to us during these trying times. I feel more connected to them than I ever did and I feel so grateful for that.