Wow, there is so much going on in the world right now. My hope in writing today is to bring hope to those who need it by focusing on the silver linings in these globally trying times.
My heart goes out to all those that are suffering. And I acknowledge that we are all experiencing this pandemic on different levels. I read a post recently that has really stuck with me… in short, it said this situation for some is a sprinkle, for some a storm, and for some a devastating hurricane that will forever change lives.
The only things that we have control of are the decisions that we make for ourselves and our families. Using this time as an opportunity to show up in the world as we desire can give us a positive goal-oriented focus and can greatly reduce stress and overwhelm in our lives.
If you are in a place to be able to reflect, look inward, and reassess what is important in your life, I invite you to do so. We can use this opportunity as a tool to build resilience and provide strength and hope for those around us. To do this we must reduce our own stress, take good care of ourselves, and find ways to share positivity and hope with others.
Focus On The Silver Linings
A practice that has raised my spirits and dramatically reduced stress in my own life lately is to focus on the silver linings. When I asked myself “Is there anything good that is happening in the world right now?” I came up with a whole list of silver linings! The more I pay attention, the more I am finding.
I’ve started writing down one silver lining each day that is happening in relation to the current situation and the world slowing down.
Here are some of the silver linings that are helping me through this time of transition:
1) The world has collectively slowed down and our focus has turned to the ones we love
We are stopping to enjoy the sunshine and be more present with our kids and loved ones. The pressure to go somewhere, do something, or to add one more thing has been eliminated, or at the least, minimized. This has helped not only to slow me down but is helping me to be more present and content.
2) Many children are thriving with this change in pace!
Young kids are way better at living in the moment than most adults. They don’t naturally function around time. They function best around rhythms while being allowed to honor what they are feeling. As adults, we can learn so much from them! It is stressful on their little nervous systems to be rushed from one place to the next. They need the time to move at their own pace. Right now there is a freedom for kids to move as they need without as many transitions. And, they literally have their parent’s “captive attention” for the first time in who knows how long! I see both of my kids thriving right now, but especially my 7-year-old son.
3) Focus on what is essential, important, and truly meaningful
We are eliminating things unless they are necessary or joyful. It is a wonderful process of weeding out what is important and what is not. Know that it’s alright to leave behind what isn’t serving you and take with you the things that make you happy and bring meaning to your life. Although it feels intense right now, many of us have a chance to create a life that is focused on meaning and purpose, leaving behind what is not important to us. Incredible silver linings!
- What do you want to take back with you into your new normal as the world shifts into that space?
- What will matter in a month?
- Materially and energetically, what can we do without and not even miss?
- What do you want to put your energy into?
- Where, with whom, and on what do you want to spend your time?
- What enriches your life, brings you more joy, or is teaching you valuable lessons?
4) Time of transition, time of opportunity
This is a time of transition and it is uncertain and intense. Times of transition can also be times of opportunity for many people. As we settle into this new chapter, many people will choose to use this time to reflect, look inward, and reassess what is worth taking into our new lives as the storm passes. This can be a time of awakening or fine-tuning and for many, these trying times will be life-changing in an incredible way.
We are maxing out our planet and its resources and so many of us are rushing through life looking for the next thing to do or the next place to go. When we are given a chance to stop and listen to our bodies, our desires, and this planet that we call home, we are given the opportunity to make different choices.
5) On that note, the planet is getting a chance to breathe and heal!
This is long overdue and super necessary. Us humans have such a huge impact on the health of our planet. The fact that people have slowed down and are staying home is allowing the planet to repair itself over this much-needed break. Some people in India are able to actually see the Himalayan Mountains for the first time in decades. People are able to go out in places in China without masks, but previous to the virus they had to wear them due to poor air quality. One of the best silver linings!
6) Finding simplicity and contentment
We are learning to be creative with what we have since running out to the store isn’t happening. This is allowing us to practice minimalism and save money. We are being extra mindful of how and on what we spend our money, and learning to be content and “make do” at times.
7) Finding gratitude and appreciation for what we have
Including immense gratitude for our health, family, homes, yards (or whatever green space is nearby), and the ability to stay fed and have our basic needs met. Seeing new beauty in our surroundings and looking at our lives in a novel way.
8) A new level of appreciation for the things we miss most right now
Hugs! Seeing friends! Going out! Freedom to come and go, the convenience of running into the store, our kids going to school, etc, etc. When we get to do these things again, they will not be so appreciated!
9) Reminder to live our lives for now
What a reminder this has been that nothing is certain except the present and how important it is to live our lives for now. It is encouraging us to make the best decisions for us and our families for right now, and don’t live in the “what ifs” of the future. This mindset shift can lift a huge pressure, reduce stress, and bring so much clarity!
10) People are allowing themselves to be vulnerable
People are reaching out, connecting, and accepting help in ways they typically don’t. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we are often opening the door to new levels of connection, stronger relationships, and personal growth or clarity. It allows us to open our hearts and see ourselves, our needs, and our desires in a new light.
11) Increase in humanity!
Along those same lines, people are taking care of others in ways that they didn’t before. Although we are physically distanced, for so many people this has served as a reason to come together in global, national, or local communities and help those who need it most.
12) Pet adoptions are up
More animals are finding homes as people are looking for companionship during this time or finally have the time and space in their lives to take care of a furry friend.
13) Completing long-awaited projects
Spring cleaning, yard work, and projects are getting done. All the things that many of us are typically too busy to do are happening. Many of us are still very busy, but many external distractions have been eliminated. With our kids home from school, we are forced to take breaks from work. These projects are getting done at a faster pace than usual for many people and the gardens are looking gorgeous!
14) Siblings are bonding in a big way (for some)
One personal silver lining for our family is that our kids are bonding and appreciating each other more than ever. They are learning to be grateful for our family and the things we have on a different level than before. I see this in our neighborhood and hope this is happening for other families as well. When the only playmate you’ve got is your little sister… you’re gonna make the best of it!
Unfortunately, we don’t know how long we will be in these trying times, and I hope that this post and practice brings you a sense of opportunity and relief. There is so much to this pandemic that we can’t yet understand, but one thing is for sure, we’ve all been given a chance to spend more time on the things that are important to us.
These are only the silver linings I have identified over the last couple of weeks, but I know there are many others. Positive change can happen when we slow down and take time for ourselves and other people. Hopefully, some of these silver linings resonate with you. And I hope you have other positive things that are happening in your life as a result of the world slowing down.
Sending Love And Hope To You All!