It is difficult to fully imagine a life post coronavirus, as we are still very much living with the illness and all of the limitations that entails. However, this is a good time to contemplate the impact of what we have all been through and are still going through and how we can manage it. A favourite phrase to emerge during this time has been ‘we are not all in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm’. This phrase reminds us that we have companions through this disaster, we have people who can empathise and support us but we are still dealing with our own set of circumstances and we need to do what we can to acknowledge the great work we have done to simply survive some days and possibly even thrive on other days. If you have been thriving more than usual during this period that is great news but we still need to be vigilant about what the return to ‘normal’ is going to bring and how that shift can bring about a whole new set of stresses and traumas of their own.
There is often a temptation to jump up from a setback, dust ourselves off, resume the stiff upper lip that is expected of us and get back to business. Perhaps now is the time to buck that trend and actually take a moment in the timeline of life to pause, assess the damage and decide on the best strategy to carefully mend it over time. Some of us will have lost loved ones during this time and have possibly been denied the normal process of a funeral and the mourning process that comes with that. Some of us will have been living in strained circumstances that were thrust upon us with no warning and little choice. Some of us will have lost jobs, been deprived of seeing friends and family or been struggling with the demands of working ‘as normal’, running a household and acting as if everything is under control. We are surviving a global health pandemic, remember that when you find yourself condemning yourself for not learning a new language in lockdown or when you find yourself ‘pushing through’ when all you want to do is press the reset button. Press the button, take a breath and do something to rebuild your boat because this has been a particularly rough storm.