For the foreseeable future Covid-19 will continue to inflict misery on many levels. Pandemic-related issues include physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual pain. As the illness spreads, so too do the instances of death, unemployment, depression, and despair. And to think, life was already challenging as we rang in 2020.
As bad as it may have become, your life is still beautiful and worth living. Like most people, you may be thinking about what you have lost and what you don’t have. If you are among the unemployed, your loss is inestimable. The more you think about your losses, the worse you will feel, the less you will want to do, and the worse your life will seem. It’s a downward spiral. But it doesn’t need to be!
To be discouraged with what we don’t have is to waste our time and much of what we do have. If you are not employed, don’t waste your time. Perhaps you could share some of your valuable time and talents to volunteer and help others. Reaching out to your favorite parish, school, ministry, or just googling “volunteer opportunities near me” will provide many possibilities. You never know; some people have secured a job through their volunteering.
Quarantine tends to increase our level of self-focused attention. Unfortunately, this is considered a common cause of depression. That said, when we give of ourselves, we reinforce our sense of relatedness to others. By helping a friend, running an errand for a neighbor, or volunteering at a local organization, we gain a sense of gratification and true joy. St. Francis of Assisi’s words ring especially true. “For it is in the giving that we receive.”
It may sound trite, but you also need to stop, and think about your blessings. There are people, places, and things you can pull from memory that will make you smile.
While you are listing the good things in your life, be sure to thank the Creator of all those creations. Truly, it is impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same moment in time. Any moment, hour, or day that you are unhappy, you have chosen to let your focus rest on something other than the gifts you have been given. Let your unhappiness serve as a reason to redirect your focus and energy.
We should take solace in the title of former Beatle, George Harrison’s song, “All things must pass.” I doubt this was on his mind but believe “all things” would certainly include Covid-19 and the year 2020. At least, I hope so.