I came across this passage on Facebook which perfectly captures how I feel about COVID-19. Although we are in stressful and uncertain times, I believe there are many hidden blessings. In my view, the most important thing you can do to help the world, starting on a personal level, is develop self-compassion. Times like these tend to bring out the harsh inner critic as we blame ourselves for things that are out of our control. Worry is a natural default emotion as the economy struggles under intense pressure, for many people bringing out their deepest fears and insecurities about survival. Harshness and judgement towards the self results in harshness and judgement towards others. This contributes to a collective loss of kindness that can have far more disastrous impacts than the virus itself.
It is more important now than ever before to create time in your schedule for self-care. It positively affects your energy and vitality all throughout the day and by extension improves the quality of your interactions with others. During this precious time, be kind towards yourself, and renew your sense of joy by trying something at home you've not had time for in months or even years that once was a great passion. Pleasure reading is my favourite activity in the world. Until I was in my mid-twenties, I never owned a book that I did not read and now I have several books untouched in my library! It's been a delight discovering their wisdom.
I want to do my part in healing this collective trauma that we are facing. So, if you are a health care provider on the frontlines, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 ( or are a care-taker of someone diagnosed), or have lost your job or business due to the economic impact of forced shutdowns, please feel free to reach out to me for psychotherapy sessions. I am taking on a limited amount of clients who are each eligible for up to 5 free sessions over the next 4 months.
To learn more, CAMH has some good information about the mental health effects of COVID-19 and how to cope with them. Stay safe and be well.