Pandemic vs joy

The current wave of lockdown

I’ve been pondering the current pandemic.  We are in our 8-9th week of lockdown in Sydney and its not looking like ending any time soon.

I see it impacting our relationships.  It’s impacting how we relate to each other in a digital space devoid of physical interaction and it’s impacting how we see ourselves and our relationship with self.

The pandemic itself isn’t necessarily the problem it’s how we handle that problem, or any problem for that matter, and the mindset we choice to have… that the pandemic is simply shining a light on our internal state.

State of the world

I had a walk with a ‘designated friend’ 7 days ago and we were ruminating about how bad things were getting all over the world, for everyone.  If the end of days had a beginning I could there be a better narrative than; Global pandemic, followed by floods in Germany and Briton, Hurricanes of ‘un survivable destruction in the US Gulf coast’ with the worst fires to date in Greece and California, landslides in India to name the highlights of the last few days.

The daily news reports are spoon feeding us one disaster story after another.  Covid numbers increasing, no vaccines available, boarders shut, death from the pandemic still increasing, separation from loved ones, careers and business lost… and depending on where you are in the world that might also mean your home to everything you own or love.

Now I don’t mean to bring you down, I’m just drawing attention to what I have been consuming on the news, is that healthy for me?  How does it impact or change my attitude?  And there’s the catch…

I believe this is the new normal we find ourselves in. The virus isn’t going to go away any time soon.  And just because a few of us are isolating, our overall impact on climate change hasn’t stopped either. There is evidence of that.

Let’s face it, I think it’s inevitable we will all catch the virus at some stage, I can’t see how its possible to contain it.  So it makes sense to me at least, to be vaccinated and build up some immunity to it.  But that’s just my opinion.

What actually brings you joy?

Which brings me to the point of this.  I’ve been seeing holiday photos of friends on Social media of what life used to be like before the pandemic hit, and close we all stood to each other, remembering a time before any fear of germs could be spread just from a friendly hug… and how much I took that for granted.

When things were great – I tended to focus on things that weren’t. I focused on what I didn’t have, what I could have improved upon… I compared myself and discounted my achievements.  And what I’m finding amongst all the global disasters the opposite is happening for me.  As if to counter the enormity of what is out of my control – I can choose to focus on the positive In my life, to be grateful for the insignificant pleasures, less I lose them or they are taken away to.

Since the pandemic has hit and my access to things I used to take for granted diminishes I’ve noticed an equal rise in my appreciation, a rise in my awe and gratitude for the checkout staff, the barristers serving me coffee, the neighbours in my building looking out for each other with random texts and dropping off of food, random masked strangers who now acknowledge each other with a nod as we pass in the street.

Perhaps the secret to happiness isn’t the abundant of choice that I had before the pandemic hit, but the lack of it. Limiting my movements has been impactful and I’m not condoning it for anyone, but to manage any anguish or frustration about it, I’ve found that lowering my expectation about it, has helped.  If you can do that you will automatically increase your happiness. Wanting for something which is out of your control is only going to create stress and internal conflict.  If you can’t get toilet paper, getting angry about it, isn’t going to change the fact. Right?  So being able to manage your own expectations, and bring a level of acceptance will help.

If you want to know more about this or any mindset improvement, send me a message and let’s chat more about this – I’d love to hear from you.