We are living in surreal times. A few months ago, a scenario in which most of the world has been advised to stay home would be pretty unimaginable. As a human race, we’re feeling a wide variety of emotions ranging from anger, stress, disbelief, and helplessness. While locked up in our homes seemingly safe from the grasps of the Coronavirus, we wonder when we’ll go to work next, whether we’ll get to see our friends in far-out places and how soon we’ll be able to take a vacation. Needless to say, there is no right or wrong way to respond to the emotions you’re feeling right now; mankind as a whole is facing an unprecedented crisis.
That being said, we have to face whatever life dishes in front of us, and in that regard, the coronavirus pandemic is no exception. Covid-19 has gotten in the way of life as we know it and no amount of angst we feel can change that fact. So, like any other unfortunate thing to take place in our life, we must accept it as a part and parcel of life for now. We know, it’s easier said than done.
But guess what, for this brief moment in time, all our sorrows are common and we’re in this together as a species.
Why is acceptance crucial?
Ancient Buddhist texts also emphasize the importance of acceptance in the pursuit of happiness. One of the noble truths as per the teachings of Buddha is that ‘a desire or craving for something that isn’t as it is now is the root cause of unhappiness and dissatisfaction.’ In other words, accepting the current reality as it is, will alleviate our suffering and help us find inner peace.
Accepting a situation is the first step towards reconciliation with a person or life situation. It is an important part of therapy that medical practitioners use to remove mental roadblocks and leave their emotional baggage behind. Channeling our emotions in a manner that helps us express ourselves goes a long way in building the strength of character that can overcome all challenges. More than anything, accepting a situation like Covid and the resulting lockdown will keep us from compounding negativity and making matters worse.
In this blog we will discuss some tips that will help you take constructive steps towards accepting the Covid disruption in your life and move forward:
1. Unconditional acceptance
Unconditional or radical acceptance is the process of acknowledging yourself and the external environment in its entirety, without censure or judgment. Covid-19 is our reality today and we have to make peace with it, without lamenting on the unfairness of it all. Many people feel that unconditional acceptance is akin to passive resignation which is the equivalent of giving up. However, that’s not the case. Especially during this pandemic, we need to be well-informed about the transmission of the disease and accept that the current restrictions with respect to movement serve our larger collective interest. Accepting this truth will help you overcome the uncertainty of the situation and appreciate what’s being done to beat the virus.
Mindfulness involves being aware of yourself in the present. Take stock of your current mindset and be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Identify any pattern of emotions as they occur and observe your surroundings actively. Be intentional of your actions; act more than you react. Mindfulness can help you stay grounded in the present without getting carried away from the weight of your emotions. It can be any task that you take responsibility for on a daily basis, whether it’s an early morning cup of tea or a meditation routine that you stick to. This practice can help you claim charge of your life right now, one small step at a time. You can practice a lot of mindfulness exercises on Wysa too!
3. Maintaining a Journal
When it comes to our emotions it’s hard to measure progress. We may feel better today than we did yesterday, but this progress is nothing more than a memory. What’s more is that in the long run, we may not remember the reason behind why we feel how we feel. This is why writing a diary or journal documenting our internal state of mind may be useful. It can help you gain precious clarity of thought while you chronicle your thought process. While this may seem like a tedious activity, the truth is that when we re-read the details of our inner battles, we gain a better understanding of ourselves. To be fair, this is a habit that develops over time and one that keeps the stress in control. You may feel like writing down just a sentence or two at the start, while as time progresses, you may feel more familiar with the method to elaborate more in detail. You can start developing this habit by talking to Wysa and using the ‘journal’ feature on the app.
No matter how difficult life seems right now, we must find things that we are happy and grateful for. Anything big or small, important or inconsequential can give us a reason to break into a smile. Acknowledge those things in your life. It may be simple things like the physical company of family or virtual daily chats with friends. Reflecting on these fleeting moments of happiness will help find the will and inner resolve to stay positive. The current crisis has brought to light the selfless contributions of thousands of people who are putting themselves at risk to save more lives. Now, more than ever, we should be grateful for people, both near and far, who are doing the best we can to keep us safe. Practice gratitude with Wysa!