Silver Linings

It’s impossible to avoid the difficult reality we are facing in our world today. It’s the primary focus of all news reports and updates; the theme and thread of social media outlets and peppered into every conversation; it’s top of mind, as it should be. As a school mental health consultant, working on various contracts, including at the state level, it has been all consuming. My job entails supporting students’ and educators’ mental wellness, which has only been compounded by current events. There are many of us who are working extended days to address the physical and emotional needs of students and their families. (I was going to say working “tirelessly” but that wouldn’t be true. We are tired but also highly motivated by our passion to help others). The pressure and urgency to meet the needs of thousands of young people, while also maintaining CDC guidelines and other restrictions offers a unique challenge.
It would seem natural and justified for any of us to feel anxious and stressed during this time of isolation, constraint, and limitation, in addition to other personal difficult situations, I have recently experienced and I know others have as well. However, during all the chaos, emotion and distress, I have been able to reframe and find silver linings. I hoped that perhaps sharing them in this month’s blog would also help you.
Personally, for someone who is on the road FREQUENTLY, it has been a blessing in disguise to be “stuck” at home. I may feel differently in a week or two, but I decided I’m going to enjoy this travel-free time. No suitcase to pack, or arrangements to make for my being away. No extra miles on my car, which means less stops for gas and oil changes.
I also decided I wasn’t going to panic purchase. I didn’t overstock on toilet paper or cans of soup. I’m going to get and use what I need to sustain myself. I also think this is a good opportunity to eat what I actually have in the freezer and pantry. I’ve cooked more in the last week or so than I have in a long time. Feels good to have the chance to do that.
On that note, another silver lining is eating dinner together as a family. This interruption in normal life happenings is allowing for more family connection time. (and we will also need some time alone in our “separate corners”). I’ve heard that sentiment shared by several others, celebrities citing that on their social media and in phone conversations I’ve had with friends.
Which is another silver lining, I have been able to connect with friends more, through FaceTime, text, and phone calls. We’ve sent GIFs and articles, shared our concerns and perspectives and even some laughs. It’s been balm for the soul to engage in those relationships. It helps heal a hurting heart while bolstering the sense of community, we truly are all in this together.
It’s been refreshing to see so many of us unite across the country, through something as simple as streaming live workouts, to learning about acts of kindness, self-sacrifice, ingenuity, proving our commitment to one another. Teachers emailing to check in with students, car parades through neighborhoods to connect with families, food deliveries or pick-ups are occurring. An increased recognition for what educators experience day to day that parents are now undertaking. The acknowledgement of those health care workers who are on the front lines fighting for lives, and health and safety for all of us. We really can pull together as a human race in troubled times. It fills my heart.
My hope is during this uncertain time, not knowing how things will unfold or for how long, that we can fight to find morsels of goodness in all of this. Not to dismiss the seriousness and need to “follow the rules” in hopes to stave this pandemic off sooner than later, but to remember in every hard time, there is always a silver lining. Stay healthy, safe and well.