Life goes on: how to strengthen self-esteem during a pandemic
Stop at home, days and days. Deprived of the usual frenetic rhythms that marked our days until a few weeks ago, we have to hit the pause button from all our commitments.
Putting our lives in stanby and then taking them back when everything is over, as if it were just a bad dream to leave quickly behind, could be tempting … But it is not … and therefore we have to deal with reality; our lives are not on break! Indeed, life is more intense than in the quarantine.
Believing that our life is paused leads us to two terrible mistakes: living this painful experience without learning anything and thinking that when we get out we will pick up everything from the same point where we stopped.
Life goes on, whether we like it or not
Suffering in itself teaches nothing. But the way we deal with this suffering can strengthen us. We cannot avoid what is happening. But we can make sure that everything that is happening is not in vain.
Trying to distract the mind with banalities, not to think too much about the worries that grow more and more in our heads, is legitimate. For a while’. But it shouldn’t be our master strategy. Let’s stop hunting witches, wondering who is to blame or why all this happened. Now, more than ever, we need to reflect. Making conjectures, looking for the culprit on duty denies us in advance the possibility of a transforming change.
And when will it all end?
“In the past two hundred years or more, the world has gone faster and faster. But all of this has been stopped. We live in a unique moment of calm. We are experiencing a historic moment of slowdown, as if gigantic brakes are stopping the wheels of society, “says philosopher Hartmut Rosa.
That sudden braking left us stunned. Because the weight of the unexpected has added to the disaster. But it can serve us. Not to pause our life, but to put it back on track.
The world we return to will never be the same again. The trauma was too great. Many people will not be the same. They lost their loved ones without even having the opportunity to say goodbye. Without being able to mourn his death in the family. Other people have lost their economic livelihood and with it stability and life plans.
Sooner or later all this will end, and later, perhaps and if we have used our time well, we will find ourselves thinking that it was a necessary pause to recover a more conscious contact with ourselves and what we had become.
We are now a society that has been left naked in the face of its vulnerability. And this leaves its mark. We must bear this in mind when the doors finally open and we will fill the streets again. And the time to prepare is now. So we have to make sure we don’t go on break. Don’t give in to apathy that deactivates our thinking. Don’t surrender to the depression that sinks us, to the anhedonia that disconnects us.
Instead, we must continue fighting. For whom we love. For the world we want. With the weapons we have. Because when we return to normal, we will have to be ready to question ourselves
Psychology teaches us that when we cannot intervene on external events we can intervene on internal feelings , trying to modify our point of view on events. It is now recognized that, in the end, those who manage to attribute meaning and meaning to what they are experiencing and especially those who manage to project themselves into a future scenario suffer less and are more likely to overcome difficult times.
In difficult moments, therefore, whoever tries to build despite everything, scenarios and future projects wins and manages to make even the worst experiences constructive.
Let’s try to understand if this stop can still have a meaning within our life path: if for example it prevents us from carrying out a project, for which perhaps we realize we are not yet ready; if it forces us to postpone decisions that we didn’t want to make anyway; if it allows us to reflect more on something important to do; if it allows us to better prepare for another life exam. In short, let’s try to bring out the positive aspect.
We try to understand fear even better, taking advantage of the protective function it performs and which pushes us to avoid risky behavior for us and for others. If it is too strong and prevents you from carrying out any activity, perhaps it is not only a current fear but it is possible that the current risks have “allied” with other personal fears and insecurities or better, that the personal insecurities and fears that we carry with us amplify the perception of risks, contagions, consequences … even beyond the real data.
And in this case, it may be useful to request the support of a professional, also through the technological channels available to us today. Many psychotherapists have activated useful services for the population, carrying out various support activities thanks to video calls or social channels.
Let’s allow ourselves moments of despair, but then let them become the starting point to enhance other aspects of relationships, for example that of emotional communication: we learn to express our deepest feelings, we tell the other what we miss, we value, expressing it, to beauty of the small daily gestures that we miss.
To conclude …. Let us ask ourselves what we can learn from this, I believe we all have a lot to think about and commit to.