In early 2020 our daily lives were dramatically changed. Familiar activities like meeting friends for lunch, going to a movie, getting one’s hair cut came to a sudden stop

Now in September I have been reflecting on how different people have adapted to the impact of Covid 19. Human beings have a survival instinct, and when I questioned family members and friends about their experience during this time, I found it refreshing to hear of the power of the human spirit.

During this time people have dug deep into their creative side that may have been dormant for a time and is now being resurrected. Many are discovering the joy of gardening and say growing herbs enhance new recipes they are finding.

One friend said he and some of his extended family are collecting family recipes going back to their grandparents and great grandparents and putting them together in a cookbook. He said this process has provided a stronger bond and a rich dialogue about family memories.

When boredom set in my husband and I summoned old movies and photographs and perused cherished memories. The next thing I know my husband had established his own YouTube channel showing family movies and pictures, including titles and music. This has been a lot of fun for him as he donned his new “Tech Artiste” hat. This process has also provided a time for us to review significant times in our past that has opened a door of much gratitude.

My creative sister got together with friends and developed a scavenger hunt wherein they identified various items or scenes to come upon on their walks and whoever found the most was the winner. She said this added a whole new dimension to their walks. A lot of walker’s report that in previous walks they might have waved or said ‘Hi’ to their neighbors, and now they often take a few or more minutes to chat, resulting in really getting to know their neighbors, where previously they were just familiar faces.

A predominate theme when asked about what they like about this major change in routine is an appreciation of a slower pace, providing on one’s life and priorities, more time for prayer and meditation. Spiritual growth is often cited as a positive aspect of this unsettling time. Friends describe this time as uneventful and simple and yet say they relish this slower rhythm to life. One friend who lives in a large city said she now enjoys driving slower and is now okay with cars passing her. She relays a new recipe for her mind as “more than nothing!”

Zoom is a word we hear quite often these days. Families zoom during their evening meal, and while different family members reside in all parts of the country, they can gather for a family meal and conversation. Grandparents who haven’t seen their grandchildren in many months zoom and share a piece of cake and candle to celebrate that special birthday. Other grandparents establish a certain day and time to read a story to their grandchildren before bedtime. And some play games with their family members every week. These zoom times establish rituals that help soften what is missing in our everyday lives. In a world riddled with uncertainty, fear and unbridled emotions, a ritual of zooming for the sake of connecting and enjoying one another provides some sense of comfort and normalcy.

As a psychotherapist for many years, I was continually amazed at the power of re-framing negative events in our lives. The negative climate of our life these past months creates a challenge to keep our spirits high.

Thank you to everyone who shared their drawers of wisdom, ingenuity and perseverance.



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