A Positive Pandemic Response

A Positive Pandemic Response

There is an onslaught of unnerving news about the pandemic and the related economic uncertainties right now. All of us are experiencing anxiety for the present, for the future, for ourselves, and for our loved ones. What does this mean for our emotional health and how can we harness this energy to make the best of this time?

What is important to remember is that anxiety is a form of energy. It is energy that is being directed towards our base human instinct to become aware of our situation because we feel unsafe. Anxiety can be a terrible thing to deal with, but it can also be put to good use. Of course, this takes a conscious effort to accomplish but it is possible with the right mindset and a plan.

In some ways, as of the date of this blog post, we have thrived during the pandemic. Here is a list of reasons why that is taking place.

  • We were prepared for an emergency. I wanted our family to survive a shock, whatever that shock might be, so we placed a framework for sheltering in place several years ago.
  • I made a conscious decision to find a productive way to manage time now that commuting is off the board. What that looked like morphed into a very positive experience that I did not anticipate mentally and physically.
  • I poured energy into our huge backlog of projects since we were homebound on the weekends. That has given me a deep appreciation for what I currently possess.
  • We as a family worked on our interrelationships. We have conversations now amongst all of us that were drowned out by hectic schedules.

You can see that we have been making good use of our time, but what really surprised me was the compounding effect it had on our lives. The fog and weight of having a backlog of projects to do has been mostly lifted. We are now working on things that add enjoyment to our home instead of worrying about the underlying repairs that were necessary. Our children have thrived and the difficulties they were having in school have been corrected. I am now running up to five kilometers during a workout and my blood pressure numbers have improved considerably. My wife is baking and dabbling in other fields she never had the time to do previously and feels much less stressed.

In some ways I think people will look back at this time as a period of great personal awakening and find that life is much more enjoyable when you have time to live it. Honestly, I do look forward to dining out again, visiting the gym, seeing the animals at the zoo, riding roller coasters at amusement parks, and even seeing my coworkers again. I am glad that I could focus on myself and my family and use this energy in a good way during this time. The alternative is a path nobody wants to walk and I am glad we orientated the way that we chose.

Japanese Macaque at Cincinnati Zoo
Japanese Macaque at Cincinnati Zoo