The strict corona measures are shaking our daily lives. We have woken up in a new world, and that is accompanied by feelings of doubt and uncertainty.
Here are some tips about how we can deal with this constructively by setting new goals in life.
We are inside the eye of the storm. That’s how it feels. How long and how violent the storm is is food for virologists and economists. But it is clear that it is storming. The coronavirus is working hard to brush away many of our certainties.
The first priority is to get through the storm in one piece. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, scientists and administrators are the captains we are looking at to get us through the storm unscathed.
Tackling this crisis to reevaluate values and goals in life is anything but a floating process.
At the same time, the attack on our securities is confusing and frightening. More isolated than ever, doubt strikes: Will this be all right? In terms of health, in terms of our jobs and companies, with full concern for our neighbors, the elderly and children. Goals that were extremely important yesterday have faded into the background today and are making way for many new questions.
Crisis as an opportunity
We know this phenomenon from psychology. The crisis as an opportunity. The moment when uncertainty and despair and the disappearance of goals that were important first make us think about how we will approach this life differently. So far this may sound a bit floaty and overly pleasant, in the sense of: “Well, there is a pleasant crisis and now we are going to do everything differently”. However, tackling such a crisis to reevaluate values and goals in life is anything but a floating process. On the contrary, the sharpness of the thinking process is crucial in order to use a crisis as an opportunity. Some concrete tips from psychological research:
- A crisis is a good time to reevaluate life goals, NOT to make acute and hasty decisions. The business of selling the house is (hopefully) not immediately an issue. However, becoming more healthier surely should be a top priority.
- Take this chance to become healthier. Your immune system, also called natural resistance or immune system, is the set of mechanisms by which your body defends itself against outside invaders. That immune system is always on edge because we are constantly attacked by invading micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites.
- The cells that play a central role in this are the immune cells. They can, for example, produce antibodies against unwanted invaders. The functioning of the immune system is not measurable. We can determine when it sputters: we say that the vulnerability increases.
- Good health is the best way to keep your immune system in good shape. You cannot do that with pills or supplements. For example, you cannot replace a daily serving of vegetables or fruit with vitamin supplements. The food contains much more than such pills, for example, fibers that are important for the intestinal flora.
- Thought should be informed by the feelings. How does it feel to step out of the rat race for a while? What is it like to be at home for a while, to pay more attention to the children, the partner, the garden? Sensible thinking is informed by emotional life. It can be useful to give space to this emotional life, regardless of all the violence of the continuous flow of information. Of course, you need to be well informed about the current state of affairs. But it can also be done without an hour.
- Dare to experiment with your activities and interests. Of course not with social activities but with the interests, hobbies, indoors or outdoors, etc. Here it can be especially interesting to engage in activities that make sense for you or your fellow man. Try to get a feel for what you want to learn and / or mean in this life through your interests and your values.
- If possible, try to involve a conversation partner in this process. It helps if you have to articulate what you experience, learn and think. Converting your thought and feeling process into words ensures a sharper focus and makes the thinking less non-committal.
- Write down what you discover during this process. If there is soon a return to business-as-usual and all hectic takes over, new ideas can quickly be snowed under. Make sure you think about the specific implementation of your newly acquired insights. If you make new discoveries with yourself you want to give them a serious chance. How often do we actually take the time to stand still and reflect? Now that we are forced to do that, we can do this process thoroughly and seriously.
We are going to have to make the best of it in the coming period. In this period where we need to be very careful and sensible with all the risks that come our way, a focus on new learning experiences and gaining insights can give a positive focus. This is not easy but very educational. As they say: “never waste a good crisis”.
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