As I take a walk to the park I feel the global sadness in the air. With every step I start to become aware of how my world has narrowed dramatically. Suddenly, being outside feels like freedom and I feel panicked at the thought that it will be taken away from me. I am mindful of how close, or not, I am to the few people I come across and find myself consciously moving out of the way, feeling respectful in the knowledge that I am doing my bit to not only care for my life, but also theirs.
We are learning that if we are to live through this, we have to rely on each other to be conscious and be prepared to make the challenging sacrifices being asked of us all. I find myself feeling judgemental of those that don’t seem to understand, that for many to live, we are being asked to shrink our lives and look beyond ourselves.
For now, the park has become my small resting place for hope in a roaring sea of emotions and as I feel the sun on my face, I start to notice things that I have taken for granted for most of my life and I remember that there are certain life’s lessons that can only be learnt in the struggle.
For a short while, I feel the genuine pleasure of the quiet. I notice the grass beneath my feet and feel grateful to see the first flush of spring.
I find a moment of calm amidst the psychological unrest of not knowing what will happen to any of us tomorrow. This lack of control, along with the knowledge that we have not yet hit the eye of the storm, feeling deeply uncomfortable.
What I do know is that this will pass, it always does. There will come a time that this crisis will be history and we will sit with our families and friends and talk about the world that existed before and the one that came after. No matter how we do or do not cope, how impacted we are directly, or not, there will not be one of us that will emerge unchanged.
We will see that we don’t heal in isolation, but in community. These next few months we will find new ways of staying connected and I am eternally grateful not to be in my father’s generation who through, and after, the war relied on letters or telegrams as a way to stay connected with their loved ones.
As we recognise how very unimportant we are in the wider scheme of things, perhaps it is the time to look at the life we are living and ask ourselves how would we really prefer our lives to be. Pretty much everything is up for being rethought and this global storm can be the chance to piece together a life built on the gift of the time for reflection and introspection.
How do we want our worlds to look after this? I know for myself that I am finding gratitude in things I have not even considered and am starting to embrace a smaller way of living. The part of me, that believed I needed to go to new places in order to discover new and worthwhile things has found joy in the smallest of things within my home. If I accept my anxieties and let go of what I have no control of, I am trying to make the most of what I already have and learn to soothe myself in the moments when my anxiety feels out of control.
As I start to accept the fact that every day is a new day to begin again, life becomes a much easier path to walk. It feels like a start.
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