The Positive Side Effects of COVID-19

The Positive Side Effects of COVID-19
The corona virus has triggered dramatic life altering changes in lightning speed. Most of us have not had sufficient time to process and integrate them fully, meaning that we are still hoping to return to the old normal. This uncertainty has been highly stressful, similar to a world at war filled with suffering, scarcity, sacrifice and no end-date. However, some changes might actually take hold, helping us to revise hand-me-down customs and rituals for the better. Did you know that after a tsunami and a forest fire the land becomes more fertile?

The Beneficial Changes That We Might Want To Keep

  • Meeting and greeting: We are learning to become suspicious, more selective about people in our inner circle. We fear potential toxicity physically and mentally ¡V beyond the Corona virus. We wonder if this person is good for our: Overall happiness? Trespass on our time? Cause us stress? We now cultivate more meaningful friendships.
  • Polite, formal behavior: We no longer shake hands, kiss a cheek, or hug others unless they are quarantined with us. Handshakes carry so many potential germs and kisses can turn deadly ¡V what if someone has the flu or a stomach virus? Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake? Forget about it. We now reevaluate many old customs which were never questioned. And if we can reconsider rituals, then we can reevaluate old prejudices and knee-jerk reactions.
  • Shopping: The fashion industry which has dictated what we buy and how homogenous we should look is taking a back seat to ¡§who needs new clothes?¡¨ Materialism is dissipating as we relax into comfy attire at home. Consequently, body image perception has changed as we learn to accept our weight and wrinkles, realizing that we are grateful to be alive!
  • Eating out: Eating indoors at restaurants has become risky business. Most people are cooking and eating at home. The result is spending much less on food as well as the opportunity to eat healthier cuisine to strengthen our immune system.
  • Pleasures: Simple pleasures have become more meaningful, especially since many of us don¡¦t have the money to go on vacations and we are fearful of crowds and germ-laden environments. With theatre, cinema and stadiums closed, nature and the ordinary have taken center stage. Reading, games and crafts, small gatherings, facetiming with friends and family have reduced the complexity and need of hyper-stimulation.
  • Gyms: Fitness centers, which previously were considered ambassadors of health, are now considered health hazards. We have learned to work out at home and use our body¡¦s own resistance like a squat, a pushup, a crunch or jumping jack. Just put on your sneakers and walk out the door. This saves time, money and excuses. Wherever you are, there¡¦s your gym.
  • Doctor visits: Telemedicine has eliminated many needless doctor visits, focusing only on necessary medical issues which require treatment. Since there are fewer in-person visits, many have observed how the body can heal itself without taking drugs that could have so many detrimental side-effects. Many have realized that the proverbial apple a day does keep the doctor away.

Of course, the virus has caused unemployment, isolation, fear, and made us deeply aware of how fragile life is. On the flip side, we are learning to go inside the self and introspect, appreciate simple pleasures and relationships, as we spend less money on trivialities and distractions, discovering creative solutions. We have taken our health into our own hands by eating more fruits and vegetables, getting exercise and practicing good hygiene. We continue to grow spiritually by learning how responsible we are for one another and how interwoven our lives.
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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