Pandemic Week 8: How to stay hopeful when everything seems wrong

So here we are two months into the pandemic and staying at home. 

I keep having to remind myself that no one has been through this before and we are all doing the best we can. 

I stumbled upon this New York Times article a few days ago about optimism. It seemed like something worth sharing. 

“At its core, optimism doesn’t require you to sweep those anxious, negative feelings under the rug. It’s not about smiling when you don’t feel like it. Optimism is simply being hopeful about the future, even when the present feels wholly negative. Cognitively, this is a challenge, because it requires you to acknowledge your positive and negative emotions at once and to allow them to exist simultaneously. As hard as it may be to make the case for optimism during a time of crisis, that’s when it happens to be the most useful.”

If you had asked me in my 20s if I was an optimistic person, I probably would have opted for pessimistic with a dash of cynicism. But age and time do strange things and now, despite all that’s going on, I have to admit there’s a bit of optimism in my core. 

“Especially during a crisis,” Stephanie Marston said, “we just have to be even more attentive to our emotional state. When we do that, we’re able to more quickly move beyond our stress, discomfort or pain.”

“Optimism can soften the negative effects of stress, allowing us to cope with and recover from trauma more easily. With all of this in mind, there is a handful of research-backed evidence for embracing optimism as a tool for dealing with the stress and anxiety you’re most likely experiencing right now.”

  • Practice self-compassion 
  • Find pleasure in the small things 
  • Look for meaning 
  • Give back and build community 
  • Don’t sweep your negative feelings under the rug 

“Optimism is about giving yourself permission to hope, even if you feel extremely anxious, unhappy or fearful. It’s not about ignoring your negative feelings about the crisis, but about finding a way to keep them from overwhelming you.”

How are you doing balancing your emotions? Please let me know if I may be of service.

It may still be a while before I can do hands-on work again. However, I’m starting to think about what that’s going to look like. I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have about how you will feel safe receiving bodywork in the future.