Feeling overwhelmed? Isolated or stuck? Scared? Bored? Take a moment to think — has there been a positive moment, even if brief or at random, in your life the past few weeks or months?
Even during this challenging time, many have been able to uncover small silver linings, and there is opportunity for you to identify one for yourself.
The phrase ‘silver lining’ has been around since the late 1800s, and a lot of history has happened between then and 2020! Silver linings have staying power because being able to recognize moments of positivity can help get us through our darkest of days, and our moments of uncertainty for the future.
So what silver lining did you come up with? Maybe working from home has led to reduced anxiety because you've dedicated more time to engaging in self-care. Maybe you have been spending more time with your children or partner, strengthening those relationships and finding new, or revisiting old ways to enjoy your time together.
If you can’t immediately identify a silver lining, don’t worry, now is an opportunity to exert the power of your own choice and create one for yourself.
Take this time to reconnect with loved ones. Use the time you would have spent commuting to call a friend you have been meaning to catch up with. Call a grandparent or elderly parent. Share memories or stories from your youth, or ask them about theirs. They need connection now more than ever, even if it’s not a physical connection.
Use the weekend to learn something new or start a hobby you have always wanted to try. Even if it does not work out, at least you can check it off your bucket or to-do list. Do not underestimate the joy that can come from trying something for the first time or mastering a new skill.
Check in with your partner or child; really check in with them. How are they? How do they feel your relationship with them is? This time of togetherness can be a benefit to the relationship if you prioritize working on communication, or identifying their love language and learning how to show them in new ways how much you care. Our online member site, HelpNet, includes a "Love Languages" video that can help you and your partner better understand what makes each other feel loved and appreciated.
You can also use this time to master the art of self-care — limit news, social media, television and screen time. Get in-tune with yourself and what your needs are. Is it exercising, cooking, tending to your plants? It’s OK to take a break from others in the house for some intentional alone time. Read a book, paint your nails, trim your beard, meditate, practice your golf swing, etc.; whatever will fill YOUR cup.
Identify what it is you are missing or enjoyed at your work or school, and remember these things when it is time to go back. Appreciate what you had and what you will return to one day.
Remind yourself of what you’ve already overcome in your life, and that this too will be something you can look back on and see the tools you used to get through.
Challenge yourself to take this a step further. After you’ve identified a silver lining to your current situation, write a little about it. What is it? How does it make you feel? How has it changed your perspective on things? Record as little as three things every day for two weeks. Reflect on how this process has not only affected you, but also if finding a silver lining has positively influenced those around you!
Remember the power of your choices — physical distancing may not be your top choice, but how you utilize your time is.
For additional support or help finding a silver lining in your life, members are encouraged to reach out to Continuum EAP. We are here to help!