I’m generally not one who worries a lot about this sort of thing. I’m healthy enough and I live here in KW where, currently, there are few cases. However, I recognize and respect that we all experience this type of situation differently and that it will affect each of us in our own way.
At this point, the Corona virus is reminding me (once again!) how little control I truly have over my life. Sitting here, I recognize that I will not soon be going on holiday, attending certain events, conducting business in the same way, or even finding toilet paper the next time I need some! What this highlights for me is the idea of acceptance or, as Amit Sood MD defines it, compassionate surrender. In his book, Handbook for Happiness, Dr. Sood asks us to recognize the aspects of our lives that can be changed and to find ways to move in that direction. However, when confronted with aspects that we cannot change, he urges us to creatively work with what is. Psychological flexibility is one of the great determinants of mental health. Acceptance is playing the hand you have and learning to shift your focus depending on life’s changing circumstances. Right now, our world finds itself in a time of changing circumstance – how can we flow with these circumstances rather than feel like we are being pushed around?
The truth is that we live in a world of unknowns. If we choose to practice acceptance and see the world in its broadest possible context, we will struggle less, have more energy for the things we can change, find meaning in and learn to make the best of any situation. (This is why acceptance is a key factor in successful change and building personal resilience.) Acceptance does not mean giving up. It means seeing things as they truly are, making a choice not to struggle against them and using your energy to engage with what you can influence. As Sood states, “[a]cceptance is keeping the faith yet not closing your eyes to the facts”. Corona is a fact, how can we practice acceptance and find the balance between staying healthy and living our lives as part of a broader community?