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How To Take a Positive Perspective
No one tells you that there’s an underbelly of emotions one feels in quarantine. Medical studies have shown that people who choose to quarantine themselves fare better than those who believe they’ve been ”forced” into it
What we can learn from this is that how much “choice” we feel we have during a quarantine makes a huge difference.
But before we can talk about the spiritual aspects of quarantine, we have to talk about the side effects. That, yes, we will go through a myriad of emotions, akin to the stages of grief. Besides grief, there can be emotions such as depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
I couldn’t sleep a few nights ago and went on Facebook, where I saw another rabbi posting, “who can’t sleep?” And a hundred rabbis wrote in all night long that they were also awake.  I bet you were awake too, even if you’re not a rabbi.
What is this collective angst we are feeling?
  • We are all living through a shared time of uncertainty
  • Living in quarantine, even while getting ample rest,  is still exhausting
  • There are a lot of questions that are unanswerable
  • No one has a playbook for this experience

Once we acknowledge the underbelly of this experience, we can begin to tap into a more proactive perspective.

Instead of feeling powerless about all the things I “have” to do, I can focus on all that I “get to” do.  Reframing “I have to stay in my house and can’t go to “X” can now be, “I get to stay in my home and…”

So I choose to tell myself all of the things I “get to” do.

  • I “get to” focus on my writing and on my spiritual life
  • I “get to” spend time with my children and talk to my extended family every day.
  • I get to find new resources and resilience inside me which I didn’t know I had.
  • And, finally, I get to be a part of stopping the collective spreading of this very virulent virus.

Yes, I must first acknowledge the grief and the myriad of negative emotions that are part of this experience.  However,  I’m only allowed to spend 10 minutes a day on that pity pot.  The other 23 hours and 50 minutes can be spent focusing on the “get to” aspects of this experience.  From this exercise, I can emerge more grateful, energized and spiritually fit.

What are the things you are ‘getting to” do during this time period?

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