In the movie, Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper stars as a young man coming to terms with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Through the movie, we see his experience of becoming increasingly symptomatic at times as he struggles to accept his illness. In the end, he finds self-acceptance and love in a place that he least expected.
There is an old saying that, “Life imitates art.” Although the circumstance of COVID-19 are not the same as the events depicted in this movie, the challenges to individuals and our society as a result of the pandemic mirror the experience of Cooper’s character. We as a society have been becoming increasingly symptomatic with complications to “normal” life that we struggle to accept. Many of us are experiencing “caution fatigue” as the pandemic drags on.
So, are there good sides to this pandemic? Sometimes it feels difficult to find them, especially for people who have been dealing with the burdens of COVID-19 in having symptoms or dealing with the death of a loved one. I cannot personally speak to either of these experiences. However, when I find myself burned out on caution fatigue, I find comfort in thinking about the silver linings of this pandemic for me:
- Commuting time becomes workout time. By not commuting to work, I have more time to exercise. During the wintry months, I joined Peloton (yes, they are more than bikes…and no, I don’t get any kickbacks!) and did their high intensity training workouts. I highly recommend their app or others like it for exercise at home just using body weight.
- Expanding my abilities with technology. I have always done some work via video conference. The pandemic resulted in ALL of my work becoming remote IMMEDIATELY. I have learned more effective ways to integrate technology into my practice and I am becoming more proficient with Zoom, Vsee and other systems like this.
- More time with close family members. In this time of social distancing, I have needed to limit interactions with others in order to “pod” with family members and help an aging parent. This has allowed me to have more “quality time” with close family members in ways that might not have otherwise happened.
So, in this era of caution fatigue and national stress, I have found it useful to look for the bright spots in the dark days that we are experiencing. Those are my silver linings. What are some of yours? Write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . I will provide a follow up report on what I hear from others.