Staying Present During a Pandemic

Lao Tzu once said, “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” With the uncertainty of the pandemic, many individuals are struggling with anxiety. Stuck in their homes and isolated from their loved ones, many individuals are also struggling with sadness and depression. This combination of anxiety and depression has made it difficulty to cope with the frustration, guilt, weariness, fear, grief, and anger that comes along with witnessing and experiencing a chronic globally traumatic event. However, as Lao Tzu notes, the key to managing the dizzying array of emotions is to remember that peace lies in our intentional and conscious awareness that the only true certainty we have is in the present moment we are experiencing  right now. Below are eight thoughts to remember to help you stay in the present moment during this difficult time.

  1. Strong feelings can be intense but don’t last forever
  2. Acceptance doesn’t have to equal hopelessness
  3. You control your mind, your mind doesn’t control you
  4. You can’t always control your environment, but you can always control your reaction to it
  5. Be intentional in your thinking, doing, and feeling
  6. Lean into your experience
  7. Find space for thoughtful reflection
  8. Focus on “doing” less so you can “be” more in the present moment

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