There are many words you could use to describe the corona virus outbreak, but peaceful isn’t one of them. You only have to watch a few seconds of the news to see how panic has gripped so many people. Many of us are scared – fearful of the virus, but also of finding enough food, losing jobs and being unable to access services. Then there’s the pressure of trying to teach children at home and the prospect of not seeing loved ones for months. It’s a tense and uncertain time for the whole world.
At Peaced Together, we talk a lot about making peace with the past. But how can we find peace with our present situation? We have little time or space to process and deal with the challenges we all face. But so many of the themes we talk about on the course can be applied to our current circumstances. Here’s a reminder of some of our Peaced Together tools to help you find peace and spread it to people around you in panic.
Choose to see beauty
As humans we may be facing a very challenging period, but there is still so much beauty to be found in the world around us. Nature is waking up from its winter sleep and the skies above the UK have been remarkably blue and full of sunshine this week. There is also beauty in the acts of kindness we have all been prompted to share this week – phones are buzzing in pockets as people check in with and offer support to friends and neighbours. I have heard some wonderful stories of kindness between complete strangers as well. These moments are when humans are at their most beautiful.
Look for treasure
On Peaced Together we talk about how storms can dredge up things that had been buried in the seabed, scattering the beach with shells and debris. Walking along the seafront the day after a storm, you will find treasure if you look for it. In the storms of life, we can despair and close down or look for the positive things that the upheaval has caused. Maybe your treasure is reconnection with a friend over the phone, renewed joy in a long-forgotten hobby or precious new family time while you are forced to be at home together.
Making an active choice to practise thankfulness is powerful. So much scientific research points to thankfulness as a way to improve physical and mental wellbeing. Maybe you could make a thankfulness wall or set aside a time to be actively grateful for the good things of the day.
When we face a crisis, we tend to see the parts of our own character that we don’t like. Maybe you have been short-tempered, angry or overbearing. Don’t dwell on your responses, apologise to others if you need to and forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself and focus on bringing out the positive things you can offer others.
Creativity is such a wonderful way to relieve stress and take your mind off worries. Find something you love doing and be disciplined in taking time out to do it. An hour in the garden or working on a sewing project will do your mental health a world of good.
We all face a situation that we cannot explain or make go away. But remember that however long this pandemic lasts, there will be an end to it. Meanwhile, let’s choose to be active in spreading peace, hope and courage to the people around us.