In a recent study, 89 percent of Americans listed at least one negative change in their lives since March 2020. This should come as no surprise. However, an interesting parallel trend emerged. Seventy-three percent of participants also mentioned a positive development. These were called “unexpected upsides.” You might call this another way of saying “silver linings.”
Amidst the fear and division, there are still things to be grateful for. Even as so many people feared for their physical, mental, and financial health, they discovered and embraced silver linings. What a powerful, real-time lesson to embrace!
The Most Common Silver Lining of the Covid Shutdown
Simply put, so many people were able to get closer to their loved ones. The lockdowns showed them how little quality time they were spending together. Almost everyone in the pre-Covid world viewed themselves as “too busy.” Even when they were with friends and family, they may have had their attention stolen by devices.
After March 2020, the factors that kept us busy — e.g. work and school — were brought home. Literally. Parents wasted less time commuting and preparing. They got to be present for their children’s lessons. This carried over to them finding other ways to stay connected, e.g.
- Game nights
- Cooking and eating together
- Taking walks and doing exercise
- And yes, talking — as in face-to-face communication.
Sure, there were adjustments to be made. The disruption of schedules and routines was stressful. But, as “two weeks to flatten the curve” turned months, new rhythms emerged.
2 Other Possible Silver Linings of the Covid Shutdown
Even those who struggled with money found ways to use the shutdown to be more frugal. It was easier to save money when you weren’t going out, commuting to work, etc. You didn’t pay for childcare or gas or parking. Your entertainment budget dropped to virtually zero. Movie theaters, concert venues, and restaurants were off-limits for extended periods of time.
One of the most common excuses for not practicing self-care is lack of time. With that alibi out the window, people of all ages could prioritize their mental and physical health. This also led to more creativity as we figured out ways to stay fit without the benefit of a gym full of equipment. As touched on above, this silver lining also provided your family with a very productive group activity.
The Importance of Gratitude
All of the above helped teach us a wonderful lesson that also served as a silver lining. Practicing gratitude is an effective antidote to stress and despair. It sounds cliché but there is always something to be grateful for. Even with all the negative aspects of the Covid shutdown, you found new ways to thrive and grow.
To start this process or keep your process going, you may want to consider keeping a gratitude journal. The act of writing down your blessings is a powerful way to reinforce them. Big or small, keep track of what brings you a smile each day. You can refer to this journal when feeling down. Plus, it will come in mighty handy if you meet with a therapist (see below).
There is No Shame in Asking For Help
Despite the optimism, we’ve all had some pretty frustrating times in the past 19 or 20 months. If you find yourself unable to identify silver linings, you are not alone. A global crisis can impact you in ways you never imagined. There is no shame in admitting and seeking help. Just because one family seems to be doing well doesn’t mean you’re doing anything “wrong.”
If you could use a jump-start, let’s connect. Let’s set you up with a free and confidential consultation.