Life during COVID-19 has certainly woven threads of new challenges into the already complex tapestry of our lives.
Fear of exposure for ourselves and loved ones, financial concerns, global economic impact, and ongoing isolation have all contributed to an increase in depression and anxiety for many US adults, adding complex threads tightly entwined into our everyday lives.
It is now up to us to create new threads to enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. When we live a life of gratitude and embrace the simple joy of bringing a smile to someone’s face, we create a stronger, more resilient community where we can lift each other up – something we all need during this global crisis.
In my tiny community, neighbors pick up groceries for the elderly and friends enjoy outdoor socially distanced happy hours. Small brightly colored rocks labeled with positive thoughts are placed randomly around town, and fun pollinator facts are written in colorful chalk on the sidewalks. Hand-painted signs sharing words of encouragement are posted in front yards and birthday car parades replace large group parties.
I am so grateful for these wonderful acts of kindness and joy and cherish the fact that someone took the time to make me smile.
In turn, it reminds me of how important it is to continue to employ empathy and kindness with those I interact with within my job. Disability claimants are now potentially impacted by additional health and financial concerns on top of a disability.
For any one of us, it can be the difference between a good day and a bad one how one phone conversation goes, something I have never taken lightly.
The small joys and kindnesses are my brightly colored threads I choose to weave into my tapestry. I take solace in knowing that I can wrap myself in the feeling of our collective strength and resilience.
I challenge you to stop and look outside of your immediate world to notice those threads, or to help others do the same. Reach out to old friends and make new connections.
Enrich your life by wrapping yourself and those around you in your tapestry of joy and resilience.