Considering Corona: Take a Moment and Breathe

Downloaded from dreamtime.com royalty free illustration.
Downloaded from dreamtime.com royalty free illustration.

One minute before things hopefully return to normal, I have the feeling that we are holding our collective breath.  We have been through so much these past two months. Sudden lockdown. No school. Shopping on line. Working on Zoom. Virtual family parties. Digital book club. And much, much more.  The calendar didn’t stop for COVID-19 ,and we celebrated holidays and memorial days. There was the unimaginable Seder in lockdown, and by the time Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Haatzmaut rolled around we seemed to have adjusted to celebrating in the confines of our own homes. It was the strangest of times. For some it was difficult in the extreme.  Others seemed to thrive.  Most of us were somewhere in the middle.  There were good days, and not such good days.

Now, as the restrictions are lifting we can see a return to a semi-normal routine, that looks similar in many ways to life before lockdown. Many of us are raring to go, while others are more hesitant and wary. Some of us are feeling quite anxious, indeed.  What will the future bring?  Does it bode good tidings or bleak ones?

There is no doubt that we are eager to feel our grandchildren’s hugs, to see our friends’ smiles, to shop freely in the grocery store, to go to the beach, ride our bikes, or whatever it was that we missed during this time of isolation.  We are ready, so ready. Let’s cut the ribbon, and start the race.  But, hold on there! Wait a minute!  Let’s take a moment to stop and look back. Pausing for a deep breath, in and out can help us ground ourselves, calm our racing thoughts and give us the space to reflect. Let us consider what we had, where we were, and what was it like, a second before our return to the maelstrom of life.

Looking back on these two months, there were ups and downs and not all of the corona time was so great. But, there were wonderful moments, and even hours and days.  These may have included family time, the lack of pressure, the ability to hang out and not feel guilty, releasing FOMO (fear of missing out) to the wind, and oh so much more. For each person the takeaways may be different.

How about reflecting about what was this time like for you.    Take a moment to consider some of the following questions: What did I learn about myself?  What do I want to preserve from this time,  and take into “real” life?  What moment was unforgettable? What hidden surprises were there during this most challenging of times?

These days of transition are very precious ones.  We are balancing on the brink between lockdown and return to normal. Each step out feels new, fresh, unspoiled.  That first meeting with people we haven’t seen in a long time. A return to a favorite walk. Sitting in a favorite café.  Reconnecting with friends. Shopping in the super market for treats for grandkids. Take a deep breath and savor the moment.

About the Author
Naomi L Baum, Ph.D., is an international consultant in the field of psychological trauma and disaster with an emphasis on resilience. She is a published author. Her most recent book, published in 2020 is "My Year of Kaddish: Mourning, Memory and Meaning." Her other books include: "Life Unexpected: A Trauma Psychologist Journeys through Breast Cancer," "Operational Stress Management," and her most recent book, "Free Yourself from Fear: Coping with Coronavirus," which is offered for free on her website: www.naomibaum.com .She is the mother of seven and grandmother of 20.
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