Are you waking up feeling a bit stir crazy amid COVID-19, like it’s groundhog day, repeating the same activity over and over, and wondering when the heck this will all end? If so, I get it. It can be daunting.
If that’s you, I want to challenge you to flip the script to positively cope and find the deep meaning in all that is going on. As holocaust survivor and author of the famous book Man’s Search for Meaning, Vikor Frankl writes, “We cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.
When you sit and reflect, and lean into the patterns of life, you’ll see that what we are enduring with COVID-19 has happened time and time again in human history - where humans have endured deep suffering and have made an epic comeback. But when you look deep into WHY the comeback was so epic, it was typically due to how they choose to respond to their circumstances.
We don’t have to look too far in human history to see one such example in the Thai school soccer team that was trapped inside a flooded cave complex for over 17 days, back in June 2018.
The soccer team, made up of 12 boys, ages 11-16, decided to enter the cave with their 25-year-old coach after their soccer practice, just to have an adventure. Many of the boys had been inside the cave before. They planned to remain inside for only one hour and, as a result, they did not prepare for or have food or other supplies in advance for their cave exploration. They were soon trapped inside the cave's winding chambers due to rising flood waters. The boys were eventually rescued and the story made global headlines.
Why was this comeback so epic? Because they survived 17 days in a dark cave, with no food to eat, surviving only on water to drink from the caves’ stalactites, and what I believe was the key component to their survival:
The boys were taught how to meditate to conserve energy by their soccer coach, which also allowed them to avoid thinking about their favorite foods, in order to stave off hunger. The team spent countless hours positively coping with their suffering and, in return, found the deep meaning of it all, and for most of the boys, their purpose.
As we endure this COVID-19, we can learn to do the same. I want to encourage all us to find ways to channel our mindset into being resilient, creative, resourceful, hopeful, and to find deep meaning as we all prepare for the new beautiful horizon that awaits after COVID-19.
Here are some tips to do first thing in the morning, in order to positively cope and set forth your own personal COVID-19 epic comeback. Challenge yourself to do this every single day for two weeks:
Wake up every day and just get up! Avoid sitting in bed, ruminating over the thoughts in your head, or hitting the snooze bar. Tell yourself, “When I say let’s go, we go.”
Make your bed. Whether you decide to fully make your bed or simply pull the sheets back and straighten your pillows, just make your bed in whatever way you decide.
Set aside 10 minutes to consciously breathe and meditate. Get in a comfortable position, hands on your lap, open and facing upward. Start breathing in through your nose and out through your nose. Keep this rhythmic flow for 10 minutes. While breathing, focus on one thing you are grateful for. If you find yourself drifting off into areas unknown, simply focus back on your breath. Repeat this exercise during your day as well, and I guarantee you’ll find a way to positively cope through this time period.
Journal your deep meaning thoughts. After your meditation time, journal your thoughts. What does this COVID-19 quarantine time mean specifically to you? What should you be working on? What is not serving you well that you need to get rid of? Where do you need help or support?
Then, take action. Whatever you do, avoid wasting this precious time immersed in Netflix, social media, or the news. Do the work that you need to do for the day and be relentless about preparing for your epic comeback.
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