I think we can all admit that this is a weird time to be in. We have experienced school closures, classes moving to online, event cancellations, social distancing. A lot of which has led to great disappointments for some of us. Graduations, weddings, large events we have eagerly been awaiting and working towards have been canceled or postponed – some with no new date in sight. Each and every one of us on some level is feeling the uncertainty of what the days will bring.
I think it’s important for us to recognize those feelings that come with great disappointments: sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, confusion. It is hard when something we have been waiting on doesn’t go as planned and it leaves us feeling uneasy. From my own personal experience, I had been planning a wedding for the past eight months only to hear two weeks before it was supposed to happen that gatherings should be contained to less than 10 people and our venue called to cancel. My brother is supposed to graduate from high school in just a few months and there is uncertainty whether we will get to see him walk across the stage to accept the diploma that he’s been working so hard towards.
I think it’s important to remember that we are not alone in figuring out how to move forward when things aren’t going quite the way we expected.
So what are the next steps?
What can we do when we experience these feelings?
What can we do to get us through these times of uncertainty?
I can share with you what has been helping me through these times:
Reach out to loved ones
Let them in on how you are feeling. Jump on a facetime call, or Zoom. Share with them how these circumstances are impacting you and let them speak love and encouragement into what you are going through. Those you are close to will want to support you through these moments. Not only that, but our friends and family can offer new perspectives to the situation that you may not have considered. This is the time when we need each other the most.
Celebrate even the small things!
I am learning that joy can be found anywhere. I love knowing what the National Day is and celebrating that. For example, Wednesday, March 25th was International Waffle Day, so what a great day to celebrate by making and eating waffles! Celebrations help us stay focused on the positive and get our mind off of the negative.
This is a great time to practice gratitude
It may appear that a lot of things are not going as planned in your life, but there is still so much to be thankful for. One habit you can form is taking time each day to write down 3 things everyday that you’re thankful for in this season. Then when you look back on this time, you won’t just remember what didn’t go right, you’ll be reminded of everything that got you through this time. Today, I am thankful for the rain that makes my whole townhouse feel peaceful. I am thankful for technology that allows me to connect with my friends and family despite the physical distance. I am thankful for funny, creative memes that help us all laugh in this tough situation.
Get creative within your circumstances
On social media, I have seen so many creative ways people have still had their wedding by livestreaming it on Facebook or having family come together in someone’s backyard (while remaining 6 feet apart of course!). Maybe you put on your cap and gown and virtually celebrate your graduation with your friends. Maybe you reenact what your graduation would have been like for your family. We can still make memories during this time, so let’s have fun with it!