It’s Okay, To Not Be Okay
By Prince A. Sanders, Managing Director at Park Lane Hotel New York
You've heard the story over and over. We are faced with the most fatal pandemic of our lifetime. A city closes, re-opens, and then it closes again because it re-opened too soon. You have been impacted by job loss or experienced a significant decrease in salary. You've been quarantined in your home and feel like the walls are caving in on you. You miss physical touch, have experienced loss, or just wish you had something to look forward to. How do you handle this plethora of feelings and emotions?
The pandemic is a circumstance - Your attitude is a choice
Depending on your current state, you may be your own worst enemy. It's essential to identify if you are self-sabotaging your own happiness. There are many things out of your control these days. However, the one thing you own is your state of mind. It's like the question, do you see the glass half empty or a glass half full? You have to make a choice each day. You chose to get out of bed, you chose to take a shower, and you have to choose to appreciate another day of life.
Consider this, someone out there didn't have the gift of seeing another sunrise or sunset. Things are difficult right now; however, I'm sure you have overcome many difficult situations in life. This is no different. You are armed and prepared to make it through these challenges, and I believe you will overcome with victory and favor. Do you believe? The question itself offers you an opportunity to view your situation differently from you did a moment ago.
Acknowledge your feelings and act accordingly
Maybe you have less control over your current state. That's okay! Acknowledgment is the first step in recovery. Everyone is built differently, so we manage to get through crisis in different ways. Maybe you need that extra attention, a little extra boost. Social distancing can make people feel lonely, and all the uncertainty surrounding a new disease can increase fear and anxiety. If that's the case, reach out to a healthcare provider, family member, friend, teacher, faith leader, or any trusted individual. Ensure it's someone that lets you express yourself, listens to you, and shares with you. They should respect you, practice confidentiality, have your best interest in mind, and work with you to figure out next steps. There is no shame in requesting and accepting assistance. The shame would be not having you around in the future.
Here are a few resources you may find helpful if you are in this position.
When you are good, be good to others
If you are in a positive state of mind, take the time to check up on others. Sift through your contacts and think about those you haven't heard from in a while. Send a text, letter, email, or better yet, make a call. Never underestimate the power of being present. Even if for a moment, your attention could mean a world of difference in someone's life. I recently lost someone very important to me, and I recall reading one of their last posts on social media just a few months before their passing. It said, "I hope you will remember me. I am doing well during this stressful time but, I miss my cat more now that I am alone. I hope you are doing well also. This social distancing isn't easy for senior citizens, you know." I took comfort in knowing that I spoke with this dear friend each month prior to their passing; however, I may have underestimated the situation without reading that message. Don't wait until it's too late. Make a difference in someone's life today.
No matter your current situation, don't underestimate the fact that you are safe, healthy, valued, and bestowed with the gift of another day. Each of us plays a vital role in the tapestry of life. Please don't take your existence or the existence of your family and friends for granted. Let them know you care, while you can. The road to recovery may seem far away, but it's there. Stay positive, remain resilient, and most importantly, love and know that you are loved.