A pandemic has a way of bringing us all together. 

This pandemic reminds me of 9/11. We all came together as a country and were able to embrace one another with compassion, tears, understanding, concern and love.

We are forced to think together on this one and work together. This virus has forced us to slow down. It’s not just a physical virus, it’s here to teach us a lesson about ourselves and the world we live in. We will not know what that is unless we can be with ourselves in the quiet; without the noise. Isn’t that what meditation and yoga is all about?

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One of the reasons we are having a difficult time with the “quiet” and “isolation” is because we are accustomed to keeping ourselves over scheduled with many activities and with many people. We are social beings. What happens when this suddenly comes to an abrupt halt? Do we know of any other way of being?

This experience reminds me of going on vacation. When we go on vacation we sometimes cannot really adapt to slowing down until it’s time to return home. We do not experience the same demands we have when at home and acclimating to the new environment takes time. Right when we are ready to head back home, we wish we were able to stay for a few more days.

Think of this time as the same. This is an opportunity for you to self reflect and relax. It is a time to enjoy the family members that are with you. Think about it, when will you be able to have the undivided attention you now have with your children? Once they leave for college, their life and yours changes. Once their life goes back to what it was, they will once again be distracted with activities, friends and life. 

It is a time that you can utilize to do all the things you have been unable to do in your home “if you only had the time”. Clean out a closet, journal, have dinners together as a family. It is a time for self-reflection. Maybe you’ve been meaning to write a book, write an important letter to someone, or just reach out and Facetime with others you have lost contact with. 

In no way am I suggesting that this is an easy time for any of us. Being locked up in a house and unable to participate in our daily activities is challenging. What I am suggesting is to look within and search for some meaning to all of this. 

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, and notable for his book “In Man’s Search of Meaning.”

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  -- Viktor Frankl 

And so, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.  

We will all return to our regular routines. We will reunite with our family and friends. We will enjoy our family and friends more than we have ever enjoyed spending time with them.  We will enjoy returning to all our celebrations with a different appreciation of each activity and each person. And perhaps, this experience will help us change direction in our goals and commitments. 

 Let’s focus on the good during this very difficult time. Keep a grateful journal and jot down what you are most grateful for each day.  It could be as simple as waking up in the morning or hearing the chatter of the children. Keep it simple. 

At The Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, we are offering Zoom, Phone, or FaceTime sessions.  Please feel free to visit us at www.hellenictherapy.com or call us at 908-322-0112.