Wife to her loving spouse, mother of two young boys, and nurse to the patients at West Brooks Hospital, Jillian was living her dream life. When COVID-19 broke out, Jillian’s life was turned upside down like everyone else’s, except she lived the nightmare of dealing with it first-hand at the hospital.
Over a year later, Jillian has found some stability in her life, but the persistent threat of COVID-19 outbreaks cause uncertainty in her workplace and home life. Will she be called into work if the hospital begins to fill up again? Will the school board ever make a definitive decision about allowing children in the classroom again? Will her partner ever get away from their work-from-home office?
With the world lingering in uncertainty, Jillian, like many others, is constantly adapting to changes, making her life a constant juggling act of securing peace of mind.
No matter who you are or what you’re going through, we all have moments when we want life to slow down and take a deep breath. While some of us thrive on a busy lifestyle, we have to find opportunities to de-stress and reconnect with ourselves to maintain our fast-paced standard of living. And if your life is in a lull, you can use the down times to learn more about yourself.
Through my ongoing journey of personal growth, I have found and understood peace through defining and redefining my purpose, seeing life as an equilibrium, learning acceptance, following my own path of contentment, and acting upon the importance of evaluation.
Recognizing your purpose will be easier for some over others, but that does not negate its importance. Purpose can often be defined as your responsibilities at home and/or work. You can also define your purpose as experiencing and understanding the world around you.
Many people believe everything happens for a reason, meaning that the events in your life provide an opportunity for you to learn about yourself and society. Your purpose is to live through those experiences and draw your own conclusions.
Life is a balancing act; we all walk the tightrope of good and bad every day. Spilling your coffee may be the start of a bad day, yet receiving a random act of kindness can trigger the start of a good day. While positive and negative experiences can occur on a much larger scale, we cannot have one without the other.
The focus is not to establish an equilibrium but find balance in both the good and bad times to see that there is an equilibrium in your life. Sometimes when life gets tough, we only see the bad, making it all the more important to consciously recognize and celebrate the good.
Accepting that there will be both moments of good and bad coincides with finding your equilibrium. However, it’s also important to accept that your moments of sadness or happiness will continue to change. You’re misleading yourself if you believe that you always have to be happy to have a happy life.
Understand situations as learning opportunities and find compassion for yourself when accepting your situation. Be kind to yourself and accept the notion that you are on your own journey of self-improvement.
We might feel that crossing our legs, closing our eyes, and deep breathing is the sole way to bring us into a calm state. In reality, people can find their meditative state in completely different ways, like riding a bike, playing chess, reading a book, or gardening.
At the end of the day, you have to pursue the things that bring you pleasure. It’s important to be aware of a few activities that will bring you to the present moment and help you release your stress. Imagine your life as a bucket that fills with stress as it arrives. If we don’t have any holes in the bucket, it will overflow. Therefore, we need to make holes in the bucket by engaging in activities that de-stress us, helping us achieve a more balanced mindset.
To progress on our paths of personal growth, we need to continuously check in with ourselves during both the good and bad times. Understanding the situation and its factors leading to its positive or negative outcome can help you recognize what brings you peace and what brings you stress.
Ask yourself about your achievements, challenges, emotions, and reactions. Sometimes self-reflection can be a daunting task, but it is essential because you remain connected with yourself, subsequently helping you improve your relationship with yourself.
While everyone’s path of self-improvement is different, the most important practices are to be open-minded and willing to take risks. Whether you want to realign or maintain your current mindset, I challenge you to practice P.E.A.C.E.
Jillian walked to her nearest coffee shop, grabbed a peppermint tea in her reusable thermos, and sat at the park with a journal in hand. She wanted the alone time to recollect her thoughts, but not be so alone as to ignore life around her.
Jillian was able to recognize her purpose as a spouse and mother, as well as a human with feelings. She knew that her situation had gotten better, and her worry clouded her from seeing how successful she has been in coping with the pandemic. Taking the time to stop and think about herself and her situation allowed her to give herself more credit. While her problems didn’t magically disappear, she was able to enjoy spending the afternoon playing board games with her family.
I am not a medical professional or expert. These claims were made based on personal opinions and lived experiences.