by Michelle Saner D’Antoni

Kindness in the Time of Coronavirus
Michelle Saner D’Antoni

Closed schools. Shut down restaurants and businesses. Curfews and quarantine. Times are stressful, and every one of us is dealing with unexpected change in our lives, as well as a heightened level of uncertainty.

We’re also grieving what’s been lost, like our daily routines, travel plans, our usual conveniences and comforts, or even sleep. We’re separated from our loved ones by mandated physical distancing and closed borders.

This loss of control, not to mention being cooped up more than usual, can bring out the worst in people. It’s safe to say that each of us will have moments when we are not at our best.

Everyone is coping with the mental and emotional stress of coronavirus differently, navigating this challenging chapter in their own way. There’s no precedent for this. It’s a dynamic and rapidly evolving global situation that affects each of us in different ways and at different times.

For this reason, it’s important to make an extra effort to give others the benefit of the doubt. Anxiety can be at an all-time high and individual circumstances differ. Everyone is just doing the best they can, to make it through this.

This is the time for grace, not grudges.

For compassion, not criticism.

For kindness, not judgment.

These considerations can help in our interactions with friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors — and they are also just as important when it comes to dealing with ourselves.

Many of us are trying to use this time to be extra productive. But this can also create additional pressure and undue stress. If you weren’t able to jump start a home project or new fitness regimen during normal times, it’s understandable if you haven’t been able to pull it off during a pandemic.

Allow yourself the space to relax and practice self-care instead of trying to overachieve. This type of self-acceptance tends to be more productive, especially in times of stress.

Our capacity to show up as we’d like to be, depends on our inner resources. To show ourselves kindness and to extend that compassion to others — through giving them the benefit of the doubt — ensures that we each continue to do the best we can in what seems like an impossible situation.

* Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of the publication.

— The Arabian Sun: April 8, 2020 | Vol. LXXV, No. 15