Many of us around the world are dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s obvious that we’re learning huge collective lessons from this crisis—but we’re experiencing powerful personal take-aways, too.
I’ve never been one for journaling. Don’t get me wrong, I love to write (fun fact: I’ve even been a coauthor for two books) but for some reason, the act of writing solely for myself has never been something I could stick with. I think it’s because I’m overly ambitious and start out writing pages upon pages, only to find the whole process unsustainable after a few days. So I stop.
But lately, my life has felt like it’s whizzing past me. Every time I blink, another week goes by, and I’m often left wondering, what have I even been doing with my time? How is May almost over?! The fact that I can’t slow things has been a bit of a buzzkill that’s left me feeling more morose than I’d like to admit. So, after talking to a few people and bouncing journaling ideas off of them, I was pretty intrigued when my friend @marcusmackay shared he writes down his goals every morning and every night. Even if it’s the same thing over- write it out. So far there’s day I write out the basics..other days.. I go into every minor detail. Either way- there’s only one focus.
Overall, I found the whole process to be an incredibly helpful and low-effort way to attach positivity to days that might otherwise blend together. And I’m confident that I’ve finally found a journaling exercise I can stick with—as long as I remain a goal getter 👊🏼
Since this quarantine has hit, I’ve been focused on adding more in.. Looking for silver linings in difficult times doesn’t minimize what we’re going through individually but rather makes it more bearable. These prompts can help inspire that, and you certainly don’t need to work with all of them at once. If you’re not a big journal person, just sit with this list for a minute or two and see what comes intuitively. If you’re sheltering in place, or your normal routine has been disrupted, try sitting with one prompt each morning or evening as a meditative practice.
- Have any silver linings, even if they are faint, started to present themselves regarding this crisis?
- How has the crisis forced me to develop new healthy habits?
- Has this crisis made me aware of any self-sabotaging habits I need to shift or heal or given me clarity about what’s not working in my life?
- What’s one new thing that’s come out of this crisis that I want to keep in my life even after the crisis is over?
- Has this crisis gotten me in touch with some new parts of myself or parts of myself I’d forgotten? Like my inner artist, warrior, student, environmentalist, activist, athlete, or healer?
- When I look back on this time, what are things I’ll feel proud about regarding the way I handled this challenging time?
- In what ways has this difficult time forced me to step up to the plate or rise to the occasion, digging deeper than I knew I could?
- How has this crisis taught me to be more careful with my resources, whether they are physical, emotional, energetic, or financial?
- Has this crisis forced me to improve in small or big ways?
- Is there something I’ve had to sacrifice so something of greater value could be born?
- What past wounds or traumas have been triggered by this current crisis, and how might I meet them now with a new level of healing? This can include behaviours, reactions or thoughts.
- In the past when I experienced a crisis, what are some healthy and unhealthy ways I coped?
- In which ways have I remained compassionate and giving to others, despite finding myself in a stressful situation?
- During this crisis, what are some of the new, useful ways to comfort and support myself that have emerged?
- Have any relationships begun, experienced healing, or been strengthened recently?
- Has my outlook on anything in particular become more positive?
- What are some little things I used to stress about that I now realize are not so important?
- How have I found ways to be both tough and gentle right now?
- What goals and dreams have this crisis motivated me to prioritize?
- Have I found myself consistently grateful for something during this difficult season, even if it’s tiny?
- When I am disappointed in the way I handle something or react, how can I practice more radical self-love?
- Have I experienced any grace moments or mini-miracles during this crisis, whether it’s supportive people or resources that have shown up?
Whenever you experience a crisis, seek out those silver linings and allow them to feed your spirit and sustain you through difficult times.