How The Coronavirus Can Actually Improve Our Mental Health
It’s an unprecedented time.
We are in the darkness and we have never experienced anything that resembles living in the movie “I Am Legend.”
Everything is canceled, and we are all quarantined and staying home. The NCAA Tournament, the NBA, an entire country on lock-down. Entire athletic conferences and schools have suspended entire upcoming seasons! It’s hysteria.
No one knows exactly how these dots will connect. We will only be able to connect the dots looking back after these events have passed. This is a hinge moment in our lives.
The fall out will be bad, many people who can’t work because of cancelations will go without paychecks, kids who rely on school for food will go without. Those who will get the virus will suffer and need treatment. We will even start to count the days to the end of the pandemic.
We are in a compromised position as a nation and humanity.
So, here’s how the coronavirus can actually improve our mental health.
Know what you’re feeling!
When I heard about my speaking engagement in California being canceled, I was angry!
Every time I read about how to wash my hands, I feel stupid!
When I heard about a few athletes and Tom Hanks testing positive for COVID-19, I was scared!
When I was informed that the state swim meet for young age group swimmers was canceled, I was sad! They’ve spent months training and now, nothing…
The way out is always the way through, but we improve our own mental health by knowing what we are actually feeling. It is okay to be scared and angry and fearful. But, we just have to know the emotions that we are feeling. It doesn’t mean we have to like the feelings and emotions, but we can’t deny them.
Emotions will make their way into our house party one way or another, so just invite them, and then, ask them to leave when it is time.
We would get better if we weren’t so busy rejecting our feelings about what to feel and not feel.
It’s simple, but not easy, it means being self-aware and willing to go to the negative space in our own head. If we reject our feelings, then they will pop up when we do not want them to.
If we do not transform our pain, then we will transmit it!
Know the feeling, acknowledge it, and be comfortable being uncomfortable. This too shall pass!
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.
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