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Duality: The ANDs during Quarantine for COVID-19

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

Those of us who can STAYHOME have more time for reflection. During a recent video call with my friend and colleague, Dr. Shanna Reeves, we were talking about challenges related to the changes we are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had heard a commercial talking about having a choice between fear and hope; saying choose hope. Hope is very important, but “fear or hope” is a false dichotomy. It is not an either-or situation. This reminded me of another conversation I had with Dr. Reeves.

Dr. Reeves shared a resource about the duality of complex circumstances. I thought it might be helpful to share some of the things we discussed about the duality of staying at home for COVID-19 quarantine.

We grieve for all the daily routines and structure we have lost and the changes in our lives AND recognize that it is a privilege to do so

We like to stay informed on the news AND we need breaks from it

I am challenged with feelings of being less productive AND it’s ok to not have the capacity to do more at this time

I feel anxious and sad about the current situation AND I have moments of joy and pleasure in this slowed down time with family and friends

I miss the family, friends, client, and coworkers, I can’t see in person AND I understand keeping physically away from them is what is needed right now

I look forward to return of the routines and things we used to do AND I’ll miss the abundant quiet slow moments with close family

It’s helpful to explore dualities to find balance in uncertain moments. Take one day at a time and give yourself the space to hold competing feelings. Control the things you can and accept the things you can’t control. One of the things we can control is allowing ourselves and others to have mixed and competing feelings. Allow each other the space to cope with the uncertainty while adapting new routines.

Written by Dr. Monica Stewart

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