September 30, 2021
By: Dr. Sandra G. Stubbs & Micah Gae M. Salian
Learning to transition well
CREDIT: KATARZYNABIALASIEWICZ/GETTY IMAGES
Transitions and unexpected challenges can be daunting and unbelievably painful. The last two years have tested the fabric of who we are as humans having this human experience. From job loss, catastrophic death tolls, and illness seems ubiquitous; some may even wonder what is happening to our world. The good news and bad news are "things will never be the same again."
Our educations systems, economy, travel industry, family vacation, and spiritual connectors have all changed. Unfortunately, how we learn and live in the world has made drastic changes.
What to do, what to do? It is no mystery that all of us during these events have felt alone and lonely. I can attest to feeling trapped in a make-shift office with a sense of being imprisoned and isolated from the world I once knew and was highly active.
For college students and travelers, the all-familiar sensation of being homesick seemed to loom. Being far from loved ones with no option of a safe visit causes emotional pain. All at some point are missing friends, family, colleagues, or partners due to COVID quarantine, travel restrictions, or illness. These mandated separations inadvertently create a lack of connectedness, self-doubt, fear of being alone, anxiety by the neighbors, neighborhood, community, etc.
Fighting against the invisible opponent is almost impossible without the proper strategy. In the beginning, many individuals lost their hope. The country has been put on lockdown; fear and fright set in. There were so many restrictions that many people were stranded in their houses. Many of us are experiencing anxiety, loneliness, distress, and discomfort as a result of this.
Are you one of these people? If you are, it is not yet the end. Don't let your distress with a challenging situation prevent you from finding happiness. When we are physically separated from our loved ones, we can dial or text to connect. Modern technology and social media enable us to stay connected through phone/video calls, chats, emails, and other means. An article from Carnegie Mellon University entitled “A Call a Day Keeps the Pandemic Blues Away” is very relevant to this. Social connection and support are some ways to overcome pandemic blues (Mattero J., 2021). Staying connected helps us to maintain relationships with the important people in our lives and it helps us in reducing our negative feelings of homesickness.
There are practical ways to combat negativity while we are alone. Dr. Kanzler said, “When we stop doing the things that are meaningful to us, for whatever reason, it can make us feel worse. You lose the connection to what’s important.” We might do things that interest us, such as bodywork, hobbies, hilarious trends, writing blogs, sharing good experiences, song creations, music, poetry, the arts, and more.
It's natural for people to be anxious about the bad things going on in their lives, and it's harmful when we allow ourselves to be enslaved by it. Even though it seems complicated, we must look for positive sides in everything.
If you find yourself trapped in a dark room, be the light. Then, you'll see the door to cope up with negative things that surround you. Let's have faith, and better days will come.
Feist, J. (2020). Nine ways to fight those pandemic blues. UT Health San Antonio. https://www.uthscsa.edu/patient-care/physicians/news-item/nine-ways-fight-those-pandemic-blues
Mattera, J. (2021). A Call a Day Keeps the Pandemic Blues Away. Carnegie Mellon University. https://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2021/january/social-support-pandemic-blues.html
Onyema et al. (2020). Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on Education. Journal of Education and Practice, 11(13), 108 – 121. https://genbase.iiep.unesco.org/workspace/applis/epidoc/fichiers/EPIDOC/38698_52821_56584_1_PB.pdf.