5 lessons | Palliative Care

5 Positive Lessons to Learn in these Challenging Times

5 Positive Lessons to Learn in the Pandemic


Serious illness in itself is unsettling. It disrupts one’s sense of safety and predictability. The coronavirus pandemic has added another level of stress by upending healthcare systems, exposing weaknesses in capacity and accessibility.

We have had to change daily routines and our basic security needs have been threatened. Some people are out of work and struggling to put food on the table, and many are feeling alone and afraid.

In times like these, it is human nature to focus on what’s wrong and what’s missing. But if we look deeper there are positive lessons to be learned. Here are five of them:

  1. We take lots of things for granted. Notice five things about where you are right now: a computer or cell phone, the desk or table in rests upon, electricity, the internet, the piece of furniture you are sitting on. There might be a glass of water or a cup of tea. We have a lot to appreciate.
  2. Everything is better if we stay grounded in the present moment. Asking “what if…” is unproductive and only fuels the fear-based thinking that generates more anxiety. Most of the things we worry about happening in the future never happen and we can’t relive the past. If at this moment things are okay, then we are okay.
  3. Life isn’t just about doing; it’s also about being. We have been conditioned to measure self-worth based on productivity and achievement. We are “human beings”, not “human doings.” We are enough: we do enough, we have enough, and we are good enough just the way we are.
  4. We are all one. The pandemic has shown how changes in one part of the planet have a global impact. It has also shown how simple acts of kindness make a difference. We are connected by service, community, and collaboration.
  5. Challenge leads to growth. There has been a lot of loss during this time: loss of jobs, loss of loved ones, loss of the option to travel, loss of face-to-face interactions. But loss also brings the opportunity to reimagine the future. Physical distancing has required creative problem-solving in business, education, and healthcare. In a very short time fewer cars, planes, busses, boats, and trains have resulted in cleaner air and clearer water.

The earth is healing and so are we. We do not need the instant gratification of getting whatever we want or going where ever we want. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced us to examine how we live, how we love, and how we connect.

Healing Earth | Palliative Care

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If you would like more information on palliative care, please contact Dr. Holly Ahner by email or phone at (520) 771-2686.