Reconnecting with Yourself and Finding Purpose During Coronavirus

For many of us, the shelter-in-place orders necessitated by coronavirus have flipped our lives upside down. When we're confined at home, just about everything in life is totally different. Outside of our obliterated routines, the way we regulate ourselves has completely changed.

We are social beings by nature, and we rely on engagement with others to help connect with the most important parts of ourselves – the parts of us who make us who we are. In isolation, we feel an absence. Some parts of our identities might be altogether neglected. This can lead to a loss of meaning, purpose, and even a shift towards nihilism.

We may notice that the ways we are coping with stress, trauma, and loss from coronavirus have left us feeling less organized, less motivated, more fatigued and depleted.

We can use our understanding of trauma to see that this generalized numbing or avoidant feeling is a response to the steady stress we're being exposed to. That protective "meh" feeling is our body and our mind trying to cope with the often overwhelming experiences of today by turning things down to neutral.

The following framework can be used to help guide yourself in finding purpose, meaning, and reconnection with ourselves in the midst of the chaos that has ensued due to coronavirus.

If this is a challenge for you, as a starting point here are 5 common areas you may want to explore:

  1. Intellectual engagement
  2. Creative expression
  3. Community bonds
  4. Spirituality
  5. Erotic energy

Reframing the way we spend our time to reflect what is most meaningful – and reconnecting with purpose during a time in which we are coping with feelings of sadness, fear and a loss of control – can be a deeply powerful tool.

Creating a new, thoughtful structure to understand and nurture these most important parts of ourselves without pressure around productivity can be freeing.