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Creativity + Compassion During the COVID-19 Crisis

You've been emailing, DMing, and texting us your questions about how to be creative and compassionate during these trying times. We asked an expert to weigh in with her thoughts!

Written by
Brightly Staff

Liza had the opportunity to chat with Liz Segran on this special bonus episode of Good Together. Liz Segran is the author of The Rocket Years: How Your Twenties Launch the Rest of Your Life (coming out on March 31, 2020) and a staff writer for Fast Company, where she writes about sustainability in the fashion industry. 

Over the past two years, Liz has spent her time researching the big decisions that people in their twenties make and how those decisions change the course of their lives. Liz has seen this come to light even more during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people of all ages worry about how these events may derail or change their futures.

As always, we want to leave with actionable, inspiring, and uplifting tips about how you can take of yourself + the planet even during these uncertain times. 

How COVID-19 is Affecting Us

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, it’s becoming more apparent that our lives have drastically changed for the foreseeable future. Many people are coming to terms with the possibility of a recession, of sheltering in place for months rather than weeks, and other enormous life changes. 

Right now, we are all dealing with two levels of anxiety. One is the fact that we are watching cataclysmic, historical events unfold on a national and global scale. 

But it’s also essential to hold space for the more personal disappointments, sadness, and sacrifices that we are all making. Some people are upset about their graduation ceremonies being canceled. For others, it might be travel plans, separation from family members, or changes to their children’s school schedules. 

It’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling right now. Take the time you need to come to terms with your personal disappointments and worries so that you can take in the globally significant issues later. 

As the pandemic continues to play out, it brings the inequities of our society out into the public view. It’s becoming evident that vulnerable people, on the margins of society, are those who suffer the most. 

Liz notes that many people are complaining about staying at home. She recommends shifting your mindset to recognize the inherent luxury of being able to stay home and protect your family. 

Some are not able to stay home because their job is essential to the function of our society. This doesn’t just include health care personnel, police officers, and firefighters. It also encompasses grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, and warehouse workers at companies like Amazon. 

We are seeing that our lives are built upon the premise of having everything available to us at any time. As we practice social distancing and stay at home, it’s necessary to take stock of what is truly essential to our daily lives and be grateful to the people who make those essentials available to us. 

Silver Linings of the COVID-19 Pandemic: More Creativity, Compassion, & Potential For Change

As this crisis continues, it has been impressive to see how companies respond with compassion for their customers by offering some services for free. Companies are also starting to work more in a spirit of collaboration rather than competition. 

On a local level, it’s incredible to see compassion bloom in our communities. Moments of chaos, such as the current crisis, teach us about ourselves and the world and give us valuable context for decisions we make in the future. In a crisis like this, we are communally dealing with this chaos rather than individually. It’s empowering to think about what we are learning about ourselves, our country, and the world. 

What is this season teaching us? What really matters, what kind of work do we value, and who matters most to us? Considering and reflecting on these questions can help us decide what is most important going forward. 

How to Live Ethically + Mindfully During The Pandemic

Our personal lives have been upended of the virus’s effect on our communities. It’s tough to take care of ourselves or anyone else when we are afraid, stressed, and worried. 

Spending some time on self-care will help you shift your mindset. Take time to learn a new skill, read, practice yoga, and continue with your daily routine at home. Invest in activities that will help take your tensions away. Liz, for example, stops reading the news at 4 PM every day to help her unplug from the constant stream of updates and give herself a mental break. It’s crucial now, more than ever, to take care of ourselves.

Take some time to consider what is most important to you, from what you buy at the grocery store to how many products you use daily. If everyone takes a moment now to evaluate their own needs and shopping habits, maybe we won’t see our society return to a state of constant overconsumption. 

Lastly, enjoy the time you are spending with your loved ones, whether in your home or virtually. Finding new ways to connect with each other is a beautiful and profound effect of this pandemic. Celebrate the joy of connection coming from this moment, and then consider how you can help others.

Some ideas to help others + connect more:

  • If you own a business, could you help others by cross-promoting, offering something for free or low-cost, or consulting with other business owners that need support?
  • Order food from your favorite local restaurant or books from your local bookstore
  • Buy a gift card for services that aren’t available right now
  • Find artists to support on Buy Me a Coffee or Patreon
  • Help out older people in your community by offering to order or pick up groceries for them 
  • Connect with friends and family by learning new skills, reading books, or just spending time together via video chat software

We hope that you will take care of yourselves, your families, and your communities during this time. Though it may be challenging, knowing that this crisis will end and that our lives are changing for the better as a result is a powerful and inspiring part of this season. At Brightly, we will continue to produce content that inspires + empowers you to live an ethical, sustainable, and caring life.

Resources We Mentioned