The COVID-19 Crisis
I’ve been focusing on COVID-19 through several of my latest posts. While I’m sure you’re getting sick of hearing about it, I hope these posts provide valuable takeaways and lessons for us all. I’ve talked about the changes to 420, blazing alone, and consuming Cannabis during COVID-19. Today we are building on this conversation even further, adding in the concepts of resilience, thriving, and self-compassion.
The goal is to help us accept the situation, adapt our behavior, develop resilience, and survive as best as we can. The next step is transitioning from just surviving to thriving in life while building increase self-compassion. We’ll discuss what terms all mean and how they impact you in this blog.
The Collective Challenge
We’ve been thrown into this entirely new situation, one that our parents and our generation has never seen before. It is a challenging time for us all, although the exact reasons may vary. Some of us are stuck at home, missing out on all the things we wanted to do, dealing with isolation, and so much more. Others are working harder than ever before, risking their lives at the front-lines or in essential services to keep this ship afloat. Many of us will experience grief as we lose out on valued experiences and events, as well as losing loved ones.
Throughout this crisis, we will all face obstacles and challenges. Today’s post will talk about concepts that can be empowering for us all. We will learn about resilience and how it can help us thrive. We’ll also discuss the importance of self-compassion during COVID-19.
In psychology, the idea of resilience has gained tremendous interest over the decades. The fundamental question is, ‘what separates those of us who excel in-spite of tragedy and conflict compared to those who succumb to these pressures?’. Resilience involves being able to roll with the punches to take what life throws at us without being thrown off track. We all need days off and time away, but people with resilience generally push through stressful times with proactive behaviors. People with resilience find a way to recover and maintain proper functionality. Resilience is something we could all use more of, especially during COVID-19.
Resilience is connected to the idea of thriving, a concept that describes excelling in our given circumstances. Someone who is thriving is learning, growing, and adapting to traumatic events, or even the little daily stressors. We often focus on significant events, like COVID-19. Still, the impact of those small daily annoyances can build up and substantially impact us all. To thrive means to excel in the face of hardship. I hope we all find a way to thrive when and where we can during this crisis. And when this doesn’t work out so well, a little compassion can be helpful.
Beyond compassion for others, there is the compassion we show ourselves. So many of us are dealing with working from home, lost social lives, full-time childcare, and sick loved ones. Having a self-critical perspective can help increase self-awareness and make positive changes. Unfortunately, when we can’t change the situation, being self-critical can often bring us down. By practicing self-compassion, we can make this crisis just a little bit easier for us all.
Did you stay in pajamas all day, eating like crap and watching TV while you avoid cleaning and work? That’s ok, we’ve all been there. With this traumatic event going on around us, we all could use some time to process and grief. Take time when you need it, practice good self-care, and don’t feel so bad about being lazy. The key is to not let this go on for too long.
For example, grieving the loss of a parent includes days or weeks of sadness and unproductivity. If this process goes on for months, then it develops into depression and leads us in downward spirals. Shifting back to COVID-19, I think we all need a short mourning period. So don’t feel bad about an unproductive week or two. All you can do now is get back on track and get back to living a valued life as best you can, given the circumstances.
To summarize, give yourself permission to grief and be lazy so that you can recover. Once you’ve had a week or two of this, however, work to get back to your normal. If you have lost a loved one during this crisis, you should extend this period of self-compassion. For us all, we would benefit from starting to exercise more self-compassion each day.
How Cannabis Fits
Since I didn’t mention Cannabis in the above section, let me include it now. If you spent the first week working from home and getting high all day, that’s fine. If you have increased your daily dose of Cannabis during this crisis, that’s also ok. Many of us are consuming more to deal with this terrible crisis and shouldn’t feel bad about it. Just don’t let it mindlessly become the new normal.
What is essential is that we don’t let COVID-19 get us stuck. It’s ok to get high all day, but that doesn’t mean you can avoid house chores and other critical daily activities. Use the time spent high to practice good active self-care, not merely to numb and avoid. Spend some time thinking about what activities you’ve been avoiding around the house, and make a to-do list. Increase the time you spend sober over the coming days, and use that time for productive activities (like filing your taxes). Try to have at least a few to-do’s for each day, and get them done before rewarding yourself with weed.
If you haven’t been consuming weed during this crisis, it’s ok to reward yourself with some infused edibles, beverages, or oils. Be proud of the self-control you’ve shown. If you’ve been low on self-control, forgive yourself and take back your control starting now. Measure out your weed and split it into reasonable daily doses. Allow yourself your daily dose of Cannabis without being self-critical.
Now that we have a solid understanding of resilience, thriving, and self-compassion, we’ll add Cannabis into the conversation even more. In reverse order, I’ll discuss how we can develop these skills with Cannabis in our lives. Cannabis can be harmful and unproductive, but it can also be incredibly helpful and life-changing.
The sections below will attempt to provide guidance on how to shift the scale toward positive outcomes. These concepts are all more important than ever considering the current global pandemic. We will use COVID-19 to discuss these concepts, but they can be applied in so many other ways.
Developing Self-Compassion with Cannabis
The first thing to consider is our personal view of Cannabis. There is a lot of stigma and judgments out there, and they can steep into our heads. Instead of letting those views be imposed upon us, we should focus on our situation. Shift this view and ensure you avoid letting others tell you how you should and shouldn’t live your life.
The second thing to consider is how you view yourself. Do you feel bad about consuming weed? Are you self-critical when you get high? Through times like these, if you are consuming a bit more than usual, that’s fine. It’s a freaking global pandemic after all. Try to give yourself a break and take it easy on yourself. Don’t stop getting your work and errands done.
But after that is done, if you want to be lazy and get stoned, go for it. It helps with staying at home and preventing the spread of this disease. So instead of feeling stuck and negative, judging yourself practice some self-compassion. You are doing the best you can in this situation. It’s good to strive for better, but don’t beat yourself up about where you are and where you’ve been. Once you get high, try to spend that time self-reflecting on how you can be more self-compassionate.
Thriving with Cannabis
Thriving means getting through the rough and attaining the best score you can. Thriving with Cannabis means living responsibly according to your values and achieving your goals. If your goal is to chill and fall asleep, Cannabis can help with that. The key is knowing when you pass on the Cannabis and get shit done that needs to get done. Thriving requires balance and committed effort.
To develop a stronger foundation for thriving, here are a few tips. Spend time reflecting on your values and goals. Write these down and below that write out as many actions as you can. These actions should all move you toward your goals and be in-line with your values. Before you get high, ask yourself if there are actions that should do first. Beyond that, plan ahead for what you will do while high. Select baked activities that support your goals, instead of those that slow you down.
Building Resilience with Cannabis
Resilience is a tricky thing to develop. Scientists continue to debate how much of it is genetic versus conditioned. Instead of getting into that, let’s talk about what can help maintain resilience with Cannabis. First, do not let Cannabis knock you off track. Develop a broader set of actions you can select from when you consider what to do next. By having more options available, you increase the odds of reaching goals. You may not be able to go outside because of the weather. Still, you can do bodyweight exercises at home to help you achieve that goal of finishing a marathon.
Keep your values in mind, and always picking from behaviors that support your goals instead of impeding them. By intentionally making valued decisions, you increase your ability to roll with the punches. Getting high can supplement some goals, and should be combined with those actions. The actions that require more sobriety should be done sober. Maintain a positive attitude as best you can, and use Cannabis to help provide some self-reflection time. By increasing your self-awareness, you can recognize when things are starting to slide, and you can pull them back on track.
By making more intentional decisions and increasing your self-awareness, you can improve your resilience and chance of thriving. By developing a more self-compassionate mindset, we can reduce the inner tension and focus our efforts more proactively. Cannabis use can be productive or destructive. Make sure you stay in control, maintain your self-compassion, while working to build resilience, and thrive in life. With COVID-19 presenting a landmark challenge in our lives, it is the perfect time to refocus on what is critical. Increase your chances of coming out of this crisis in the best shape possible by consuming Cannabis with purpose.