As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, your current season may look quite different from what you expected. On the one hand, you may have the opportunity to slow down and rest from the busy pace of everyday life. At the same time, you may be grieving the loss of your sense of normalcy, job or even a loved one.
To cope during this challenging and unprecedented time, it can be helpful to remind yourself that this is a season. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have lasting effects on the world, the current experience won’t last forever.
The seasons in nature can offer metaphors for your experiences in life, says Angela Buttimer, MS, NCC, RYT, LPC, a licensed psychotherapist at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont.
“The biggest lesson the seasons can teach us is the nature of impermanence, that things are constantly changing,” says Buttimer.
You can experience numerous seasons over your lifetime – multiple springs, summers, autumns and winters. Each season can give you cues to honor your intuitive nature, she says. Depending on your experience, your cues could look like:
Starting a new job, relationship or hobby (spring)
Persevering toward a goal (summer)
Savoring or enjoying success in an area of your life (autumn)
Coping with difficult seasons
A seasonal approach can help you cope with difficult times.
“When we have seasons of difficulty, we know they won’t last forever,” says Buttimer. “There are often nuggets to embrace even in the most difficult seasons of our lives.”
A change in season can also give you permission to slow down.
“Sometimes you don’t feel as good as you did in the last season, and that’s OK,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be a major episode. It could just be that you don’t feel as motivated as you did in years past. Give yourself permission to honor the wholeness of who you are.”
The seasons and community
When going through a difficult season, it’s important to reach out to others and get support and help, says Buttimer. If you’re not going through a tough season, now is the time to build a supportive community around you.
“Our relationships can have reciprocity in various seasons,” she says. “Perhaps we’re doing well in one area and a friend is doing well in another. We can build up and support one another during those times too.”
Honor your unique season
Whether you’re in a season of starting something new, hard work, savoring or rest, you can learn and grow from your experience.
Just like there’s no perfect season in nature, there’s no perfect season in life. One size doesn’t fit all, says Buttimer. The good news is it’s possible to embrace and learn from each season and take that wisdom into your future seasons.
Learn more ways to reduce stress and improve your well-being.