How to Recreate Meaning Now That the Pandemic Has Upended Life


1. Revisit your values.
Family, creativity, knowledge, fun, service. What do you find important in life? Our values cement our understanding of who we are and what we want. They lead us to the people and opportunities that fill our lives with meaning and joy.
Helping people—showing others love—is important to me. While I can’t currently help how I previously did, I am capable of showing love to friends, family, and those who need a hand. I believe love is how we can get through the pandemic.
Creating is something that I also value, namely writing. Journaling helps me connect to myself, and writing articles like this gives me the chance to help others.
Retell your story. Retrace the steps that led to your values.
2. Reconnect with loved ones old and new.
Like my friend stated, we all enrich the lives of others. Our people give us memories and share laughs with us. They pick us up when we’re down, point us forward when we’re looking backward, and remind us of what’s important when we’ve forgotten. They’ll help us through this crisis.
The urgency of the current climate can give us a nudge to reintroduce ourselves to our family and friends. We can discuss the things that matter to us. Connect with each other on a deeper level, since, for many, emotions are close to the surface. It’s okay if we needed the extra push to reconnect.
I am terrible at keeping in touch with others. Social isolation and concerns surrounding the virus, however, have pushed me to maintain and strengthen the connections I have. I don’t want to lose the link I established between myself and others.
And I’ve been grateful to have heard from people I haven’t spoken to in a long time. It’s reminded me that I mean something. Perhaps we can remind others that they mean something, too.

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