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Covid-19 has disrupted the order of our world and brought chaos. Order….chaos…funnily enough we need both. But one in the absence of the other leads to a profound imbalance. Order represents stability, reliability, dependability and integrity. And chaos represents opportunity, surprise and excitement. When we have order we can embrace a degree of chaos. Chaos provides the opportunity to explore new things, gain a different perspective. It is in our lives that we seek to walk the fine line between the two, it is there that we find meaning and purpose.

The concepts of stability, reliability, dependability and integrity make us feel safe and protected. Psychologically speaking they ground us, the Self feels stable and secure. In their absence our reality can become distorted and it is then that our Self becomes unbalanced. It manifests this imbalance through, for example, worry and anxiety, stress and depression. It generates a sense of helplessness, of there being no way out. We feel there is no lift at the end of the tunnel. There is an absence of hope.

The absence of hope is profoundly difficult to deal with. It is in these moments the we need to act, to make a plan, to create some sense of order. This can start with the smallest of steps.

  • Be kind to a stranger
  • Cook a meal for someone who needs it
  • Check on a neighbour
  • Eat well, reduce your waste
  • Be strong for your family, friends
  • Perhaps seek some therapy

It is important to note that although we, on our own, cannot change the system, we can change something as important, and that is our attitude to it. It is in this way, by engaging in meaningful acts, that hope can re-appear. It could be argued that we have a moral responsibility to act, to not just accept our fate, but to keep moving forward in spite of adverse events. The human spirit is a wonderful thing, we just have to point it in the right direction. In the words of Nietzsche “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How”.

John Day,
Counselling Psychologist,
August 2020.