5 Ways To Find Joy And Love in the Coronavirus Era

Calm your anxiety by leaning into the things that make you happy

Joel Leon.
LEVEL
Published in
5 min readMar 22, 2020

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Photo: Granger Wootz/Getty Images

TThe Covid-19 pandemic, itself an unprecedented domestic crisis, has ignited a number of secondary crises. The difficulty in passing the economic stabilization package once again exposed how many legislators’ interests lie with corporations rather than people. The call for health care reform has taken on new urgency. Elected officials at all levels need to be held accountable for their lagging, anemic response to the pandemic; our education and childcare systems are ill-equipped to handle the countless children now forced to stay at home with parents. The gig economy, which once touted itself as a beacon of autonomy for so many workers, has been exposed as exploitive and dangerous, even as it searches for new ways to stay afloat. The long-term effects that social distancing will have on the economy and our overall financial stability is hard to put into numbers.

Yet, the thing that comes to mind for me is harder to quantify: the mental health impact of the pandemic. Fear and dread courses through news broadcasts and social feeds, often eclipsing stories of hope and optimism, or even progress against the disease. What may indeed be our “new normal” is something like we have never seen in my generation and will doutbless have an effect on our sanity.

That’s exactly why it’s more vital than ever that we lean into our communities — both real-world and digital — and dig for the two things I believe we’ll need just as much as a vaccine and medical supplies: Joy and love.

Here are a few ways I think we can find joy and love amid this crisis.

  1. Be with what ails you. Maybe it’s fear. Perhaps it’s sadness from not being able to touch or be around your loved ones. Feel those things. Pay attention to your emotions, but don’t hold onto them in a way that they stay with you. It requires healthy detachment — the idea that you can sit with things, see them for what they are, and not be attached to them being any other way, or connect those feelings to yourself. Instead of thinking, “I am sad,” realign and think,“Oh, this is sadness.” It is not, “I am filled with joy and equanimity,” but instead, “this is what joy and equanimity look like.” Healthy…

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Joel Leon.
LEVEL
Writer for

he/him. @tedtalks giver. @EBONYmag / @medium writer. @frankwhiteco . creative. @taylorstrategy senior copywriter. @thecc_nyc 21’ class. @twloha board. #BRONX