Ok, so I am not going to lie, when I was first told I was going to be forced to stay home I thought, how bad can this be? I have everything I need right here-food, tv, computer, my family. I have this. It will be nice to slow down and have some time with my family. I might even get to those projects I have been putting off. Time to try some new recipes, exercise more, take up meditation, purge etc.

However, watching the news was getting to me. I found myself alarmed. All I did was work and then I wanted to sleep. I had zero energy or drive to do anything more than necessary. I was doing all that I could to stay positive for my family and my work associates, but it was clear I wasn’t winning at that. And then, poof, I decided to embrace this and accept that things are different now and I will create my new “normal for now.”

What’s helping me? I am not watching the news as much. I am looking for every funny meme to bring a smile to me and those around me. I am looking for the stories of neighbors helping neighbors, kids looking for unique ways to reach out and keep going, medical professionals going above and beyond to care for their patients and how families are creatively connecting.

Ultimately, I am looking for hope. It is what is keeping me going. Hope for an end in sight. Hope for those that are sick to fully recover. Hope for solutions and cures. Hope for our economy to bounce back. Hope for everyone to do their part to help friends and strangers alike. I believe hope is critical to our mental health right now.

While hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, I believe it means different things to different people.

Think of how many times you have used the expression I hope. I hope I get this job. I hope I lose weight. I hope I pass this test. I hope she/he notices me and on it goes. It is a feeling of trust. It is something you can’t see, it is something you must feel.

My hope is that my words resonate with you and you reach inside of yourself to find your hope right now. It is not as easy as it once was, but it is still possible.

Author: Lisa Honcharuk, Manager of Marketing and Engagement

The team at Erika’s Lighthouse knows how challenging and difficult this transition is on our teens, educators, parents and others. We are here to help and support our young people. We have launched an exciting new campaign that will provide meaningful, practical resources for teens, educators and parents.