Love in the time of Coronavirus – by Ros Ben-Moshe
The smoke from Australia’s devastating bushfires has barely dissipated and we’re in the midst of a public health emergency. Much discussion has been directed towards the economic and public health response to the coronavirus, from banning public gatherings to economic stimulus packages, yet what of our collective soul? Not only may the value of the ASX and tourist numbers plunge, but so too our community cohesion and wellbeing. While blame, fear and anxiety flourishes plunging the world in despair, and the race for a vaccine ensues, what of another antidote: love, compassion and kindness? Developing these resources is critical to bolstering our immunity to stress.
When we feel stressed or overwhelmed the last thing one might naturally feel is grateful. Why would we? But a mindset conditioned to gratitude lifts your mood, creates a more positive mindset, and in time changes how your brain is wired.
A shock diagnosis of bowel cancer got me thinking about the language around cancer – the big “C”, the invocation of warmongering battlefield metaphors, together with a steadfast attachment to the cancer ‘survivor’ term. My experience with bowel cancer made me realise the default language around cancer needs to change. Doing so does not diminish the huge ramification of a cancer diagnosis, which no semantics of language can change, but it does relieve some of the burdensome weight it brings. Together with surgery and treatment, reframing and challenging the language around cancer is a valuable tool to promote resilience, empowerment and wellness potential.
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