Interfaith Health Care Association of Manitoba

Each day we look at how we can still grow and even flourish amidst a pandemic. Today we look at how practicing Mindfulness and Compassion can facilitate growth and health.


Resilience can be tough to come by in the midst of the daily experiences of grief that the  pandemic brings us.  Of course there is fear and sadness if someone close to us has gotten sick or died.  But even if this hasn’t been your direct experience, COVID-19 has visited a myriad of “little griefs” upon us, such as missing an event marking a milestone like a retirement or significant birthday/anniversary, having vacation plans cancelled or, losing the weekly ritual of meeting friends at a local hangout.

On the face of it, these losses hardly compare to the death of a loved one, for example.  And even still, they cause a sense of sadness in us, often compounded by a sense of guilt, because the loss seems so small in the context of a global pandemic.

No wonder then that a lot of how we’re dealing with the pandemic is escapism.  Whether it’s an endless “Netflix and chill” scenario or obsessively reading or cooking, or, in fact, if we are turning to mind altering substances with a frequency unlike any other time in our lives, many of us just want an easy way to check out from the daily sense of loss and fear the pandemic has brought us.

We all need a mental break from time to time, but sooner or later, we are dragged (sometimes kicking and screaming) back into reality.  

Mindfulness practices offer both an evidence-based way to deal with reality for ourselves as well as a way to generate compassion for others.  It turns out that being present to how things actually are, rather than how we wish they were, can be a powerful way to recoup our resilience, stay healthy and even thrive in the midst of life’s challenges.