It's OK to be OK

Everyone’s experience during the pandemic is unfolding differently. The lasting effects of COVID-19 have been devastating for millions of people around the world. There are people who have passed, grieving loved ones, those facing financial hardship, and mental health challenges. On the other end of the spectrum there are others who are doing well, some even thriving. For some people, this can lead to a feeling of “survivor guilt” or “survivor’s guilt” – believing that they’ve done something wrong by surviving a traumatic or tragic event others did not. Survivor guilt manifests in a range of emotions from guilt, shame, unworthiness, and sometimes anger.

COVID-19 has certainly been a traumatic experience, but not everyone is struggling. This has resulted in a type of survivor guilt where people aren’t feeling “impacted enough” by the pandemic. While we regularly remind people that it’s “OK to not be OK”, we also have to remember that it’s “OK to be OK”. If the pandemic has offered opportunities to thrive and excel, we should celebrate those wins.

If you’re struggling with feelings of guilt, remember that you didn’t do anything wrong and that you are fortunate to be healthy or work in an industry that can withstand the economic impact of a global health crisis. Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on our personal, emotional health and now is a great time to find someone to talk these emotions through in therapy. Something you can do right now is start a gratitude journal. List the things for which you are thankful for and ask yourself whom you can help right now - whether it's emotionally with a conversation, financially or otherwise.