COVID Diaries: Finding My Joy

The COVID Diaries feature visual art, including photography, and written testimonials reflecting on life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Submissions from across the NEOMED community are welcome; see the submission guidelines below.

My journey started at the end of 2019. I know that seems like a lifetime ago. Do you remember what you were doing? I was busy but excited about all the new opportunities that I had been presented. I did not want to exhaust myself, however, so it seemed like the perfect time to slow down, reflect, and recharge. 

Never in a million years would I have thought that this was practice for a global pandemic. I do not believe that everything happens for a reason. But I do believe that I had begun to center myself and my emotions around prioritizing my need for boundaries, self-care, and joy to help me weather this unknown storm ahead of us.

I have learned to set boundaries with family members, friends, and coworkers, but also with myself. I am constantly asking myself what I have capacity for and what do I need to say No to. If I am going to sustain my work, then I must sustain myself. 

Some people don’t like the term self-care because it has been so commodified. I get that but what hasn’t been? Many of us are diligently working to support our communities during this pandemic, but how is that impacting us physically and mentally? The care we show for our communities and the care we give to ourselves are bound up together.

Out of my self-care practice, I have discovered joy. I am not a “happiness is a choice” person but I believe in finding joy in my everyday interactions. This has not been easy over the last year and a half and many days I miss the mark. But every day I get up with the goal of finding my joy. 

-Written by Crystal N. Dunivant

To submit to COVID Diaries 

  1. Go to The Pulse’s news page
  2. Click on the green button labeled “SUBMIT NEWS & ARTICLES.” 
  3. Complete the form. 

You’ll have the option of including a photo. Title your submission COVID Diaries: _, including a subtitle unique to your submission, for example, COVID Diaries: Baking My Way Through.

Written pieces should be 200-300 words. Submissions of visual art should be accompanied by an explanatory artist’s statement or personal reflection of 200-300 words that contextualizes the significance of the work.

Share this post