COVID-19 Creates an Opportunity to Reset Our Priorities

Emma Carbery

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – As the pandemic continuously unfolds, we have collectively endured loss, but there are also opportunities for many of us to learn and grow. With people self-isolating and social distancing encouraged by governments, people have begun to revert their focus back into the things that are most important – families, friends and most especially, ourselves. In little and big ways, the rise of COVID-19 has also given rise to positive shifts in how we relate to ourselves and to each other and we should make the most of that.

Emma Carbery, Founder at Mindfulness Dubai, says that trying to find the new balance between life and work is what most people are struggling with. Work-life balance involves juggling workplace stress with the daily pressures of maintaining performance, wellbeing, and relationships. But with nationwide lock-downs and working from home programmes due to the global situation, we are faced with all of our lives happening in the same physical space and this can be challenging.

With more time spent at home, individuals are finding it hard to maintain a level of structure. And with less work for some, routines have completely shifted, leaving some people lost and unfulfilled. However, now, more than ever, is the opportune time to reflect on our priorities and reassess where we put our energy.

Carbery comments, “Everyone is impacted in different ways by the current situation, so whilst some people are genuinely able to enjoy a slower pace of life as they work from home, other people are experiencing a very stressful time with financial worry as they try to keep hold of their jobs and businesses. For those who are in a more stable situation and feel like they have more free time – I would say enjoy it as much as you can! If the situation goes on for some time however, it is also important to think about how you are spending that free time and to use it in ways that will optimise your wellbeing and happiness.  Asking ourselves whether we are focused on what’s most important in life is a great way to get perspective on how we are spending out time. It can make the different between whiling away the hours lost in TV versus spending quality time with those that we love, either in person or online.  Many of us could also benefit from learning to do less, to slow down and to focus on the present moment.

The only thing we can really control is how we respond to the current situation, and anxiety and stress are contagious. So how do we contain it? As a Certified Mindfulness Teacher, Carbery shares a few short tips to maintaining your sanity, wellbeing and effectiveness.


  1. Be Mindful – Whenever, wherever and purposefully, bring your attention to the present moment by focusing on your breath. This will ease your anxiety and calm your nervous system.
  2. Watch what you consume – Whatever we consume, whether it’s news, social media, food, drink, all of these things impact how we feel and how we behave. So be mindful about what you are consuming to ensure you can be at your best for yourself and others.
  3. Be mindful of your feelings – Treat yourself with kindness and self-compassion when you’re feeling down.
  4. Set a routine for yourself and for your family – Set up a routine for the entire family that allows you to focus on work rest and play so that everyone’s needs get met. If you’re living on your own, similarly set up a routine that encompasses work time and down time.
  5. Lastly, remember that this won’t last forever!

Additionally, Carbery will be hosting a complimentary 4-part online mindfulness program running in conjunction with ICAS, the Employee Assistance Program provider.  The series is titled, Navigating Tough Times with the next session scheduled for Sunday 5th April called Harnessing the Power of What IS. The upcoming session aims to help participants realize when their minds have been overwhelmed by stressful ‘what IF this or that happens’ scenarios and enable them to focus back on what’s happening right now and what they can control in their current environment.


Fact Box:

What: Navigating Difficult Times: Session 2

Topic: Harnessing the Power of What IS

Zoom meeting details:

  • Date & Time – Apr 5, 2020 05:30 PM Dubai
  • Join Zoom Meeting –
  • Meeting ID – 948 751 373

 The remaining 2 sessions will be held on 12th and 19th April at 5.30pm



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