From Shattered Goals to Meaning in Life: Life Crafting in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic

10 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2020

See all articles by Elisabeth M. de Jong

Elisabeth M. de Jong

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Niklas Ziegler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michaéla Schippers

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management

Date Written: July 21, 2020

Abstract

The novel COVID-19 pandemic has created an extraordinary situation for our generation, with many countries being on lockdown. With this new situation comes many psychological challenges, not only for health care workers and people suffering from COVID-19, but also for the general population. Adapting to the new situation can be demanding. Experts have suggested that emotions during this situation are very similar to grief, and people experience emptiness and sadness about the loss of their normal lives, which can even lead to a loss of meaning in life. In this paper, we argue that life crafting could offer a way to help people cope with the situation and renew their sense of meaning. A life crafting intervention is based on theoretical insights from multiple areas of research, like positive psychology, expressive writing, and the salutogenesis framework. Life-crafting interventions help people find meaning in life by focusing on their ideal future, and helping them set goals, make concrete plans to achieve those goals and overcome obstacles. Since having a clear purpose or meaning in life has been shown to have many benefits, we propose that it can also help people to cope with the psychological effects of the pandemic. A life-crafting intervention can offer people a chance to evaluate their goals in a time of uncertainty and rediscover meaning in life to guide them through these difficult times.

Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, life crafting, grief, collective trauma, meaning in life, purpose in life, goal setting

Suggested Citation

de Jong, Elisabeth and Ziegler, Niklas and Schippers, Michaela, From Shattered Goals to Meaning in Life: Life Crafting in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic (July 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3656964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3656964

Elisabeth De Jong (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Niklas Ziegler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michaela Schippers

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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