Updated: Dec 18, 2020
COMPILED BY ANN SILVERS www.annsilvers.com
The Coronavirus crisis is creating a lot of stress and anxiety for a lot of people. To help you deal with the stress without losing your mind or ruining your relationships, I put together a compilation of 102 inspiring quotes for dealing with stress related to COVID and other challenges. I also sprinkled in reflection prompts and anti-anxiety resources.
Hopefully, one or more of these encouraging words of wisdom from a wide range of people will spur you on and lift you up during the current crisis and other hard times. Let us know your favorites in the comments section (or tell us about another quote that inspires you.)
You might want to journal about your reflections, share them with someone, or just think about them.
1. “Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.”― Rachel Marie Martin
2. “The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them."―Bernard Baruch“
3. “And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.” — Paulo Coelho
4. “Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know.” — Amy Poehler Reflection: What lessons are you learning (or could you learn) from this experience? 5. “Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.” — Ovid
6. "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering." — Friedrich Nietzsche
7. “Be the attitude you want to be around.” — Tim DeTellis
Reflection: What attitudes would you want to be around in this situation? Do you have those attitudes or is there room for improvement?
8. “We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.” – William J. Brennan, Jr.
9. “I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.” – Frida Kahlo
10. "Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day." — Dalai Lama
For morning affirmation ideas, check out Ann's post: 30 Positive Affirmations to Get Through Coronavirus Anxiety and Other Tough Times
11. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” — Mary Anne Radmacher
12. “It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” — Doe Zantamata
13. “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” — Og Mandino
14. “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” — Walt Disney
15. “If you feel like giving up, give up on that feeling and give into the realization there are endless possibilities waiting to be discovered before you.” — Tom Althouse
16. "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein
Reflection: What opportunities lie in your difficulty?
17. “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” — Bruce Lee
18. “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” — Duke Ellington
19. “Going through challenging things can teach you a lot, and they also make you appreciate the times that aren’t so challenging.” — Carrie Fisher
20. “My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.” — Mizuta Masahide
Reflection: Is there something that you can see now that you couldn't see before? Do you see anything differently?
21. "Keep calm and carry on. A challenging time is just that - a period in time. Taking a few deep breaths and knowing that it won't last forever really allows me to focus on the present moment and task at hand." — Elizabeth Armstrong
22. "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why we call it the present." — Anonymous
23. “He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity.” — William Samuel Johnson
24. “It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good both for oneself and others.” — Dalai Lama
25. "Storms make trees take deeper roots." — Dolly Parton
26. “At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening.” — Unknown
27. From someone small but mighty that lived through a long-forced isolation: “Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” — Anne Frank
28. “It is a blessing to experience hardship. Not because we suffer, but because we learn to endure.” — Saim A. Cheeda
29. “On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.” — Gregory S. Williams
30. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling
31. “Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.” — Napoleon Hill
32. “It’s funny how, when things seem the darkest, moments of beauty present themselves in the most unexpected places.” — Karen Marie Moning
33. "I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.” — Jewish Proverb
34. “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
35. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsch I think that it's important to add a disclaimer to this: "Only if you process the connected thoughts and feelings and harvest the wisdom from the experience."
36. “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” — Christopher Reeve
37. “Grief and resilience live together.” — Michelle Obama
38. “Life keeps throwing me stones. And I keep finding the diamonds.” — Ana Claudia Antunes
39. “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” Chinese Proverb
40. “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” — Maya Angelou
41. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” — Robert H Schuller
42. “Prosperity is not without many fears and disasters, and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.” — Francis Bacon
Reflection: What are some of your comforts and hopes in this time of adversity?
43. “There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
44. “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.” — Cicely Tyson
45. "I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong… I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” — Audrey Hepburn
46. “We all have battles to fight. And it’s often in those battles that we are most alive: it’s on the frontlines of our lives that we earn wisdom, create joy, forge friendships, discover happiness, find love, and do purposeful work.” — Eric Greitens
47. “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
48. “Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.” — Coco Chanel
49. “No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” — Randy Pausch (There's humor in this one, but it also rings true.)
Reflection: Are you doing things that are making matters worse? What changes can you make to your attitude or behavior to stop doing that?
50. “Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
51. “The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” Robert Jordan
52. “The human capacity for burden is like bamboo—far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” — Jodi Picoult
53. "The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within: strength, courage, and dignity." — Ruby Dee
54. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” — Tao Te Ching
55. "Attitude-flexibility is the mentality that helps us to smoothly persevere through turbulent times.” — Dr. Jacinta Mpalyenkana
56. “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — Dr. Seuss
57. “The most challenging times bring us the most empowering lessons.” — Karen Salmansohn
58. "When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about. — Haruki Murakami
Reflection: How will you be improved by this difficult time?
59. “If you are going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill
60. “Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.” — Bob Riley
61. “You can be happy if you know this secret: Some things are within your power to control and some things are not.” — Epictetus
Reflection: What is in your control and what is not in your control during this time? What would help you let go of what you can't control? What can you do about those things that you can control?
62. "The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person.” — Rita Mero
63. “Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…it’s something we make inside ourselves.” — Corrie Ten Boom
64. “Life is at its best when everything has fallen out of place, and you decide that you’re going to fight to get them right, not when everything is going your way and everyone is praising you.” — Thisuri Wanniarachchi
65. “It may sound strange, but many champions are made champions by setbacks.” — Bob Richards
66. “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” — Bernice Johnson Reagon
Reflection: What is this challenge teaching you about yourself? (Note the positives and the negatives.) What can you do with that learning?
67. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden
68. "Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn so that we see ourselves as we really are." — Arthur Golden 69. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” — Helen Keller
70. “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” — Thomas Paine
71. “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” — Kenji Miyazawa
72. "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."—Bob Marley
Reflection: What strengths are you building through this challenge? What could you strengthen more?
73. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
74. “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
75. "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
76. “We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
77. “Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” — Napoleon Hill
78. "In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." — Camus
79. “Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” — John Wooden
80. “Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
81. “I learned there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, others come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.” — Dr. Seuss
82. “Sometimes you learn, grow and give far more when your back's against the wall.” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru
83. “My strength did not come from lifting weights. My strength came from lifting myself up when I was knocked down.” — Bob Moore
84. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Khalil Gibran
85. “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.” — Paulo Coelho
86. "Always remember, good times await you after the difficult times pass. — James A. Murphy III
87. “Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.” — Jacques Prevert
Reflection: Find a small smilable every day -- something small that is worthy of a smile. Savor the happiness in simple things. Note: Increasing My Happiness Quotient: Silver Lining Joy Journal & Workbook has spots for tracking daily small smilables so you can up the happiness from them.
88. “When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better.” — Malcolm S. Forbes
89. “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” — Michelle Obama
90. "One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys." — Dr. Al Lorin
91. "A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn." Unknown
92. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius
For help stopping negative thoughts: 4 Step Thought Blocking or Thought Stopping Technique
93. “And hard times are good in their own way, too. Because the only way you can achieve true happiness is if you experience true sadness as well. It’s all about light and shade. Balance.” — Gabrielle Williams
94. "When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this--you haven't. — Thomas A. Edison
95. "Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day." – Alice Morse Earle (My addition: Some days you have to look a little, or a lot, harder to see it.)
96. “However long the night, the dawn will break.” – African Proverb
97. “I realize there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.” — Jeffrey McDaniel
98. “In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.” — Drew Barrymore
99. "What we don't need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human." — Brené Brown (For more Brené Brown quotes, check out this blog post: Brene Brown Vulnerability Definition and Quotes.)
100. "Storms don’t last forever." — Anonymous
101. "If you're feeling low, don't despair. The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning. The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." — Dolly Parton
102. "In every difficult situation is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it." —Norman Vincent Peale