Australian icon Olivia Newton-John had some reassuring words about navigating the pandemic as she shared a Christmas message with her followers.
We all know what a relentlessly challenging year 2020 has been. Not only has the pandemic, and all its resulting tiers, restrictions and social-distancing made it tough to carry on with some semblance of normality in our day-to-day lives, but with no end date in sight, it’s also made it hard to stay hopeful for the future.
If you’ve ever been told to “look on the bright side” of a bad situation, you’ll also know that it can sometimes feel impossible - not to mention irritating - to hunt for silver linings when all you want to do is grieve, fume, or sulk in your duvet for a whole weekend.
One person, however, who can be always be relied upon to bring a genuinely comforting sense of perspective, is Olivia Newton-John.
When she’s not dressing up in her old costume from Grease to surprise fans or raising money for charity, the actor is always spreading positivity on her Instagram, sharing poems from her niece, supporting animal conservation efforts, and thanking essential workers for their work on the front lines during the pandemic.
On Christmas Day, Newton-John posted festive greetings to her followers, alongside a heartwarming message about the past year.
“I just want to wish you all the happiest and healthiest holiday season,” she began. “I hope that 2021 brings us new things and just keep your spirits up and think positive thoughts.”
The actor then reassured followers that change is one constant that’s always on the horizon, using a Persian adage that’s frequently used as a tonic in difficult times.
“We’ll get through this,” she continued. “This too will pass.”
Newton-John’s words come from a place of understanding, too. The actor is currently living with stage-four metastatic breast cancer since her cancer returned in 2017, the third time she has been diagnosed with the illness in the past 28 years.
Despite her diagnosis, Newton-John remains optimistic about her health, dedicating much of her time to running the Olivia Newton-John Foundation, a charity funding research into holistic therapies for cancer.
And during the pandemic, the actor has been savouring the simple pleasures in life, like gardening, looking after her animals and enjoying the countryside on her ranch in California.
In an interview with The Guardian in October, she explained how she reframes her thinking when going though a tough experience.
“As you get older, you grow some wisdom,” she explained. “You realise that you will get through this and you will survive it. Like the pandemic – these things happen, but life goes on. We will all learn and grow a lot from this. I think there’ll be positive things that come out of it.”
Newton-John is right: as difficult as things seem right now, we can alter the way we approach challenges at every stage of our life, even if we can’t control them. It’s a powerful perspective, and one that will stand us in good stead as we move beyond the pandemic.