12 Inspiring Quotes to Keep Your Spirits Up and Help You Find Meaning During the Pandemic

They have the power to boost your optimism during this tough time.

SFIO CRACHO / Shutterstock
SFIO CRACHO / Shutterstock


As the pandemic continues, staying resilient and optimistic can be a challenge, whether you are sheltering at home or working on the front lines. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have tools that can help you reconnect with yourself and your inner wisdom. Inspirational phrases and quotes can do just that — helping you find hope and meaning when you need it the most. Keep these close by, and read them whenever you are looking for a dose of perspective or purpose.

“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields… Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” ―Mary Oliver, poet

How you begin your morning can set the tone for the entire day. These words from the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet can help you find the beauty in simple things and connect you to the importance of kindness. 

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other.” —Mother Teresa

Wise words about the abiding value of human connection.

“What you are looking for is already in you… You already are everything you are seeking.” —Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, spiritual leader

We have all the answers within us, if we only take the time to look, says Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned monk and leading proponent of mindfulness.

“You may not always have a comfortable life. And you will not always be able to solve all the world’s problems all at once. But don’t ever underestimate the impact 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

Inspiring words from the former First Lady — our smallest acts of courage and kindness can make a world of difference.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” —Julian of Norwich

This reminder from the 14th-century Christian mystic can serve as a mantra when we need a little help remaining optimistic about the future. 

“Help thy brother’s boat across and lo! thine own has reached the shore.”—Hindu proverb

Helping others has the power to transform the giver as much as the recipient. In other words, if you’re searching for meaning, looking for an opportunity to be useful to someone else may be your best bet.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” —Marcus Aurelius, from his seminal book, Meditations 

The Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher understood that it’s not our circumstances that truly define us, but our internal response to even the most challenging times.

“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.” —Maya Angelou, poet

A great reminder to look for and savor the opportunities of this time.

“That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” —William Wordsworth, poet

What we give represents the best of who we are. 

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” ― Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams 

The author reminds us that we need to inhabit hope in order to activate it.  

“We may not be able to witness our own eulogy, but we’re actually writing it all the time, every day.” ―Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global

From our own CEO’s book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, a reminder that every single day contributes to a life of meaning, so make it count! 

“This is the time to be slow,

Lie low to the wall

Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let

The wire brush of doubt

Scrape from your heart

All sense of yourself

And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,

Time will come good;

And you will find your feet

Again on fresh pastures of promise,

Where the air will be kind

And blushed with beginning.” ―John O’Donohue, Benedictus Book Of Blessings 

The late Irish poet’s poignant words about gentle renewal are perfect for our time — when many of us are forced to slow down.

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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