Lessons I’ve learned from the pandemic

This year has been a learning experience for all of us. I know many meme’s and jokes are out there that talk about how “awful” 2020 has been and most people are ready for it to be over. On the other hand I think we have to look at the lessons we can find from this experience to help us grow as individuals and not stay in the “doom and gloom” mentality about all of this. To keep more positive it can help to see how to make the most of what time we have left in this year.

Lesson #1 I’ve learned to focus on what is most “essential” and important in my life

When the terminology came up about “essential” workers and businesses during the shutdown, it got me thinking. What is most essential and important to me? What do I need most to be happy and healthy? I think it really made me realize the important things in life are having a home, relationships with others and allowing time for self-care are essential to my well-being. I began doing daily gratitude to focus more on what I do have not on what I don’t have in my life.

Lesoon #2 I’ve learned to keep my mindset on what I “can” still do Not what I “can’t” do

Let’s face it, the pandemic sure took a lot of fun out of our lives this year. It was a huge loss with cancellations of vacations, hockey games and concerts and other big events. However I learned if I stay in that place of “I cant go to a concert” or “I cant do what I want to do” I tend to get more upset and depressed. But if I reframe and tell myself “those things are on pause” and “I will focus on what I can do .” It helps me stay more positive. I can still do yoga, see friends (socially distanced of course) see nature and go for hikes, read good books and go out to dinner. It can help to write a list of fun things you can still do as a reminder that not everything is cancelled. Those fun events will come back in due time, I choose to see this as a time for reflection, more self-care and keeping focus on whats most important (see lesson #1).

Lesson #3 Its important to keep learning new things

My Dad took up playing the harmonica during stay at home orders, my husband picked up his guitar and is taking lessons online. I learned about how to grow a cucumber plant and grew my first one. Now is the time to add to the repertoire of things you can do during this pandemic. When you are engaged in learning a new skill or hobby, it can take your mind of any stress as well as energize you. It can boost your mood and overall motivation. Ask yourself, what is something I have always wanted to learn? What hobby did I used to do that I enjoyed? Of course there are tons of online courses as well that are free or low cost , https://online.stanford.edu/free-courses or https://www.udemy.com. Keeping your mind active is a healthy thing to do.

Lesson #4 Don’t take things in your life for granted

None of us knew at the start of this year that we would be facing a pandemic. We took for granted what it was like to go out in public without a mask, and without fear of catching a potentially deadly disease. WE took for granted going to public events, full restaurants, bars, live music and sporting events. When all that comes back I know I will enjoy it all a bit more. It made me realize that life can happen ffast and the life as you knew it can change on a dime. Embrace each day and what have in your life.

I hope one day we can look back at the pandemic and know that some how it made us stronger. Somehow we were able to help others in need and support each other through it. Lessons can be learned from any negative event and know you can get through anything you set your mind too.