Over the past 16 months the pandemic has turned all of our lives upside down, impacting every single human being on the planet. From pole to pole, every part of the world has been affected. Everyday routines were brought to a halt, and all sense of normalcy and routine vanished. Talk about a wake up call to take stock of what is truly important in life and how much we take for granted, day to day. During this time I have learned a lot about myself, my relationships and that it really is a small world afterall.
As we we begin to open up and venture into our new world, I will take these valuable lessons with me.
1. Human Contact is Essential For the Spirit & Soul to Thrive
I used to be an extremely social person. A few years ago after making some very bad decisions, I withdrew and stopped socializing completely. Just as I was starting to find myself again and was ready to rejoin society, COVID-19 hit.
Choosing to withdraw and being forced to, are two vastly different situations
The past 16 months has highlighted just how important social interaction and human contact is and how prevalent it is in almost every aspect of our lives. Social distancing, multiple stay-at-home orders, shutdowns and job loss exacerbated social isolation and loneliness at breakneck speed. I don’t live alone, but my husband is a fairly solitary human being by nature and I needed more. My girlfriends and I made an effort to video chat as often as we could and I walked with another good friend regularly. I have learned that choosing to withdraw and being forced to, are two vastly different things. This pandemic has made me realize how much I miss social interactions and things as simple as a hug or a drink with a friend. Something I vow to never take for granted again.
2. It is OK Not to Be OK
Like millions of others around the globe, I lost my job, watched too much news and I couldn't process what was happening. I would stare at the tv screen and watch reports, numb and heavy hearted. People were hoarding toilet paper, cleaning supplies and food like armageddon was coming.
Depression was moving in and by the end of March 2020, I felt broken from the constant overthinking about what might happen in the next weeks, months and even years to come. Instead of trying to push it down and act like I was ok, I allowed myself to be sad. I allowed myself to hide under the covers when I needed quiet and a sense of safety. My husband has been my rock. He supported me each and every time I needed to have a mental rest and never made me feel bad about it. He made sure that I knew that it was ok to be scared and worried. Thanks to taking that time for myself and his support, I was able to reign in my anxiety and fears, to a manageable level. And will continue to remind myself it is ok not to be ok each and every day moving forward.
3. Life is Precious, Appreciate Who & What You Have
With over 1 million+ lives lost worldwide from the COVID-19 virus, this pandemic has made me rethink my priorities and remember how precarious life is. It has been a reminder to stop and appreciate the smaller things in life, and to be kinder and more understanding of what people are going through, including myself. I am extremely grateful for my husband, family and friends. We are fortunate to live in a time where, even if we cannot physically be together, we can still see reach other virtually and have that drink, catch up and laugh until our sides hurt.
I am grateful for my husband, family and friends in tough times
With so many people falling ill and suffering, I am extremely grateful for my health. With so many people losing jobs (myself included), I am thankful for the food in my fridge and the roof over my head. This pandemic has made me completely reevaluate my life, assess my priorities and pushed me towards a new career goal. It has served as a reminder of how precious life is and to appreciate simply waking up every morning.
As we begin a return to normalcy it is important to remember the lessons learned in hard times and to not take any day for granted, you never know what the future may hold.