Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve learned these last six months. I hate the pandemic and the loss of life, loss of jobs, and loss of stability it has brought to the world. To those it has not hurt physically or financially it has most definitely hurt mentally. Everyone is struggling in some way, some people way more than others, and I’d wish the pandemic away in a heartbeat if I could. But it’s real and it has made an impact on my life. While some of those impacts are negative, I’ve been shocked to see how many of them are positive. There’s changes I’ve made and habits I’ve developed that I hope to keep up long after the world has returned to normal. I think finding positives in the midst of hardship is a very powerful exercise, so I wanted to share my 5 unexpected positives to come from Corona with you.
1. I’ve slowed down
Those who know me know I’m always juggling six things at once, running from appointment to appointment, and just generally a busy person. I joke with Josh that I now live the life of a retiree, minus the fabulous retiree community in Florida with pool aerobics classes and walks by the ocean. I do so much less in a day. I used to call friends and family in the car on the way to places because it was my free time for the day. Now having a Zoom call with friends and family feels like a big event for the day.
As an Enneagram 3, I measure a lot of my self worth on my productivity. I used to feel like I had to do all the things to really be doing something and to be being productive. Now I find that I feel productive by doing simple everyday things. My frame of reference for busy has shrunk, and I love it.
2. I’ve prioritized my mental health
This is an area of my life where I’m actually thankful for the pandemic. Pre-pandemic I didn’t spend near enough time taking care of my mental health. I think I was in denial about how stressed I was and then was too busy to really notice. I swept a lot of anxiety under the metaphorical rug. The thing with mental health is that not addressing it usually ends up making it a lot worse. I am so thankful the pandemic forced me to really sit with my feelings, and feel the overwhelm so I could realize I needed to go back on antidepressants and prioritize meditation, time in nature, and daily acts of unwinding.
3. I’ve prioritized my physical health
This one goes hand in hand with mental health and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Pre-pandemic I was always short on time. Now I have an abundance of it. I get more sleep than I ever have in my life. Like for the first time since I was a kid I’m finally not shorting myself on sleep and it feels amazing. I also went from very inconsistent workouts to working out at least four to six times a week. I’ve needed to prioritize sleep and exercise for a long time. Those feel like two big wins to come out of all this crazy.
4. I find pleasure in simple things
This will probably sound dumb, but I get so excited to go and sit outside in my hammock every day. My husband and I love to watch the birds and bunnies in our backyard. We go for walks around our neighborhood and have fun chatting about nothing, running through sprinklers, and just being in the moment and taking in the beauty around us. Sometimes it feels like we’re living life of a bygone time (with the modern perks of the internet and Netflix to keep us from ever getting too bored, and Uber Eats and Instacart to deliver our groceries and favorite restaurant foods right to our door) and I honestly love getting to experience it.
5. I’m thankful for the past decisions I’ve made
This feels like a hard one to put into words, but I feel like the pandemic has made everyone very reflective. And while I’ve noticed a lot of areas I needed to work on and address (IE: slowing down, relaxing, sleeping, workout out, finding joy in the little things, etc.), I also realized a lot of personality traits and decisions in my life that I’m so glad happened just the way they did.
I picked the best life partner. I truly couldn’t wish for someone better to be stuck in the house all day every day with. While I wish I was near an ocean, I love our house and our neighborhood and the decisions we made in life to have us living here when the pandemic happened. I’m glad I got jaw surgery and LASIK when I did so I now can life my life without having to worry about orthodontist appointments or having to struggle with contacts or a mask fogging up my glasses during quarantine. I’m so glad I’ve done so much traveling, both domestically and around the world. It has filled me with moments and memories I can relive in my mind.
I feel like life is a mixture of loving yourself and wanting to change and improve things about yourself. While there is always room for improvement, and I have had some big things I’ve needed to tackle during quarantine, I genuinely like myself and the path in life I’m on. Having your regular life come to a standstill makes you take a hard look yourself in the mirror. I’m not surprised to find that I absolutely love my life. And I can’t wait to get back to it, just hopefully a little wiser, and live it a little more purposefully.
Questions of the Day: What have you been thankful for lately? What’s something you no longer take for granted?
I couldn’t agree more! While the pandemic has messed up with sooo many of my plans. It has also opened new opportunities for me and I’m also thankful that I got to spend more time with my family.
These all sound like great things to have discovered during this time of crisis! I’ve definitely focused on my mental health as well!
CORONA has been scary for sure, but like you, I found some positive takeaways in there. Most of them where exactly what you listed here.
It’s been a worrisome few months, but I did find that I started to enjoy the little things a lot more. It’s easy to get closer with the family and find joy in everyday things when you aren’t constantly on the go.
Lucy Clarke says
This pandemic has really shifted our focus. Definitely resonate with these discoveries. The best ones I think would be being able to find a nugget of hope each day and opening up our eyes to the people, things and experiences we can be immensely grateful about.
I absolutely agree that there have been many positives to this whole situation. I can only hope that these lessons stick for all of us in the future.
Marie Phillips says
These are all perfect positives. I think many of us have reflected on much of the same. I know that I have focused on all of them, but in spite of focusing on staying mentally healthy, it has still been very difficult at times. It makes me very concerned for those that have difficulties already.
Jennifer Prince says
I’ve learned to slow down, too. It’s been refreshing! I hope to remember it and to keep implementing that mindset.
Lyanna Soria says
Those are some wonderful positives and it’s great that you find something good in all of this. I’m focusing more on my mental health since it’s quite the roller coaster these past few days for me but I’m glad to say that I’m doing better.
Emily Fata says
Yes! Despite it being a stressful time, I’ve actually found that after the initial setback of the virus, I feel that U have flourished. It’s given me a chance to slow down and reflect.
It sounds like you’ve mostly benefitted from this season, despite the struggles surrounding us. I’m glad to hear that. I know it has caused a lot of suffering, but it has also brought forth a lot of positives for individuals around the world. As a total introvert and homebody, I’m really enjoying the ability to just stay home without the stress of needing to go to events or appointments. I am, however, working 3x as much as I did prior to the pandemic. I want my blog to THRIVE during this time – so I’m putting extra effort in!
Thanks for sharing such an important message for us all. It is wonderful to hear that you are doing so well and doing such important things in a life well lived.
Neely Moldovan says
I love this post and I wrote a similar one a while back. There really are so many positives if we stop to think about it.
Matt Taylor says
That is awesome you have been able to have some unexpected positive things happen during this pandemic. I have had a few positives as well. Always look on the brightside of life. 🙂
The Joyous Living says
being able to slow down and enjoy the small things like the bunnies in the yard is a wonderful positive that came from coronavirus. hope you are able to enjoy said positives after Coronavirus too.
I have said all of these. Especially the slowed down part, it gave me more reason to give myself self care.
Ntensibe Edgar says
Me too….personally, I really enjoy the simple things in this life and I have always done so. COVID-19 has taught me to re-frame my mind and what is really important.
Totally agree with you on all points! Even though covid-19 has been hard globally, it has really brought me closer with my family and loved ones. I appreciate the little things more and have totally slowed down! 🙂
Jessica Collazo says
This is a great post and yes, we have to learn about this life experience to take care off ourselves how to make alone time a priority.
I love this post and i think if we all sat down and thought about it, we could all think of a few positive things that have happened during this unprecedented time!
Aliya Gulamhusein says
I think this time has really given us the opportunity to realize what blessings we have in our life. I have really enjoyed te extra family time.
Slowing down is something that I really had to get used to this year. It’s done wonders for my mental health.
Elicit Folio says
I love all of the positive things you have found with Corona! I agree, this time has made me prioritize my mental health, but I actually feel like I haven’t slown down at all 🙁 With everyone being home, it’s been very difficult to maintain the house and cook more. I hope to slow down one day!
This is a refreshing post and I love that you focused on the positives instead of dwelling on the bad things that has happened because of the pandemic. Just like you I learned how to find pleasure in simple things. After attending the World Gratitude Summit, I started to see things in the lens of gratitude and this made me appreciate even the smallest things.
Prioritizing my mental health has also been SO huge for me! I’ve also taught myself how to needlepoint which has been a fun hobby to pick up during this time.
It really is incredible to see the silver lining through it all. You have such a great positive outlook!