There is no denying that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taken plenty from us. It has disrupted our lives, our everyday routine, our plans, and it has affected our mental wellbeing too. We were forced to change our habits, work at the same place where we watch TV or play with our kids. Our homes became the centers of all activity.
However, quite often, it is only when something is taken from us that we learn to appreciate what we had. In that sense, there are some positive outcomes of this dreadful virus. It has forced us to pause, slow down, and appreciate small things, and that is something we likely wouldn’t have achieved on our own.
Let’s talk about how this pandemic presented a chance to appreciate things we took for granted.
Having a Job and a Roof Over Your Head
Being stuck at home was a major ordeal for many, especially since so many of us switched to working from our homes. It is difficult to focus with distractions all around you and we all missed certain daily rituals that we got to do when we walked out of our homes every day.
However, with so many people facing a coronavirus crisis without a job, a roof over their heads, and food in their fridge, we have come to realize just how lucky we were that our only problem was staying at home and maintaining social distancing. So many people lack safety and the basic necessities that we usually take for granted.
Family gatherings for holidays and special occasions were not a very popular activity for many people, especially those who needed to travel long distances to see their family members and those who faced criticism and annoying questions from relatives.
But since March 2020, when we were forced to stop visiting our families and had to spend the holidays without our loved ones, we realized just how precious those family moments are. Especially for those who had elderly parents in nursing homes they couldn’t see and hug in months. It has been a trying time for our mental health indeed.
Those who were lucky to quarantine with their spouses and kids did their best to transform their homes into a pleasant space for everyone. They learned to cherish dinner time when the family gathers in the dining room to enjoy a meal. Some took to refurbishing and redecorating their homes to make them cozier and more comfortable. They purchased new dining room sets to add warmth to each meal shared at the table.
People learned how to make the best of the situation, stay positive, and cherish the unbreakable family bonds even more because when everything else is unstable, family is always there for us.
Great friends are like family members, and we learned to value our friendships during this pandemic in a way we perhaps never did before. Unable to see them and talk to them face to face, we realized just how much we missed the simple things such as coffee or Saturday brunch with our closest friends.
Without the Internet and modern communication tools such as social media, Zoom, etc., the coronavirus crisis would have been even harder. These tools helped us to stay in touch with our friends and check up on one another.
Reflection and Meditation
With 9 to 5 jobs (or even two jobs), kids, school, and various obligations, we rarely found the time to focus on ourselves. For many, mediation was nothing but a hyped trend. But in this chaos caused by the pandemic, when even a 20-minute coffee break in silence became a luxury for some, we finally realized the importance of self-care.
This is because many of us were juggling remote working, helping our kids with school, cooking, and resting all in the same area. This new lifestyle quickly became hectic and overwhelming. The little time we could take to ourselves in the mornings before everyone wakes up, or in the evenings when everyone is asleep, became precious for our wellbeing. We learned to appreciate a time to reflect, relax, and indulge in small self-care rituals, whatever they may be.
Dressing Up and Going Out
Getting up early and commuting to work was rarely enjoyable, at least for some. But during the lockdown, when we stopped going to work or going out, and when our only trips were to the grocery stores, we came to miss that.
The simple act of dressing up and going somewhere became something we yearn for. Sometimes that makes us feel good. We realized that we need these things more than we thought.
One of the things we miss the most is travel. Before the pandemic, a weekend getaway might have been just another thing you did. But as soon as borders closed and we realized we can’t visit our favorite destinations anymore, we realized that we’ve been taking this for granted.
In collaboration with:
Stella Green Thompson
Graphic designer and lifestyle blogger