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The coronavirus pandemic which hit us this year, has overturned our lives completely.
With the ravaged economy and bleak job outlook, health and well-being in jeopardy, travel and tourism affected and fear of the virus prevalent all around, this year has been like a dark cloud looming over us.
Yet, despite all that is going around, I am trying to look at the brighter side of things. If not anything else, this year has indeed taught us a lot till now.
A little bit of introspection and changing our perspective is all that is needed to know how the COVID-19 Pandemic has been a great teacher!
Here are 7 life lessons I have learnt during this year, I hope you can relate!
- Take nothing for granted & be grateful
We all take small things in life for granted. Activities like heading to a grocery store to buy essentials, going to the movies, meeting friends for coffee have been commonplace in our lives. However, with the onslaught of the pandemic, even mundane activities like heading to a grocery store have become more onerous, and meeting our circle of family and friends has become a distant reality, and I have come to realise the importance of these small things in life. 8 months into this year have made me grateful for the simple pleasures in life. Be it sipping my morning cup of tea, having a piece of cake, looking at the sunlight streaming in through the windows or smelling a flower, I’m never taking any of these for granted again!
I am grateful for having a roof over my head and having food on my plate. Many people have struggled for the same, during this pandemic and I think we shouldn’t take the seemingly insignificant things in our lives for granted.
If you want to know how to practice gratitude effectively, read this post!
2. Importance of Mental Health
The entire fear surrounding this pandemic and the consequence of it, of us being tied down to our homes has taken a huge toll on our mental health. For most of us, staying indoors is difficult and for someone like me, who detests staying indoors for long, it has been truly trying. During this time, many people have slipped into depression, anxiety, started to exhibit aggresive tendencies or are generally feeling hopeless and listless.
My saviour during this time has obviously been my regular practice of yoga and meditation, coupled with practicing Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) and our special Stress Relief Dance. Conducting online DMT sessions for people during this time has indeed been insightful and made me realise how important it is to address our mental health.
This year has indeed taught us to take care of our mental health along with our physical health.
Most of us started this year with certain plans and goals to accomplish during the year. I did too. Ever since COVID-19, most of our plans have yet to materialise and we all are waiting for the pandemic to get over. The wait is proving to be tiresome and is truly testing our patience. For someone like me who tends to look for quick results most of the time, I have realised I am learning to be more patient and deal with things with equinamity.
4. Importance of family & friends
Many of us hardly ever notice the way in which our family & friends support us. We just breeze through the day, the days turn into months & months into years without us realizing the value of our loved ones.
This pandemic has forced us to hit pause on our otherwise hectic lifestyle, and given us more quality time to spend with family. This is one of the biggest lessons and learnings from the pandemic; to understand the value of our loved ones.
5. Importance of social media
As countries imposed lockdowns on a war-footing, many people were caught unawares, away from home and their families. Others are still unable to meet their friends. During such a time, the importance of social media cannot be ignored. Today, with a few button presses, we can talk/message or even video call our loved ones and check up on them.
The importance of social media platforms in aiding to keep people engaged cannot be underestimated. Social media is a powerful tool and when used in the right manner, is a great boon and has proved to be so, during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
6. Value of medical personnel & frontline workers
Everyone in general respects doctors, therapists & nurses and other staff, but especially during a trying time, the value of medical fraternity and all other frontline workers like policemen, housekeeping staff and the likes has increased exponentially, in my opinion. Of course, at some places doctors and other medical staff are facing discrimination due to the fear ingrained in people that they may be carrying the virus, but mostly, the respect has gone up multifold in most people’s minds.
It is not easy to think of others before yourself and your family. As a physiotherapist & DMT practioner, I am closer to understanding this than most others. So for me, they are real heroes, risking their lives for us each and everyday. This is another valuable take-away from this pandemic.
7. Respect the enviroment & nature
Nature has proved to us time & again that we are not in control of everything, even though we think we are. An invisible virus has created chaos, the origins of which were apparently due to the consumption of bats & pangolins. As a vegan (recent, earlier I was a vegetarian), I can go on about how unfair animal cruelty is and how it is impacting us.
But for now I just want to say that we need to rethink our lifestyle choices and see how it is impacting us and the environment around us. Not only food choices, but over-consumption of luxury items, hoarding unnecessary clothes, bags and the likes, all of it needs to be questioned. We cannot change the environment in one day but we can definitely introspect and try to minimize our carbon footprint. I think now is the best time to respect nature, honour it and reconnect with it.
These were the 7 valuable life lessons I have learnt from the Coronavirus Pandemic. I am taking things as they come, cherishing the things I already have, trying not to be bogged down by fear and yet being cautious at the same time.
This year is going to go down in history as one of the toughest ones for the world and let us pat ourselves on our backs for staying resilient.
What are your biggest valuable life lessons & take-aways from this pandemic? Let me know in the comments below!