We live in a world that can be scary and full of unknowns. Never before has there been something quite like the COVID-19 pandemic terrorizing the entire world. Governments have followed the recommendations of researchers and health experts in a way that has changed all of our lifestyles. At the same time, however, I noticed that there are many, many positives happening every day.
Here are some of the things people tell me they like:
Time – The requirement to respect physical distancing and work from home for those who can has given us much more time to pursue our interests. Instead of having to attend meetings or dates and drive the kids to events, we can pursue other personal interests. Many people invest the saved extra hours in hobbies, language learning, reading or exercise.
Money – Much of the population has less money in the household, but those on fixed incomes told me they are spending less than before. Part of that, of course, is due to businesses such as beauty salons and retail outlets being closed, but being home also means there seems to be less interest in spending money. The government has tried to fill the gaps with financial programs and we are also watching the stock market with the hope that it will rebound over time. It seems like everything we were used to has changed.
Skills – Being home provides more opportunities to learn and use skills. Many family members cook and cook, renovate, start sowing, comb their hair or sew themselves – practical skills our ancestors used to survive on a daily basis. Before the pandemic, our busy schedules often encouraged us to look to others to do the things we now do ourselves.
Relationships – More time with those who live in your home can be positive – a time to communicate and share activities. Fortunately, we have social media sites and technology that allow us to stay close to our loved ones who live remotely. Proximity can also be stressful, so it’s important to plan some “alone” time.
Reflection – Dealing with difficulties can lead to evaluation and realignment of values. When we are in isolated situations, we start thinking about what is really important in life. More recently, the ideas of health and loved ones are at the top of the list.
I know that many challenges have been created by the pandemic. One of the most serious is that we have no clear idea how it will affect us and when it will end. It is therefore very important to drastically limit the contributions of television and the Internet because these can considerably increase stress. Instead, focus on the things you can do to make today and your future more fulfilling.
And don’t forget to laugh as often as possible because laughter is good for the soul!