The past 3 months have somewhat been a surreal experience, whereby our lives had to change due to a worldwide pandemic. Plans had to change, be postponed or cancelled. The way we relate to people had to be different so that we could protect ourselves and each other. Our daily routines were different too. Things that we may have loved to do had to be put on hold. Some people may have been affected negatively by COVID-19 whereas others may have experienced these times more positively and tried to make the most of the situation. When you have little control over the environment around you, the only thing that you can control is how you feel and how you look at the situation. The following are a few common perceptions of why some people felt that COVID-19 changed their life for the better.
- What matters – In times where our existence is at a threat, we can find ourselves asking what really matters in life. If you only had a few days left to live, how would you like to spend them? This would probably entail doing the things that you love with the people you love. From the COVID-19 lockdown days what have you learnt about yourself? What matters in your life? It is important to ask these questions so that you can live a meaningful life.
- Who matters –When we were restricted who to meet, who did you miss? Who were the people that you wanted to stay in touch with even though you could not see them? These are the people in your life that truly make a difference and who make your life better by being in it. When the days get busy again, remember to make time for them because making memories with these special people is what makes us happier in our lives.
- Where matters – Our happy places are those places where we enjoy going and feel at peace. This could be the beach, the countryside, the gym or your favourite restaurant. When the COVID-19 measures were removed, where was that place that you really looked forward to going? When you are in these places, make sure that you truly enjoy being in that place by taking in the moment. Remove technological gadgets which could be a distraction and visit these places often. When you feel stressed, you can close your eyes and think of these happy places as this can help you feel calmer.
- Gratitude – One thing that COVID-19 has definitely taught us is, not to take anything for granted; starting from our health. Simple actions such as washing our hands did not used to seem like a big deal but now we know how essential this is. In life, when we get accustomed to our daily routines, we easily take for granted what we have. This could be our job, doing the things that we enjoy doing or spending time with our loved ones. Try and be more mindful in life and practice gratitude by avoiding complaining about what you do not have and instead being grateful for what you do have.
- Adaptation – COVID-19 has challenged our ways of doing things but it has also taught us that we are resilient beings capable of adapting to the situations that we find ourselves in. From the adaptations that you had to implement, what would you still like to keep doing?
In conclusion, COVID-19 has brought with it several challenges however, it has also given us an opportunity to evaluate our lives and make changes to live a more meaningful life.
Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.