The Pandemic One Year On: Lessons Learned

by Olivia Frost

There’s no denying that the past year living in a pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone. From adapting our homes into workspaces to being separated from our loved ones, we have certainly had a tough year! However, having a year in and out of lockdowns means that we’ve had a lot of time to reflect and learn new things about ourselves. This past year has been a truly once in a lifetime experience. It may feel like a wasted year for many. However, it is important to remember the vital life lessons that have come out of these challenging times.

If you’re still struggling to stay positive in these times, here is our list of lessons we have learned from the pandemic.

Appreciate the small things

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that anything can be a celebration! With countless birthdays, special events or anniversaries being taken over by COVID-19, we have all learned how to adapt our plans. Although we may not have been able to celebrate in a way that we would have in a pre-pandemic world, we found mays to swap bars for our kitchens and cinemas for our living rooms. Lockdown birthdays turned out to be okay in the end! It’s important to remember that celebrations will return in the not so distant future!

Walks are always a good idea

Daily exercise has been the most exciting part of our days over the past year. Escaping out into nature is something that we need to keep long after the pandemic ends. Going for walks is extremely beneficial for your mental health. Ensuring that we get in enough gentle exercise as possible every day has helped us cope with the lockdowns that left us confined to our homes. Although socialising has been off the cards for the most part, a “hello” or wave to a passer-by in the park during your walk was the perfect opportunity to feed our social hunger. This simple communication with our local neighbours shouldn’t be forgotten about after the pandemic. A simple hello can brighten someone’s mood and make their day.

Mental health matters

Perhaps the most positive thing to come out of the Coronavirus pandemic is the narrative it has sparked on mental health. The positive discussions have sparked international talks about mental health and how it has been affected by lockdown. This is a topic that has never been talked about more. The number of people struggling with their mental health reached record numbers in lockdown. The importance of the message that we learned was that we are not alone. No struggle has to be fought alone! There are so many charities helping people every day who are struggling to cope. If you are one of those struggling, you can find contact details for those who can help here.

How little we actually need

Far to often than not we always focus on the things we want, rather than the things we actually need or already have. The pandemic has taught us to appreciate the things we already have and learn the things we actually need. If the panic buying at the beginning of the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we really can survive with what we already have. When we couldn’t find flour or toilet paper in any supermarket, we made do and figured something out! We also learnt the importance of sharing and community. With lots of people helping out buying groceries for the elderly or vulnerable, our community spirit has never been stronger.

These lessons are things that we will take with us for life. The end is in sight and we have done so well adapting and coping with our ever-changing lives over the past year. Oh and one more thing to remember – always check if you’re on mute before speaking!

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