The COVID-19 pandemic has created some crazy changes in our family dynamics. During this quarantine, we have all had to make changes and sacrifices that we never dreamed of. Some of these changes have created hardship and will take time to heal. From layoffs, furloughs, reduced work hours, or cuts in our paychecks, most families are dealing with some type of financial hardship. Other families are dealing with those sickened by COVID-19. Those in school have had to adapt to distance learning, and missing out on direct interaction with their teachers, counselors, coaches, and friends. At first glance, this pandemic has created a very stressful time. Most of us want to get back to the way it was; back to a normal paycheck, going to school, playing sports, hanging out with friends, and freedom. But before we wish for going back to the “same old grind” let’s think about some of the beneficial changes we have made.
Hidden in all this craziness is the opportunity for our families to come together and make the most out of the situation. Those going to school have had to become more self-driven and learn from different resources. This self-reliance could improve overall school performance next year. Those students who are getting more one-on-one time with their teacher/parent are figuring out problems they were never able to solve before. This could create confidence going into the next school year.
Time is a gift and this social isolation has given us more time; more time to ourselves to work on being present, more time to think about goals, and more time to practice the art of silencing our constant thoughts. It has given us the gift of time to be with our families; time to learn more about each other, share our dreams and goals, and time to be present with each other. There are some days that time has seemed to slow down because we have stepped back from the “rat race” our society has created.
Financially we have been forced to look at our budgets. We have been forced to live more simply and within our means. We have found out that “those things” that we purchase with our money are not what truly make us happy. Happiness is not based on material things but instead on our internal peace and being around those we love. We are saving money by less driving, less eating out, and less shopping. We will appreciate those small businesses that bring enjoyment and employment when restrictions are lifted but will not do so to compensate for voids we are trying to fill in ourselves. This could make for a stronger and more stable economy that is not emotionally driven.
Environmentally we have seen how less dependency on our cars and other pollution sources has reduced our air pollution. We have seen our waterways become more clear and less polluted with trash. We have had more time to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the beauty Mother Nature brings to us. This appreciation of Mother Nature could continue after restrictions are lifted, supported by environmentally friendly habits that have formed during this pandemic. Cleaning up the environment will also contribute to improvement in our individual health.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of keeping healthy. We know that chronic health conditions affecting our heart, lungs, kidneys, or immune system can increase our risk of dying from the virus. This has driven the realization that prevention is going to be the long-term answer. Creating healthy lifestyle habits as soon as possible, will not only help protect us from COVID-19 but also from an early death due to chronic preventable diseases. Along with the changes stated above, some of these healthy lifestyle habits include eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
They say it takes six weeks to form a habit. Fortunately, most of us will have had at least six weeks of quarantine to solidify these healthy habits before restrictions are lifted. Through all the tragedy, some say that the COVID-19 pandemic is part of Mother Nature’s plan to reset our world to a more conscious, present, healthier way of living.
Here’s to those who have dealt with unexpected hardship, adapted, and grown more present to this crazy but beautiful life.
To learn more ways for you and your family to stay healthy, pick up a copy of my guide book: