Most of us had some downtime during our state-mandated lockdowns. Or whatever version of social distancing was encouraged in your state during this ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic.
For the most part, I was still going to work every day as an essential worker in Healthcare, delivering physical therapy services in an Assisted Living Facility.
My husband had the opportunity to work from home and watch our two young children since school and daycare were closed and assist with their online schooling.
We were lucky.
But we were also stressed, overwhelmed, and fatigued.
My fatigue was clinical and work-related, adapting to new PPE measures, disinfectant measures, new protocols, and coming to grips with the possibility that I could become infected with COVID-19 and bring it home to my family.
My husband was dealing with a new type of multitasking and keeping his business afloat while raising and educating two young children, both with the energy of a roadrunner and the energizer bunny.
The Pandemic continues to bring anxiety and uncertainty in our household. But there has also been a lot of positivity during the lockdown.
I’ve seen and learned positive lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Here are a few things I discovered, did differently, and the change I’ve seen in others.
Lesson Number One — Income Stream Options
Early in the Pandemic around the middle to end of March, I received a text message from a co-worker while at work. “Can you come back to the gym?”
I texted back, “I’ll be right there.”
When I arrived in the gym, my boss filled us in on the news. All therapy services were suspended immediately by the Assisted Living Facility we contracted with, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic; even though we are considered essential personnel. I was about to be laid off, and I was scared.
That’s when I asked myself, what the hell am I doing?
I instantly ran through ideas of how I could make money and provide for my family.
Why hadn’t I taken more initiative to step up and start projects I’d been dreaming about like blogging, creating a website, and finishing a longer fiction piece?
Wouldn’t it be great to have more than one income stream right now? Yes, it would!
Luckily, my lay-off was temporary. I was able to return to my full-time job after a little less than a week.
This experience taught me; I can’t rely on only one income stream. I need options. I need to start working for myself.
So, I acted toward what I want out of my writer’s life.
I took daily steps to create a website (still in progress), writing articles for medium, and starting a fiction project (fantasy). It’s been three months of daily writing, outlining, brainstorming, and creating. I’m not making an income yet, but I’m taking steps to begin.
Small continuous steps forward.
Lesson Number Two — Who Am I Covering Up For
I wear a mask every day to work, and wearing make-up isn’t an option for me. I mean, you can wear make-up with a mask, but for me, it falls right off my face into my face mask. So, I decided to go without make-up.
Also, I was indeed in survival mode, and I wasn’t thinking about looking pretty. I was only thinking of how to protect myself and my family from the novel coronavirus.
And, I realized the longer I go without make-up, the more beautiful and natural I feel.
This is coming from someone who always applies make-up and never leaves the house without a foundation cover-up. For my uneven skin tones and anything else, I want to cover.
But who am I covering up for?
My answer, not for anyone else but myself. I was hiding behind it.
If you love make-up, that’s great and continue using it. I’m not trying to shame anyone who loves make-up; this experience is personal to my life journey.
And I’ll let you on a secret that may seem a little contradictory. On rare occasions, I do wear mascara and natural/clear lip gloss.
The take away is when faced with something so out of my control (like the Pandemic), there are many things I realized I don’t need, like make-up, and I’ve learned I want to invest more energy into being comfortable with myself and who I am.
Lesson Number Three — Make Life Count in the Best Possible Way
I was possibly exposed to COVID-19 while on the job in March. The individual I’d been treating became ill rather suddenly and needed a COVID-19 test. I was told to go home and await the test results. Of course, I was afraid. I didn’t want my family to be anywhere near me. It was torture. I couldn’t be near my family and certainly couldn’t hug or kiss my kids or my husband until I knew whether I’d contracted the virus.
In the end, it did turn out ok. Twenty-four hours later, the person’s test results came back negative. I immediately embraced my family members, and I was relieved for them and myself.
My experience with COVID-19 could have been a lot worse, but it still taught me to value my time with my family with new eyes. Allowing me to re-evaluate, turning off the small stuff, and being present, and really there with my family.
It will sound cliché, but every second of every day is valuable. And a priority. Make life count in the best possible way. Treasure moments with your family, go after your dreams, learn as much as you can. Be present.
Lesson Number Five — Yes You Can
I learned how change is possible. When it comes to changing our behaviors, habits, or thoughts, the words, “I can’t,” enter our minds.
I can’t lose weight. I can’t get healthy. I can’t write every day. I can’t wake up early. I can’t start a blog. I can’t____. Enter your own I can’t here.
But this may surprise you. You can.
I saw this in action. My husband never thought he would ever in a million years get to XYZ weight. He’d yo-yo up and down on the scale.
During the Pandemic, his mindset changed. Before, he thought calorie restriction was overwhelming and unnatural.
He had to get to his lowest before he could understand how important his health was.
He was in the middle of the Pandemic, and he’d also hurt his back. To the point where he couldn’t get himself up off the floor.
I believe, and he’ll say the same, his mindset changed right then and there. He decided to no longer take anything for granted, his back, his weight, his health.
And suddenly, calorie restriction didn’t seem so impossible anymore. In three months, my husband lost 40 plus pounds.
At times we are pushed to learn new things about ourselves or those around us. At the moment, it might feel like hardship or an impossible task.
We might ask, “why me.”
It’s hard to see the answer until you make it to the other side. But you’ll make it because that’s what we do as human beings.
We survive and learn a few things on our journey.
I’ve learned for myself and what I’ve seen in others