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Lessons from Our Year of Covid-19

Social distancing sign is one of the lessons from a year of Covid-19.

It’s hard to believe, but we have passed the first anniversary of the day the US government declared a national Covid-19 emergency.  In the weeks that followed, states issued stay-at-home orders, and the country shut down.  By the end of March, life had changed, in some way, for almost everyone. Life may never go back to what it was before Covid but instead of dwelling about things we’ve lost, focus on lessons learned and positive changes that can help us live better lives.  Here are five lessons I’ve learned from a year of Covid-19 and how they have positively changed our lives.

Lesson #1—Change is Inevitable.  We Will Adapt.

The year 2020 was canceled.  Trips, events, parties, and almost everything social were canceled while we sheltered in place. People had to adapt to working at home, school at home, and fitness at home. Even after states reopened, many of us were unwilling to travel and socialize.  We wore our masks, were socially distant, and isolated ourselves from friends and family.  Changes in our behavior were required to slow the spread of the virus.  But through it all, we found ways to adapt and still participate in things important to us.  Neighbors gathered in their driveways on Fridays to celebrate happy hour.  They sat on lawn chairs and toasted each other with glasses of wine and beer.  Couples got married, and we attended via Zoom.  We couldn’t be there in person, but we found ways to witness weddings, birthdays, and graduations. 

The Covid experience proves our resilience. The confidence we gained from facing change and adapting to it makes us stronger and better able to face future challenges.  It’s something we should be proud of.

Lesson #2—Everything We Need, We Already Have.

Before 2020 most people were rushing around chasing things on their “Have to Have” lists.  If it was new and improved, in style, or better than the rest, we had to have it.  We worked ourselves sick if necessary, but if we wanted it, we had to have it, and we would do what it took to get it.  Suddenly everything stopped. Our “have to have” lists changed.  Instead of the latest designer handbag or hairstyle, a big supply of toilet paper is what we had to have. People hoarded basic supplies, fought over the last few packages of chicken at the supermarket, and some bought yeast and flour for the first time.  Once we realized that basic supplies were not going to run out, we settled into a simpler life, and everything was okay.

Most of us have everything we need to live comfortably, and the Covid experience has taught us that while we might not have everything we want, everything we need, we already have. And when you learn that, you have found freedom.

Lesson #3—Boredom Can Be Good  

Back in the 1940s, our fathers and grandfathers were asked to go to war for this country.  We’ve been asked to stay at home.  Most of us did and soon realized that there are just so many hours of bad television we can stand to watch.  We read books, did livingroom yoga, tried to bake sourdough bread, and still got bored. Boredom can be a good thing.  Boredom allows us to daydream, come up with new ideas, and create plans for the future.  Before Covid, most of us were busy filling every second of our lives. We were never bored, but often in a rut.  Many of us realized that with a little boredom we have more possibilities than ever.

A year of Covid-19 has taught us to slow down and accept a little boredom.  If we planned more downtime, got bored a little more often, imagine the innovations that would result and how much better life could get!

Lesson #4—Be Grateful for the Little Things

When the world gets smaller, little things matter more. People are grateful for some of the smallest gestures.  Pre-Covid, these same small gestures could have been overlooked or taken for granted.  Not now. Neighbors going to the supermarket called neighbors with offers to pick up groceries. Sharing extra baked goods or soup is something we can do for others. Not only does it make them feel grateful, but you will feel good too. It’s not about what you share, but the act of sharing something will give you a sense of purpose and community.  Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to boost your spirits and well-being.

Keeping a gratitude journal can help remind you of all the little things you are grateful for every day.  A year of Covid-19 has taken so much away. Practicing gratitude and keeping a journal gives so much back. It will bring greater health and happiness no matter what challenges we face in the future.

Lesson #5—Take Care of Yourself 

Covid-19 is a killer.  It’s especially deadly in those with pre-existing health conditions.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 94% of all Covid deaths occurred in individuals with pre-existing health conditions.  The most common ones were diabetes and obesity.  So the message is clear, taking care of yourself, maintaining a healthy weight level, and focusing on metabolic health are key to survival.  And it goes far beyond survival.  Staying healthy and active are keys to a longer life with more opportunities for fulfilling experiences, stronger relationships, and greater happiness.

Taking care of yourself is the great lesson learned from a year of Covid-19.  This pandemic made bad situations worse, so now is the time to concentrate on being fit and healthy.  If new challenges come your way, you’ll be better prepared to overcome them.  If not, you’ll be able to enjoy all the good things life has to offer.

Change is a good thing because it opens us up to new things.  Trying new things helps to expand our experiences and gives us greater understanding of what’s possible.  Sampler packs from Game Changer Products is a great way to try new things.  You get a single pill from two or three different products.  That way you can try something new without having to invest in several pills of a product you may not have tried before.  Give them a shot.  You just might find your new favorites.