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Life Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic7/21/2020

Woman wearing a mask

 

We’ve all changed this year. We’ve lived through historic times, and it’s nearly impossible to experience something of this magnitude without it having an impact. Let’s reflect on some life lessons we can learn from living under lockdown.

 

There’s not much in life that is truly essential

In March when federal and state governments started mandates that all non-essential businesses close their physical stores, many of us realized there are few things in life that are actually essential. Suddenly, that weekly manicure or daily cold brew from the local coffee shop we thought we couldn’t live without seemed frivolous and unnecessary.

We quickly learned what is truly important in life: Family. Friends. Health. Happiness. Everything else is secondary.

Now that most businesses are reopening, we can use the opportunity the lockdown presented to reevaluate the things in life that we call necessities, wants and needs.

There’s wonder in everything

When daily rituals and routines we’ve always taken for granted are disrupted for an indeterminate period of time, it lends a new sense of appreciation for the small things in life:

· Sending our kids off to school

· Hugging our parents

· Going to work

· Shopping in crowded malls

· Having an adequate supply of toilet paper

· Eating out

And so much more. Let’s not lose the sense of wonder this surreal time lent to the everyday blessings of life or take for granted the important work of nurses, teachers, and those who work in service industries.

Nothing compares to an in-person interaction

At first glance, the lockdown was an introvert’s dream. There was no longer an antisocial element of missing out on various events, from graduations to birthday parties to baby showers. During lockdown life, you could even attend a black-tie affair in your sweatpants; all you needed was a nice-looking top and a Zoom link.

But the lockdown was also one of the loneliest times for many people. It highlighted the universal need for social interaction, even if it’s as small as a few words exchanged with the pizza delivery person. And when people began having in-person visits with family and friends again, there was a new appreciation for face-to-face interactions that was previously lost in a social world gone virtual.

We can let the lessons learned in lockdown continue to impact us positively by resolving to be fully present when spending time together. Whether that means resolving to turn our phones on silent or to put them away completely, this mindfulness can help strengthen our relationships forever.

We are stronger than we know

The first week of the lockdown brought many of us to the edge of panic and despair. No leaving our homes unless it’s absolutely essential? Work from home for the foreseeable future? Kids home from school without playdates, indoor attractions or playgrounds? It all seemed so impossible, and many of us wondered if we’d make it past that first day.

And then one day passed, and we realized we hadn’t lost it — well, not completely anyway. Another day went by, and then a week, and somehow, we were doing it. We were rolling with these strange new circumstances, adapting to a new routine, a new way of life, without falling apart. And many of us were even thriving under the newer, relaxed routine. Of course, there are those with especially trying circumstances and some who have suffered mightily. Be mindful of this and empathetic as we encounter and interact with others.

Let’s not forget what the lockdown taught us about our own resilience, strength and courage. When pushed into a challenging situation, our true colors shine. Let us never underestimate ourselves ever again.

 

2020 has been a year unlike any we’ve ever seen. Let’s use these unique circumstances to grow in ways we never have before.

First South Financial is ready to help you, our members, and our communities as we navigate the new normal we face due to the coronavirus pandemic. Please visit our member assistance programs page to learn about the many ways we can help. Stay safe, stay healthy, we’ll be here for you.

 



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