During the COVID-19 pandemic in the past 5 months, there’s so much that I’ve realized and how much I’ve been impacted by this quarantine. I’ve been lucky enough that it has impacted me in the most positive ways possible. While of course I feel for all of the people who’ve been impacted in so many negative ways, I’m extremely thankful for the changes it caused in my life. See my top 10 below.
I was lucky enough with my job that I was able to work from home (which I’ve never done) for the school and have to go in 1-2 days a week (for the hospital). Working from home for at least 3-4 days a week for the past 5 months has been AMAZING. I LOVE it. For someone like me who is so goal oriented and driven with a list of to do things, it is the perfect setting. The amount of time I saved from commuting and getting ready was almost 2 hours a day. I also loved being able to get my work done in an efficient manner with less interruptions. We haven’t ever sent Leia to daycare (we chose the nanny route because it worked better for us) because we are lucky enough to have a nanny at home so it worked out well for us and we were thankful to have her come during this time. I absolutely love the balance of working from home 3-4 days a week and going in 1-2 days a week and still having that face to face interaction (after all, I’m a little traditional in that sense). Lesson Learned: quality of life is priceless.
2. Family Time.
Not once during the past 5 months did I get ‘tired’ of Jibin and Leia and I cherished every moment with them. I loved the extra time we had together to bond and really get quality time in. I would see people all around me going crazy with their kids at home or being stuck at home constantly with their spouse, but I’m thankful and happy to say that I could not relate whatsoever (thanks to our nanny). We were able to get a lot of stuff done around the house (organizing, cleaning, de-cluttering, new projects, design etc). Our daily walks and dance parties in the evening were the highlight of my day. Lesson Learned: if you have true family quality time in life, then that’s all you need (along with health- that wasn’t an epiphany because I’ve always cherished being healthy and known what a big blessing it is to have your health).
Prior to this pandemic, I was a VERY social person- my social calendar was always booked and planned weeks (if not months) in advance. I was always on the go-go-go. Naturally, I thought being quarantined would drive me crazy. However, it was a nice surprise to realize how much I LOVED being forced to slow down. Before all this, I couldn’t imagine a weekend where we didn’t have something planned both days and now, I can’t imagine a weekend where we do have something planned both days. Lesson Learned: slow down and even if you don’t see someone for months, it’ll still be the same when you do and you’ll cherish it more if it doesn’t happen so frequently.
4. Weight Control.
I cannot believe how much healthier it is when you work from home and don’t eat out as much. My weight has been the most steady it ever has since Leia was born. I knew everyday exactly what I was going to eat, when I was going to eat it and had it all prepped for the next day. I also realized that I am someone who needs to eat 6 smaller meals/snacks every 2-3 hours rather than 3 big meals every 4-6 hours. Lesson Learned: figure out what works for you and not think you have to do what ‘the norm’ is.
5. MENTAL Health.
This was a life shaking epiphany and the best one I had. It’s listed as #5 because 5 is my favorite number. Prior to all this, I didn’t really care for mental health; however, I realized so much stuff about myself and started on a self-improvement journey that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. The amount I learned is impossible to write in a single blog post, I wish I could write a book! However, stay tuned at the end of the year for my mental health highlights! Lesson Learned: you don’t have to be mid-life to have a mid-life crisis and mental health is EVERYTHING.
6. Coffee Dates.
I used to meet up with a different friend every week for a coffee date and to catch up prior to this pandemic. I realized I missed that the most- dressing up and going to Starbucks or a local coffee shop, ordering my half caff/half decaf almond or oat milk cappuccino or latte macchiato and having a good conversation face to face with a friend. I started doing many virtual coffee dates and it definitely brightened up my days and I looked forward to them so much. Lesson Learned: coffee shops make me super happy; the idea of fancy coffee and good conversation is the epitome of bliss for me.
7. Travel is Life.
I’ve always been a huge fan of traveling and couldn’t imagine life without… until I was forced to during the pandemic. My Mom is the reason why I love traveling so much. We ended up having to cancel 6 trips during the pandemic and I realized that traveling is something I definitely need in my life. We used to travel on average every 1-2 months. However, I also learned that you can achieve the same true bliss at home as well in many other ways by creating fun events or outings at home with friends and family. Lesson Learned: home is where the heart is.
8. Toddler Interaction.
Leia who is 22 months old, did not have any social interaction for 4 months (ages 18-21 months) with any other kids. This was a crucial time for her growth and development. I didn’t think anything of it until we the first time she saw other kids and me realizing how much she had gotten spoiled in the past few months. Lesson Learned: play dates are vital for toddlers.
9. Big Life Events.
During this whole time I kept thinking so much about people who had to cancel/miss weddings, births, major trips, graduations, funerals, deaths and miss out on life altering rite of passages that can’t ever be replaced (i.e., freshman year, senior year, milestone birthdays, etc). I was lucky enough to not have had anything like that this whole year, but I kept thinking about how my life would be if I was not allowed to stay on campus my freshman year in college or had to cancel my wedding or not go on a trip of a lifetime that I had planned. Lesson Learned: cherish EVERY birthday, trip, year, event etc because you never know if it’ll be your last- don’t wait for something ‘big’ to do it- just do it.
10. It’ll Never Be The Same.
Just like the world was never the same when the internet or iPhone came out- the world will never be the same post Covid-19. So much will and has changed with virtual jobs, technology, education, etc and I’m honestly excited to see how the world will better itself from all this. Lesson Learned: sometimes you have to be forced to go through things to better the future.
Comment below: How has the pandemic and being quarantined changed you?!