Covid-19 Diaries: What did I do to stay positive

Now that the Corona virus lockdown is entering an easement phase throughout Europe and Asia, I think it’s a good time to reflect on what we have learned and what I have personally learned during this time of isolation.

The biggest lesson for me was that it is possible to have a completely different kind of life: one that is significantly more simple and not so full of going out, restaurants/cafes (though I miss them terribly) and constantly being on the go. Personally, I have never cooked so much in my life in such a short space time. And I’m happy to report that I’m not just starting to get much better at it (my own preference being Mediterranean diet style healthy cooking that’s also tasty) but I’m also starting to enjoy it. I’m still not sure that there are enough hours in a day, days a week and weeks a year to have enough time to finish all of the things that I want to do, and see all the people I want to see, but there are certainly enough to focus on the things and people that matter.
So what matters? For me personally, relationships with the important people in our lives are what matter most. Relationships between my daughters, parents, partner, friends and the world. It is given that most of us have jobs and obligations, but we should not need such extreme measures for us to realise that without each other, without helping one another and caring for one another, things would be impossible.

During this time of crisis, we have all witnessed incredible things. We have seen so many people volunteer for the NHS help scheme that there are more people wanting to help than those needing to be helped. So many who are finishing their medical studies even have volunteered to brave danger in order to help save lives. I believe that people are naturally inclined to help rather than turn a cold shoulder, that if we have enough time to actually make relations and connect with people, we will do so.
I have personally found myself getting in touch with people around the world with whom I lost contact some time ago. This was the excuse to get back in touch and it was wonderful to hear about how they’re doing now.
However, in order to find the motivation to reach out to others, we must first feel good within ourselves. If we feel depressed and demotivated, we will never find the power and energy to help, we will simply be unable. It is only when we feel stronger and better internally that kindness and helping becomes our second nature. For example, because I felt good inside, I offered help to some of my elderly neighbours who I didn’t even know well because I can imagine the difficulty that self-isolating would put them in. If, on the other hand, we are stuck in our own misery, it’s difficult to see the situation of others as anything we should participate in bettering.
With this experience that had its’ challenges of fear, loss of some comforts we took for granted and even some personal freedoms, also came so much light and opportunity. For me, personally, spending so much time at home made me realise just how important my home space really is. For the first time since we’ve moved into our new space a couple years ago, my kids and I did a huge spring clean. And I mean huge! We got rid of and gave away so many things that were crowding our space, that we finally uncovered what a beautiful, light and clean space we really had. I transformed a whole floor of my house simply by getting rid of a pile of things that was cramping it up. Now this new space has become my makeshift office while my kids use my actual office for themselves.

With all of this difficulty has come so much opportunity and beauty. It’s as if some higher power had planned it in a way that made us suffer and learn from our suffering; it made us fear only to emerge from our fears; it caused death only to leave those living with more appreciation of life. I am not diminishing the sadness and the awful circumstances, because they are absolutely awful. But I also want us to appreciate the wonder that came with the awfulness. “Where there’s darkness, there will be light”.

The world has found a way to show us, or remind us perhaps, that the disbalance between the professional income we strive for daily should be at least evened out with the balance of living life in nature and spending it with those who matter most. I have myself started running through the park regularly and have had my two kids take turns running with me. We take walks or runs on a daily basis now where we might have gone days without doing so. I have seen more people of all shapes, sizes and ages walking in the parks we’ve gone to than ever before.
In addition, in this time, the environment has improved as has the atmosphere. There is less pollution in most countries that ever reported before. People are taking this time at home without a lengthy commute as an opportunity to get healthier and to physically exercise more. And all of the research coming out supports that being healthier and fitter means being less likely to get seriously ill in a pandemic. So this situation has provided us for the opportunity to improve ourselves and our immunity for the future. Let us hold onto the lessons so that we don’t need another pandemic to remind us.

Stay positive with positive news  
CNN: This man came home from the hospital to die. His son found a way to keep him alive.

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