For most, life changed forever when coronavirus struck. Here’s looking at the bright side
THE experience of 2020 was hard but it also held many lessons. The profound words of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche ring true: “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” The COVID-19 pandemic was probably one of the most challenging events in our lifetime and it has unimaginably changed the way we live. But not all the adjustments and changes brought about by the outbreak were necessarily bad. We may eventually do away with the face coverings, social distancing and certain other norms, but the good habits acquired during the time are worth retaining.
Maintaining health and hygiene
Our health and the probability of our survival was and still is in our hands, quite literally. From washing our hands frequently, showering regularly, staying indoors for safety, keeping ourselves and surroundings clean to sanitizing surfaces, we really understood how critical hygiene was and went to great lengths to stay clean. Good habits like these helped in protecting not only ourselves but being mindful about protecting others too.
Caring for others
The pandemic was hard on everyone, especially the elderly. Many who were ill or lived alone struggled as social distancing isolated them further when they needed assistance the most. Thoughtful gestures like checking in on neighbours and elders and helping with simple home chores and grocery runs were invaluable. It made us more empathetic to others and value the community a lot more – a good habit that will stand us in good stead. It also made us socially cohesive.
We were quick to understand that by taking precautions, staying safe and healthy we also kept our families and communities safe. Self-care became a priority and equipped us better to get through this difficult time. Simple things like eating healthy and nutritious food for better immunity, some physical activity, getting sufficient sleep, reaching out to close friends/family for emotional and practical support, etc saw us through.
Working from home efficiently
What was a rare privilege for office goers earlier became the only option during the pandemic. Though it was harder in the beginning, we counted our blessings for not having to risk our lives on the frontline like so many others who had little choice. Being able to work from home was a huge plus for most of us and we learned to do it efficiently, and strike a work-home balance. We adapted well to a new routine and made the most of it.
Enjoying a hobby
Some picked up new hobbies while others fostered what they liked doing earlier. With so many of us spending 24/7 at home, many followed pursuits like baking, gardening, online courses, yoga, and so on. The days spent in lockdown gave us the perfect time with no excuse to dig into what we had procrastinated over for ages. It made us rediscover ourselves, develop or hone skills and get immense satisfaction from a particular hobby. Pursuing hobbies are good habits to nurture
Consuming with consideration
As per a report by the Conscious Consumer Spending Index (#CCSIndex) COVID-19 seems to have had a positive impact on socially responsible behaviours. The Index score was based on the importance consumers placed on purchases from socially responsible companies and supported them for sustainable products and services. In general, many people especially in India expressed intent to support small businesses more and give preference to local goods and services.
The prolonged pause in our normal lives gave us a chance to slow down, the time to be still and get used to solitude. For some, it led to personal transformation through self-reflection and a focus on health, both emotional and physical. As the lockdowns eased later on we understood the value of living a quieter and more peaceful life.
The pandemic has had a negative impact on our collective wellbeing, but at the same time, it also has been a catalyst for community and even collective consciousness. Though we were forced to come together like never known before we developed survival skills, new perspectives and reset our priorities. These new good habits we acquired must be sustained for a long time or a lifetime if possible.
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Samar is a Marketing Communications specialist and freelance writer. She has a master’s in marketing and creativity from ESCP Business School. She is an avid traveler and likes to write about technology, travel, wildlife and sustainability.