The Pandemic and Me

“Sunrise” by Amy Aletheia Cahill is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I think I speak for everyone when I say that this pandemic has exhausted me.

It has exhausted me in every way imaginable, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have never been more tired in my entire life but also never more motivated or at peace with my life. Although there have been a lot of negatives to this pandemic, there are also a lot of positives.

Throughout this entire year I have done a lot of self discovery. Being an introvert myself you would think that this would’ve been a dream: you do not have to leave your house, you aren’t required to go anywhere and you don’t have to talk to anyone. The social expectations of society vanished and, for a while, I loved it. I could stay in my room all day and do school work and watch Netflix. I could go to work and come home and not be expected to hang out with anyone or visit people. Throughout the summer I got to stay home and not have to drive hours away to visit family or have to attend other social functions that I dread going to every year. After a while though, I became bored, and yes you read that right, I was bored with a capital B. I had dreamed my entire life for something like this and I had run out of things to do, to watch, etc. Even reading became something that was unappealing and that was a sign that I needed to get out of my house. I discovered that I like human interaction more than I thought. I had missed going to school and seeing friends and teachers, I had missed going out with friends and hanging out in public places. I especially missed getting to watch sunsets and sunrises with friends. 

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I discovered that my mental health and I are a lot stronger than I thought. Along with the pandemic, this past year has thrown so many challenges and obstacles in my way to face and I’ve gotten through them. Things that would usually trip me up and make me second-guess myself are now things I have been able to do with a strong mindset and do them well. I think a lot of people can relate to that.

This past year has shown not only myself but a lot of other people out there that there are things that they absolutely do not need. There are things they can go without and they might actually prefer it that way. It has also shown people that there are some things they’ve always dreaded that maybe aren’t so bad after all. Things like being able to interact with other human beings, being able to see people at work, being able to take their kids to school or even something as simple as just being able to go to the grocery store for a stress-free shopping trip. I think it’s made it a lot of people appreciate their relationships with relatives and family more, but, more importantly I think it’s made people especially appreciative of healthcare workers.

One and Other-Mental Health
“One and Other-Mental Health” by Feggy Art is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Although that there have been many many negatives and a lot of people have been impacted poorly by the pandemic, I think it has also created a space for a lot of people to flourish in their lives. Anything from finding new hobbies that they never would’ve tried otherwise to starting small businesses, and even to something as simple and peaceful as being able to spend more meaningful, quality time with their kids or brothers and sisters or moms and dads. I also think it’s important to see the good along with the bad.  I think that’s what life‘s about, finding the balance in at all.

It’s very easy to be negative and to be down, so trying to find the good in bad situations is an important skill that I have personally learned throughout the past year. I used to be a very negative, glass half-empty type of person, but afterward all that’s happened, I realize that there is a lot of good and there is positive in negative things.

Life can be happy and positive and peaceful, but you have to try for it. It’s not always going to be something that pops up right away or something that you can easily recognize, but it is definitely something that you can work towards. And that can apply to all aspects of life. Not everything will be easy but if it’s something you want and care about, it’s worth trying for.

Comment below and tell us about your own pandemic experience.