8 Positive lessons learned during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Since March 2020, every person on the planet has had their life shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way or another.
If someone would have told us a year ago, that in 2020, the country would essentially shut down for months; the busiest cities across the world would be empty of traffic; schools and colleges would close, that there would be mass shutdowns and cancellations of in-person gatherings, from sporting events to concerts and we won’t be able to hug our the most vulnerable in society for fear of compromising their health, we wouldn’t have believed them.
However, amid all the uncertainty and challenges faced, there’s been the sense among many people that this period has helped us evaluate our lives and focus on what’s truly important.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what lessons I have learned during this time, from working from home and to how it has affected our families and social networks. Below are just 8 on my list.
- Realizing what’s important – This pandemic has made us re-evaluate our lives and assess our priorities. It has served as a reminder of how precious life is and to appreciate the small things in life. Covid-19 has helped me to remember how grateful I am for my family and friends. How much I miss social interaction and how I took for granted simple things like a hug, coffee with a friend or an extended family get together. It’s taught me to try and reach out. The people closest to you deserve your time and attention, and vice versa. Human connection during these times is crucial.
- Patience – Don’t sweat the small stuff. On days where I don’t feel I have accomplished as much as I would like, I have accepted that I’m doing my best every moment of every day and that’s always good enough.
- Love the unfiltered you – While working from home is a good opportunity to relax your normal dress code, however, it’s still worth putting a little effort into what you wear. Liking what we see in the mirror can be a mental battle for many, but it’s all about balance. You don’t have to wear a suit but at least change out of your pyjama’s. Being comfortable and happy with the way you look can be a valuable tool for bringing a bit of sunshine into your day – which is something we all need right now. That said quality work production has nothing to do with the way you look, so you, do you.
- Living with uncertainty the best way we can – None of us know when things will go back to “normal” and unfortunately, we cannot control the situation. We can, however, decide how we’ll react to what is going on, including what we choose to learn from our experiences, and the opportunities we seek out in the face of these and other changing and challenging times.
- Adapting and creating new routines – Instead of feeling stressed when my routines changed, I adapted and created new routines in my day that I look forward to. This pandemic has been a testament to just how resilient we are as humans and our ability to be flexible and creative in the face of uncertainty.
- Rest and being content with your own company – This time has helped me to allow myself to rest and recharge. We are constantly on the go and it’s so hard to just be still and do nothing. Being alone, especially for social animals and extroverts can be exhausting and lonely. Social distancing can be very difficult, but it can also teach you a lot about yourself.
- Importance of exercise – Suddenly we’re far more aware of the beauty of the great outdoors. Movement isn’t just something that we “should do”, it’s a massive piece of our physical & emotional well-being! While I’ve always spent a good deal of time outdoors, I am now there more frequently and deliberately. So, it seems, is everyone else. Wherever I go, I see people walking, hiking, and biking; families playing and being together. The world has moved outside, and we all seem healthier and happier for it.
- We don’t need as much as we think – It’s pretty clear that we don’t need so much stuff or as many conveniences as we’ve become accustomed to. The basic essentials—food, clean water, and good health, for example—are much more important than having a spa day or having a flash new car. Given how many of these consumer items and activities negatively impact the health of the planet, it probably makes sense to rethink our priorities.
We’ve had a pointed reminder that every day counts. When we begin our new normal we will be forever aware that we should make the most of our time. Work will be different. Almost every aspect of life will be different. As we kick start society, rebuild businesses and find our way forward we need to make sure that we make every day count. We need to hold on to that lesson after we leave our homes.
There is power in keeping in mind our common humanity and it could be that compassionate, collective action that will be the key to creating a better future for us all.
(Director) BBS (Hons), MBPICS – Shannon Office
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.