I’ve been pretty MIA on this blog lately. I’ve been struggling with postpartum anxiety during a global pandemic and it’s been pretty overwhelming. Yesterday I listened to a GREAT podcast from The Skinny Confidential Him & Her centered around reframing your mindset during this time.
I’ve been feeling very low and negative around all of this which is the opposite of my usual personality. And while I know a lot of my stress is a combination of a lot of factors including out of whack hormones, adjusting to life with two babies, staying home rather than working (which I LOVE), financial stress, severe anxiety, inability to hit the mountains or yoga to destress, and social isolation; I want to redirect my energy to looking on the bright side of things.
Coronavirus went from being something “going on in China” to “going on in Washington/Italy” to “critically affecting the world” in a matter of weeks. I spent the first couple days in a state of high stress when I saw photos of empty grocery stores and was no longer able to take my boys on outings. Closing the U.S. border to non essential travel has basically cut me off from my immediate family which is an extremely raw and uneasy feeling.
But through the bad I can still see some good. Here are a few positive lessons learned from Coronavirus that I see happening.
We’re Finally Learning to Slow Down
This is huge! We’ve been an overworked, over stressed society for some time. New technologies have added to that stress and even created a name for the inability to relax- FOMO (fear of missing out).
Personally, this quarantine has helped me learn for the first time since I was a kid to slow down and enjoy being home. Even these last couple months home with a newborn have been really stressful for me because I believed that life happened outside the doors. I would think of all the things I could be doing or places I could be going rather than being home. But now that everything has shut down there’s no where “better” to be and I’m able to take a deep breath and just be. It’s a very peculiar feeling.
Children are learning to entertain themselves at home again because they no longer have distractions like extracurricular activities/lessons, play dates, or outings to museums, aquariums, etc. And because being outside is safe, I think kids are going to rediscover outdoor free play, something that experts have been begging parents to get their kids to do more.
We’re cooking for ourselves again. Reading more books. Watching movies as a family.
A friend of mine said it feels similar to being a kid and being on summer break because our vacation days are jam packed. This truly is a collective breather.
Of course, this applies to a certain population. There are folks who are working harder than ever! Medical workers, grocery store employees, police officers, etc. are going out every day to keep things running while we Netflix and chill. They don’t get this chance to slow down, they’ve sped up.
And for those parents who are expected to work from home while homeschooling their kids- hang in there my friends!
We’re Going to Prioritize Saving
I’ve been reading articles for years saying our society is not saving enough. That we carry high debt and low assets. I know personally that I always say I’ll start saving when…..(insert excuse here). This was a wake up call!
When they closed all daycares and schools my anxiety spiked for all the working mothers out there. I’m fortunate to be home on paid maternity leave right now because if not, that announcement would have caused a huge amount of stress for our family.
And now with so many businesses closed, so many families have been greatly affected financially. Ryan’s job sites have closed and he’s been home on unemployment until paving season starts which is so stressful! We have a little savings, but not a lot.
I think when this is all over, we’ll all prioritize saving more than we have because we’ve experienced first hand how quickly things can go awry.
We’ll Go Greener (I hope)
The toilet paper panic of 2020 will seriously be written about in history books. It shows our reliance on disposable products. I think when the dust settles people will begin looking for ways to use reusable products.
A friend said she ordered reusable microfiber cloths to replace paper towels. Another friend’s husband ordered a bidet (which I’m considering) so a toilet paper shortage won’t matter. And another friend started baking her own bread. I’ve been researching how to use reusable baby wipes and make a cleaning solution (at least for pee).
I think everyone is going to walk away from this more aware of how easily disposable items can become unavailable. I hope this will be a huge wake up call for everyone to really reassess what they’re consuming and if there is a better way.
We’re All in This Together
Cue the High School Musical song. Actually, notice how I started each section with “we?” It’s because this pandemic has shown that we really are in this life together. Too often we think of ourselves as an island and caught up in our little worlds we’ve created for ourselves.
Now we see the power we have when we band together. We’re choosing to stay apart (social distancing) to minimize the reach of this virus to protect the elderly and vulnerable. Neighbours are running errands for each other. Stores are doing delivery. Parents are sharing homeschool resources and game ideas to entertain kids while at home.
To me this also shows that we ARE capable of coming together and making social change. We are! It’s not political, it’s not socioeconomic, when we all work together we can make things happen. Maybe this will inspire us to band together to work at fixing up our damaged planet when this is over.
Other Positive Lessons Learned from Coronavirus
Those are the biggest positives I’ve seen so far, but there are other positive things such as:
- Kids/adults alike are rediscovering the outdoors as it’s the only safe place to play right now
- See my post 7 family hikes in Southern Alberta and bookmark it for when this is all over
- Folks are banding together to support local businesses
- Appreciation/acknowledgement of our amazing healthcare workers
- Appreciation/some understanding of the efforts of teachers
- We’re learning gratitude for what we have
My Personal Lessons Learned
I’ve been struggling for some time with gratitude. I’m an over achiever and have spent my life looking for the next milestone to reach, the next thing to achieve, working away as I look forward.
This crisis has showed me how truly and unbelievably fortunate I am. All the things that seemed so important before this seem so trivial. I’m grateful for this lesson in gratitude and will take away these lessons for the rest of my life.
Now I also have a laundry list of complaints, but my blog is meant to be a positive space so I’ll keep those to myself.
What take aways do you think will stay with you when this is all over?