The COVID-19 pandemic impacted almost everyone in some way. Some people lost loved ones. Others dealt with sickness. Many lost their jobs or had to get used to working from home. For months, phrases like social distancing, quarantine, and lockdown became the norm.

It’s hard to believe that anything good came from the pandemic, but if you take the time to think about it, lockdown did come with some lessons.

Now that things are slowly starting to get back to normal, it’s important not to forget those lessons and how life changed for over a year because of the virus.

With that in mind, let’s cover some of the things you may have learned during lockdown that you can carry with you for years to come. 

1. The Importance of Family

Life is hectic. Long hours at work, driving kids to and from different practices and events, and trying to keep up with chores at home can leave little free time to actually spend with your family doing quality things.

During the lockdown, most people had nothing but time. You may have still had to work remotely, but most of us were “cooped up” at home with our family. While there may have been times you were frustrated and wanted some freedom, the pandemic taught us just how important and precious quality time with your family can be. You may have learned more about your kids during lockdown than you expected. Maybe you even rekindled your romance with your spouse.

Don’t let the business of life take you away from those things again. Not only did the pandemic teach us the importance of family, but it also taught us the importance of connection. 

 2. Not Taking Loved Ones for Granted

Aside from the people in your immediate family, you may have spent at least a year unable to see the people you truly cared about.

That includes parents, grandparents, extended family, and friends. The pandemic certainly taught us the value of the loved ones in our lives, and to never take those relationships for granted. There is no substitution for an in-person conversation or being able to give someone you love a real hug.

3. Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

Self-care has always been important. But, it became an absolute necessity during the pandemic. We won’t know the full mental health effects of lockdown for years. But, some studies have already shown that it has caused an increase in depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

Without self-care, those things become even worse. Because the pandemic forced the world to slow down, more people recognized the importance of self-care, and what it truly meant to them. That’s something everyone needs to continue in order to maintain a sense of wellbeing and positive mental health.

4. Nature Can Nurture

It was hard to feel safe almost anywhere at the height of the pandemic. The word “lockdown” made it feel scary just to leave the house. One place where many people did seem to feel safe,  however, was outside.

Whether it was your own backyard, a walk around your neighborhood, or sitting on a bench at your favorite park, the pandemic taught us how healing nature can be. Once they reopened, some of the most famous National Parks across the country were flooded with people who were tired of being cooped up and needed some way to find relaxation.

It’s no surprise that people benefitted from being outdoors. Even spending a few minutes in nature each day can improve your mood, give you energy, and reduce stress. As a result, it’s a habit many people will likely continue in a post-pandemic world.

While everyone is happy to see the pandemic in the rearview mirror, it’s important not to forget some of the things it taught us. Keep these lessons in mind as you navigate the next chapter of your life. They’re valuable and they’re yours. Please read more about grief counseling and reach out soon for counseling.