The COVID Diaries: Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

Self reflection, growth, and pause. All lessons learned in the midst of a pandemic. Read on for more!

The COVID-Coaster
It’s safe to say 2020 has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. There's been highs, lows and times that just flat out don't make sense. Whether mentally, physically, emotionally or financially, this global pandemic has definitely affected many of us in some way or form.

No matter how this pandemic has affected each of us, there’s one thing that I'm sure has come out of it this time: self reflection. I can guarantee that all of us have had at least *one* moment of reflection. Because no matter what has been thrown at us, it's our own feelings, our headspace and thoughts we're left with at the end of each day.

Lessons From a Pandemic
Personally, it's been the moments right before sleep that flood with the thoughts about the current time, life as we used to know it and what may lie ahead moving forward. Deep much? Yes, that's putting it lightly. But it's given me time to reflect on a lot about what I miss most, what’s truly important and what I didn’t realize about myself until we entered these pandemic times. 

So what exactly did I come to "self realize"? Here are my lessons learned:

Something I Miss/Will Never Take For Granted:

COVID has kept so many of us away from our loved ones for long stretches of time. I'm thankful that my parents live so close (a block away) to us that we kept a mutual agreement early on to be each other's "safe bubbles". Safe bubbles/quaran-teams/covid safe groups are essentially a designated group of people outside of your own household that you can see and interact with safely.  But when it came to other members of my large extended family, we realized this would be a no-go since some relatives still had to work, or it would be harder to keep track of outside interactions. Most of my extended family live within a 5 mile radius of one another and we used to see each other constantly. With the exception of my parents, our visits with family became non existent. Holidays, occasions and our typical family gatherings passed and for someone who is so used to being around loved ones, it's definitely been hard to not have that connection. 

My sister lives in Southern California and we'd usually see her every few months. It could be a quick drop in on our way to Disney, or a long weekend trip for her and my brother in law to come up to visit us. Since the pandemic, we'd been separated for almost 7 months until recently. It's been the longest we've all been apart and I'm assuming it would have been even longer if it weren't for my mom's milestone birthday at the end of July. All my mom wanted was for all of us to together as a family. So my sister and brother in law basically self isolated for weeks and went through hurdles of precautions to ensure they could join our little bubble up here safely.

I didn't realize how much I missed being a family unit until we were all together again. Seeing my sister and being together like pre-pandemic times was enough to replenish the soul a thousand times over. I've learned that above all else, it's my FAMILY that I miss the most throughout all of this. l'll never take having the ability to be together freely, any large family gathering, all the carefree moments or even a simple hug from a loved one for granted again when this is all over!

Something I’ve Learned I Love:

If you’ve been following my latest posts or adventures on Instagram you may have noticed an uptick in DIY’s and crafts. 

I’ve always felt I was “crafty” but this pandemic has tapped into a deeper level of creativity that I never knew I had within me! Normally, I’d only get the DIY bug before Disney trips to whip up cute outfit ideas. But since being at home something just sparked and the craftiness ramped up to a whole new level. You can definitely call it a craft awakening in a way! I've loved challenging myself to step up from one project to the next, dabbling in ideas that I'd never think to do before like food DIY's and more.

Crafting has been a source of joy and a surprising form of stress relief in such uncertain times. I can get lost in the endless creative process of each project start to finish. I've truly learned that the craft life is my favorite way to pass the time and create my own source of magic, even when the outside world isn't too magical. 

Something I've Learned I Need:
To Pause

Sometimes you just got to PAUSE. It’s crazy because as much “time” you’d think stay at home would provide it’s actually been quite the opposite. I've actually felt busier since quarantine and the pandemic began. PB likes to describe my thought process as "thinking like a computer with 100 tabs open". It's so true though, even before quarantine and COVID, I always felt like I was overly into everything. Always planning, always prepping, always trying to fix/engage/be on top of well... everything.

Recently I learned the power of a “pause”. Not a complete cut off from everything like social media or content creating, but just to step away when needed. This was partially realized due to my sister in town and not wanting to loose a minute of reunion time with family. But it served as a good reminder that it's OKAY to step away for a little bit. My role as a mom to my little guy always comes first and foremost, but in the little chunks of time I get to myself when he's napping, after the falls asleep at night, or when he's occupied is when I jump into my creator mode. It's that time that should be designated for "me" for things like self care, eating lunch/relaxing, catch up on TV, or just... rest, is when I'm most active and engaged. Hitting the "pause" on always being on top of everything on here definitely was a much needed reminder that messages can wait, crafts don't alway need to be completed right away and that it's okay to step away.

The Most Important Lesson of All
The most important thing I've learned through the past few months during this global pandemic? That the outside world can be a total mess, times can feel chaotic and uncertain, but it's the fact that we as individuals can still manage to learn, grow and create our own source of magic despite the challenging times. 💜

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