Pandemic Silver Linings
There’s no doubt the pandemic is one of the most difficult times of our lives collectively as a society. It is a dark and scary time for so many of us, but I’m typically a very cheery person and thrive in finding the bright side in everything I’ve been through — and believe me, there’s been a lot.
As a food and travel writer, you can imagine there wasn’t much going for me on the work front. And as someone with an active social life that also blends with my work, being locked at home by myself was incredibly difficult on a mental level.
Fortunately, my “never a victim, always a survivor” attitude kicked in, and I was able to find several silver linings that not only got me through the pandemic but helped set me on a path to thrive moments after the world began to reopen.
Here are six silver linings that I’m thankful for during the pandemic:
The chance to finally slow down
Before the pandemic, I was out and about nearly every night at multiple events, restaurants, and gatherings. In fact, my 2019 New Year’s resolution was to stay home at least one night a week, and if we’re being honest, I failed. The chaos of 2020 forced me to stay home and give my body a much needed reset.
I found a proper skin care regimen
I’m 33 years old and let me tell you, skin care is super important, but with my quick-paced life, I was up and out the door after a quick cleanse and a moisturizer. I didn’t really put much more thought into it and was using the same stuff I had been using since my early 20s. Little did I know, it wasn’t serving me well. Being at home gave me nothing but time to play around with different skin care products to find a regimen that worked really well on my skin. Now even with life going back to normal and my schedule being a little bit more crazy, I’ve learned the importance of giving myself 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes before bed to really take care of my skin.
Journaling and putting an effort into a meditation practice
I’ve never been one who’s able to sit still long enough to fully Zen out and meditate. Being forced to be alone for such an extended period of time helped me to find comfort in being alone with my thoughts. I was able to dedicate time to listening to guided meditation and started journaling about my feelings and what I want to accomplish. These days I’m waking up feeling fresher and more focused on what I want to achieve.
Figured out who my true support circle is
There’s nothing like a global pandemic to really help you hone in on who has your back and who is around out of convenience. During the pandemic, we were all living a quarantined life. As someone who is used to seeing 30 or so “friends” a night, it was weird that my phone wasn’t ringing nearly as much as I thought it would. But of course, we’re talking about the silver lining. Those who did make an effort to call me or to reply to my texts or to be there for me on days when I wasn’t feeling so great because, hello, depression is real — those are the ones who I knew really valued me as much as I valued them.
The ability to network with people around the country (and world, even!)
Even though we weren’t able to leave the house for months on end, platforms like Zoom and Houseparty made it easy for people to connect. Fairly early during the quarantine, I was fortunate enough to be invited into a few weekly Zoom groups with people whom I thought of as just acquaintances prior to the pandemic. Those groups, filled with people in the same field as me (writers, publicists, etc.) quickly become shoulders I could lean on. Through these weekly virtual happy hour chats, I was able to meet new people in cities that I probably wouldn’t have gone to meet because of my crazy schedule. I began to look forward to these weekly meetings where I got to catch up with my new friends about their lives or bounce ideas about work off of them, or listen to what they had going on and offer advice as well. The virtual groups not only made me feel connected, but they made me feel like someone needed me and it gave me something to be excited about. Fast-forward to life slowly returning to normalcy after the pandemic, and many of these friends have become the people I talk to every day. In fact, I even spent Thanksgiving with a handful of them and have flown to most of their cities or had them come to visit me, and we’ve spent some really great quality time together.
Virtual events opened so many new doors
Virtual meetups not only helped me grow my personal circle, but they also gave me the chance on the work front to connect with other people's contacts and get to know who’s working on what and expand my network of people. Brands that I would normally learn about from a local event were now available to me from the comfort of my home, where I could still listen to their stories and get to know about them. Thanks to this new expanded network, I was really able to hit the ground running the moment more writing jobs and opportunities were available.
It may have been one of the toughest years of our lives, but I always did my best to focus on the silver lining, and believe it or not, I’m in a better place now than I was at the start of 2020. I will forever be grateful for the horribly crazy year that finally forced me to slow down to focus on myself and my needs.