10 Lessons I Learned About Myself During the Pandemic
  1. I avoid my feelings by keeping busy
    So, this took some time for me to realize and admit after much thinking and squashing of the ego. But there definitely is some truth to it. I like to keep busy as it makes me feel accomplished and helps to keep me motivated. For a very long time, my anxiety defined me. I wasn’t able to do the simplest of tasks. But I took everything I had inside of me, worked hard, and began to live again. With that, came the need to keep busy. I wanted to make up for all the time I couldn’t do much. It felt good at the time, but I also seemed to be running on the gerbil wheel. I was busy but going nowhere. I decided that I have my tasks and goals at hand, but I would also make time for rest. This was a slow process, but I was getting into the swing of things when the pandemic hit. With being confined to my home for the most part, my busyness picked up. I wanted to make the most of this, but I wasn’t making as much time for my feelings and rest. I was so scared to fall completely apart like in the past. I overcompensated, and as much as enjoyed it, my mind and body needed more rest. I finally sat down to think about ways I can find the necessary rest, especially to calm my mind. I was already exercising, getting sleep, journaling, and meditating. What now? The thing is that I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. But I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing. I was rushing through the feelings to check off another thing done on the list. I needed to sit with myself and do the hard work again. See, I thought when I did the hard work, it was over. Nope. You must continue to show up and do the hard things every so often. Listen to yourself, trust in it, and do more of what you Need to do.
  2. I need a schedule
    Yes, yes, yes. It doesn’t matter how little or how much I do in a day, I need a routine. I think we all have one to a degree, but during this quarantine, it is especially important to me. This will pass, and if I continued to have no schedule or routine, that would continue long after this. I wanted to continue to work on me and some other things I haven’t gotten around to as well as creating and maintaining in this type of unprecedented times, is vital to my journey. Things like this will happen again, and it is nice to know that I have a reference point to look back on when life throws these curve balls at me. Now with that being said, make sure to make time for some rest and relaxation 😊
  3. I am triggered by my past trauma more than ever
    When I first heard about the possible shutdown, I was filled with fear and uncertainty. I was letting fear run me. All I could think of was that I was going to be in my place for an uncertain amount of time with no way out. Due to my past agoraphobia and trauma, I for sure thought that I was going to lose it. There was no one I could turn to that had been through this. As time went on, I became triggered by people and experiences that reminded me of my past. I realized that these were areas of my life that I still needed to heal. It was a blessing in disguise. As difficult as it is sometimes, these triggers are great ways to help you dig a little deeper into ourselves. By doing this, we learn to accept, love, and trust ourselves.
  4. I am stronger than I ever thought I was
    People always say that when you need to be strong you will be. I never really believed that and was in awe of the type of strength that I saw in others. I could never be that strong. I used to say that to myself, not realizing how damaging it was. But when it came down to this pandemic, I am slowly learning my strength. And the beauty of it, is it is filled with vulnerability, the most valuable form of strength 😊
  5. This is a mind game, literally and figuratively
    This pandemic is based on a virus. A virus that can brutally attack our bodies physically. We have focused on our physical health, which is so important. But I have learned that my mental health has a direct correlation with my physical health. If I don’t fill my mind with good thoughts, creativity, support etc. my physical health suffers. I have noticed that I needed to put just as much emphasis on my mental health as I did on my physical health. Take care of your mind. You won’t regret it 😊
  6. I need more socialization than I ever thought I did
    I am not a very social person. I like to socialize from time to time, but I don’t think of myself as very extroverted. The few people who know me well realize I am extroverted. But by nature, I enjoy my alone time. My anxiety played a big role in my lack of socialization, and until recently, I did not realize how much I needed the right people in my life. I started to realize that before the quarantine, and I realize it even more a month in. I am finding out so much more about myself by just being here and in the present. I truly do need others. I can’t always do it alone and be the strong one. It is uncomfortable for me to admit that and even write it, but I am happy that I am allowing others to be a part of my life and vice versa.
  7. I can live with way less resources than I thought
    When I was younger, I really valued a lot of belongings. I attached to this type of identity, and that’s how I judged people on whether they were doing well or not. As I grew up and experiences happened, I realized that these possessions didn’t matter as much. Sure, I work hard and enjoy a few nice things, but the emphasis is more on experiences. This quarantine has taught me how privileged I am, how resourceful I can be, and how little I truly need to be happy.
  8. I need to continue working on my boundaries
    Oh, the good ole’ boundary discussion…. Yep, it finds its way into everything. I have noticed that some people expect you to always be available during this time. They think well no one can leave so you can talk. That is not how it works. I don’t need to explain if I am busy even if that means taking time for me. I have had to be even more clear with people. Now, people are having a difficult time. We all are. And due to this, certain people are highly emotional. Make sure to stand your ground when need be, and compromise when you can. This is an important time to take care of yourself and protect your peace.
  9. I can’t always be the strong one
    I mentioned this earlier, but I am realizing I can’t always be the strong one. I am comfortable in that position, and I love to help others. I love it so much that it can be a detriment at times. My pride and stubbornness can get in the way, and I don’t like to ask for help. I feel embarrassed, and I believe that I can figure it out somehow. But the reality is that it’s my ego talking. I need support. I need to be able to count on others to be there. That is the beauty of life. It is not just one sided. We are here to not only help others, but to accept the help and support we need.
  10. I need to stay present and appreciate the little moments rather than use them a form of control
    It is extremely difficult to stay in the present, especially for me. I am usually documenting it or thinking about the next thing I must do. This doesn’t allow me to have the present experiences and the peace and happiness that comes with it. I usually use it to control the situation and use it in some other form for future experiences. I am slowly but surely learning to be present if just for a few moments each day. It is so important to do, for me, to fully experience life in all of its forms 😊
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