We are going through a very tough period. The challenge we all face with the COVID-19 which touched every aspect of our life, is big. It feels like the Coronavirus took over the world and every person, without discrimination, is impacted whether directly or not.
The virus connected us somehow and we are aware of what is happening to our families, our neighborhood, our communities, our countries and the planet.
But challenges can kill us or heal us, depending on our attitude. The challenge can be the same, but the outcome will be different depending on whether we consider it as an opportunity or as a curse.
Choose your focus
Considering challenges as opportunities can help us grow and evolve. Considering challenges as a curse will bring us suffering. It is your choice!
I’ve chosen to take the good from this situation. It is important to note that taking good does not mean we don’t see the bad, it only means we chose to focus on the good.
I believe that in life, we get what we focus on. Think of it like zooming in with camera. When you zoom in on something, it does not mean that the rest does not exist, it only means it is blurry, for a bit, while you are enjoying the view.
Life is very much like a photography journey. We walk around with our “mind camera” and choose what to focus on. I think with the Coronavirus, while there is so much focus on death and sickness, it is essential to change the focus to the good things that have come out of the COVID-19 situation.
In many of my friendship groups and talks with my clients, we speak about experiencing anxiety about the future, but we also spend some time thinking about what good came out of the Corona. When they say, seek and you shall find, they mean it! We searched for good, so we found good things.
Awareness is key!
In this activity, I encourage you to find 100 things you learned from the Coronavirus experience.
Remember, learning is always good. Even learning what not to do, is good, because you have taken one more step towards awareness and it will help you to travel better through life.
A big part of learning is strengthening beliefs, thoughts, and actions you already have. Strengthening these things in your mind makes you more confident about them.
Awareness is what helps us go through life with choice rather than on automatic pilot. Awareness give us control over our lives which, in a time like this, is exactly what we all need because the uncertainty of the Coronavirus makes us feel out of control.
Certainty is a basic need that we are all missing now. When this kind of fear spreads, a sense of control is what will help us manage the uncertainty.
We are not a result of what happens to us, but a result of the meaning we give to what happens to us
While you make a list of 100 things you have learned, be mindful of the perspective on the situation. “It is not the things that happen to us that matters but the meaning we give it”.
With everything that happens to us, we have a choice to be bitter of better and I believe that this reflection activity can help us choose the “better” option.
List making rules
Here are some guidelines about making a list of things you have learned from the Coronavirus.
- Examine your thoughts and feelings towards the situation and add them to the list. This is probably going to make up a big part of your list.
- Write down what you think/feel about isolation.
- Write down what you have learned about money, spending, shopping food, entertainment, relationships, work, friends, and family.
- List realizations you had during quarantine.
- Go over things that you enjoyed doing during quarantine and explain why you enjoyed them. Write down what you think you will do with those things as life slowly goes back to normal.
- Go over your daily routine and write down what changed about it when you were isolated. If your routine did not change, write down what you learned about it.
- Go over things that you managed to do during isolation that you postponed or avoided during regular life.
- What challenges were you surprised to have overcome and what did you find more difficult than anticipated.
- Ask others about what they learned. I found out that when others shared, it helped me realize I’d learned the same and helped me come up with things I hadn’t thought about.
Ronit’s Coronavirus learning list
I started compiling my list when the Coronavirus hit Queensland, Australia and restrictions were put in place. Until then, my life went on as usual. When the restrictions happen, there was anxiety all around me and I immediately knew I had to change my focus, and fast. I wanted to use the time to develop myself and be better rather than bitter about the whole thing.
So, here is my personal list. I hope it’ll give you some ideas.
- Coronavirus does not discriminate
- I will regret it if I will not use this time well.
- Focusing on health and strong immune system is always important
- Emotional health is essential in fighting any virus
- Think happy thoughts, it’ll strengthen the immune system
- Vitamin C strengthens the immune system.
- I’m incredibly grateful that we are all healthy and that no one in my immediate and extended family was affected by COVID-19.
- Just before the restrictions came down, there was a clear discrimination against the Asian people in our city (the racist assumption that they had brought the virus). I was happy and proud of my family, that we kept going to the Asian restaurants to show solidarity and support.
- We have lots of food in the house. Enough to last us a LONG time.
- I worked too many hours before quarantine.
- I’m lucky because I have enough money for many rainy days
- We are very responsible with our money.
- Going shopping once a week is in fact easier.
- It is not healthy to watch TV all the time, it makes people anxious.
- It is a good time to clean up my email inbox and create order in all my files on the computer.
- Love the sense of holiday!
- It’s refreshing to stay in pajamas the whole day!
- My succulents were happy about me having more time to take care of them.
- How great! I can do more art!
- It’s wonderful to have bonding time with the kids
- I miss friends
- How fortunate we are that we can face-time with family and friends
- I finished writing one book, good on me!
- I developed ideas, outlines and wrote foundations for 4 more books.
- How fortunate I am that my granddaughter could come and be us for one full day each week (my daughter works in essential services). Every day that she came, she made us so happy!
- How fortunate we are in Australia that day care was still on for parents who work in essential services. It was hard for my granddaughter to understand why we couldn’t go to play group or the playground, but at least 2 days a week she was at day care, playing with other kids.
- I was happy we could pick up my granddaughter from day care and see people and talk with them (parents and family members who came to pick up their kids)
- There is enough for me to do that I can keep myself busy for a long time, there is never a dull moment!
- I was worried for my dad who had a small heart attack a month before quarantine. I reminded myself that worrying doesn’t make it better, it doesn’t make it disappear. It isn’t helpful.
- It was good to talk to my parents more often. Mom is 82 years old and my dad is 87 years old. It must be hard for them!
- For the first time ever, we had a mass zoom meeting with mine and my husband’s extended family, where everyone was in a different house/continent and we played a game together.
- How wonderful it was to have breakfast with the whole family during the week.
- I figured it might be a good idea to let go of diets for this period.
- How wonderful to get up whenever we want!
- Go to sleep at 2am or 3am. Why not?
- It was fun to do some TV series marathons into the night on the off occasion.
- I enjoyed cooking with patience!
- Great time to try new things!
- I joined several mass meditations. It made me feel good that I’m part of a collective, wishing the world to heal.
- It was great to cook with Gal and the kids (as I said, I was so busy, they did most of the cooking)
- It is interesting that all the days of the week seemed to look the same. Weekday or weekend, same feeling!
- Looking at the financial burden that the Coronavirus put people through strengthened my view that it is never good to put all your eggs in one basket.
- I was happy and proud that the kids didn’t start going on online shopping sprees to manage their anxiety.
- Our son bought a house during this period! He got it for an excellent price because the market was low. Investments are good when the market is low. I knew that, but it was a good reminder.
- People in the house read more books (I guess they were tired of watching TV) It was great!
- Getting up so late meant we skipped breakfast (great for intermittent fasting)
- We fixed the shower ceiling (at last!)
- Cleaning the house was great, and we had all the time in the world to do it.
- We sent several boxes to give to charity! Good feeling!
- A great time to practice non-attachment!
- A great time to practice faith and “no worries”! Whenever anxiety hit, I said, “Whatever needs to happen, will happen. I will accept it!”
- It was a great opportunity to have long conversations with friends and family (I worked so many hours before that I just couldn’t do that)
- I realized that my love for my work cluttered and clouded my judgment a bit. I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t notice when it started to take over. (I worked about 50 to 70 hours a week up until the restriction started)
- I’ve decided to never go back to that mode of work. I worked very hard to reach semi- retirement and work 3 days a week, I should stick to it!
- I want to spend a lot of time with the kids. They will leave home soon and I need to squeeze out every second I can with them.
- I didn’t envy teachers. Their job quickly became surprisingly hard. I am sure many parents appreciate teachers more now.
- Poor university students, all their plans are now on hold. Some of our daughter’s friends who traveled overseas to study had to cancel their studies, and the money spent on the travel / studies will not be recovered. I am so happy none of my kids was in that situation.
- We can manage very well without eating out.
- I missed going to the cinema. Watching a movie at home doesn’t really do the same for me.
- It was hard to have “date nights”
- We heard all our friends talking about how much they were panicking about their shares dropping. History teaches us that after every such crisis, it picks up. Let it go!
- Wow, we put petrol in the car after two months. That was so cheap!
- I did all the sewing had no time for before (OK, maybe not all of it, but most!)
- While I thought that everything would collapse, I was surprised to discover that some businesses in fact blossomed from the Coronavirus pandemic.
- I didn’t really get the toilet paper rush! I don’t think we went to the toilet more!
- I love writing, I can write all day! I’m so lucky I do something I enjoy so much.
- I’ve had so many ideas for blog posts. I wrote all of them down. I think I can write a blog every day for the next 20 years and I still won’t run out of ideas.
- The quarantine was a good way of realizing that we use more than what we need. We don’t need much.
- We don’t need money to be happy and have fun. Just put music on and dance.
- It was so great to just sit and watch videos about arts and crafts.
- I was so happy to watch TED talks.
- It was a good time for renovation. We fixed the fences around the outside of the house and cleaned up the roof.
- It was wonderful to download books from the library. We could do that before but never really needed to.
- The library extended the return policy, there was a book that Gal finished reading and I wanted to read as well, so it gave me more time to go over it.
- Working from home saved us lots of road accidents.
- Working from home helped lower pollution.
- Working from home allowed people to spend more time with their families.
- Working from home gave people more spare time to exercise.
- Flight bands made businesses and individuals save so much money.
- Not being able to go to work, made business and workers more creative in the way they do things.
- I hope business will change the way they do business in the future thanks to the Coronavirus.
- I enjoyed seeing how elders were treated with care.
- It is amazing how people used humor to manage their anxiety.
- I was happy none of my kids had to stop their jobs, so financially they were not affected.
- People showed lots of generosity towards others, which was wonderful to see.
- I thought the anxiety will increase OCD. I was wrong. One of my clients said she recovered from OCD about two weeks after she was home with the kids.
- I realized it is OK to do nothing at all! It is refreshing.
- The organization I worked for as a director (for 12 years) had to cease all activities, because most of the work was from schools, which were now closed. This gave me free time to reflect on my work and make decisions about the future.
- I heard parents taking about how the hard it is to entertain young kids and I felt fortunate that the kids I had at home were old enough to care for themselves.
- We were lucky enough to be able to go for a walk in the park.
- I was so happy we have a balcony. Eating breakfast outside, in the sun, just added some variety and made it special.
- I thought we were lucky that Australia was still in relatively hot weather when restrictions were put in place. Restrictions and cold are not a good combination for me.
- For some strange reason we ate more than usual. (it was odd because Gal and I work from home anyways)
- I was happy we had a chance to celebrate our granddaughter’s birthday party just before the isolation started. She was so happy!
- When the restrictions eased, my youngest daughter went on a short vacation with a group of friends and the accommodation was so cheap, I was so happy for her!
- I was glad that my service could be accessed online and that I could get inquiries through the website.
- Though I had been doing online sessions before the quarantine, I started having more of them. And I developed ways to make them even better.
- I had more inquiries and more clients
- I developed several additional programs for my Be Happy in LIFE practice.
- I felt blessed to be in Queensland, Australia where the number of cases were low the whole time.
This was my stock take of the good things that happened to me, the things I learned and what I took away from the Coronavirus. I hope it helps you with yours.
This post is part of the series Make a List:
- Make a list: List Making
- Make a list: About Myself
- Make a list: Friends and Friendships
- Make a list: My Lifetime
- Make a list: Things I am Happy about
- Make a list: Childhood Memories
- How to Clean Away Resentment and Be Happy
- Make a list: 100 Ways to Say “I love you!”
- Make a list: What I like about me
- Make a list: Birthday Presents to Ask for
- Make a list: Improve My Life
- Make a list: Things to tell my parents
- Make a list: Beliefs about Money
- Make a list: Feelings I Want to Feel
- Make a list: If I Could Live Forever
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids cont.
- Make a list: Events that Have Shaped Your Life
- Make a list: Ways to be kind
- Make a list: Be More Productive
- Make a list: Mistakes (and what I can learn from them)
- Make a list: Expectations
- Make a list: Beliefs about Traveling
- Make a list: Rules I Follow
- Make a list: Good Parenting Qualities
- Make a list: Excuses
- Make a list: Quotes to live by
- Make a list: How to use my time better
- Make a list: If I were Santa Claus
- Make a list: If I had one year to live
- Make a list: Things that Make Me Happy
- Make a list: Movies I loved
- Make a List: My Fears
- Make a List: Find your Happy-ism
- Make a List: Inspiring People
- Make a List: Books that have changed my life
- Make a list: Inspiring Movies
- How to Make a List of Things to Be Grateful for
- Make a List: Ronit’s Gratitude Examples List
- Make a list: Life Lessons Learned
- Make a List: Self-Kindness
- Make a List: 100 Ways to Be Kind to Myself
- Make a List: 100 Things I Want People to Think of Me
- Make a List: Judgment of Right from Wrong
- Make a List: 100 Reasons to Be Wealthy
- 100 Great Insights I Got from the Coronavirus
- How to Make Every Relationship You Want Good
- If I Only Knew: How to Learn from the Past