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Mental Health Benefits the Pandemic Has Taught Us

November 17, 2020

Before the pandemic began, we led busy, full lives. We complained about being stressed for time and overwhelmed with work. You may have compared yourselves to others on social media, feeling inadequate with your inability to travel and party on the weekends. But the pandemic has turned our lives upside down; now we worry about being laid off, virtual schooling, isolation, and whether to risk seeing loved ones. 

 

We don’t need to have blind optimism or forced positivity. Being able to see the reality of the situation can help us grieve it and move forward. However, it’s important to find the small blessings in the pandemic to maintain hope. Many people prior to the pandemic were functioning on autopilot, stressed with work, travel, schedules, and a lack of personal time. The pandemic has put the brakes on our lives, slowing things down and forcing us to reflect on our lives and reorganize priorities. If you are looking for the silver lining in the pandemic, here are a list of gifts the pandemic has given us.  

  1. Family has become more engaged and more important. The pandemic has forced families to live, play, and work together. Anthropologist Grant McCracken stated that 59% of moms and daughters felt more connected, according to a survey of 500 mothers in the United States. Parents have also been more physically active with their children outside all times of the day. 

  2. Working from home has been a blessing for those who struggle with stress from their daily commute. Commuters report feeling less stress beginning Sunday night which continues throughout the week. 

  3. Pets have been blessed to have their owners and family’s home with them. Pets have taken on a new popularity for reducing stress and anxiety. Pets are happier when their family is spending more time at home.

  4. The daily routine practiced at home is helping restore security for children. Kids love routines and having everyone home has contributed to following through with chores. These responsibilities help kids feel more included.

  5. Family meals have become more likely and significant. One of the best ways to restore family unity is with sharing family meals. With everyone home on time, cooking is becoming a daily ritual, creating an opportunity for everyone to participate

  6. We are going through the pandemic as a shared experience; no one is spared. No matter what you feel or are going through, you are not alone. There is a shared interdependence on each other, and a shared unity in knowing everyone is having problems.

 

The pandemic has opened our eyes to the abundance in our lives that may have gone unnoticed before. It’s helped us step back and realize we live in a global world interdependent upon each other. Keeping a gratitude list of your own helps you focus on prioritizing family, friends, and the numerous blessings bestowed on you every day. Keeping these lessons once life returns to normal will help you stay grateful and humble.

 

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