There’s no sugar coating it, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on families and economies around the world.  Though countries are taking steps to return to a more normal way of life, the fact is, life is different now and it should be.  

But as much of the world is in lockdown, there’s an unprecedented opportunity to reassess what is truly important in our lives. The things that really matter to us and bring us joy, and we need to take this realisation back to our ‘normal’ lives.  

Our health

Never before have health workers been so revered by so many at the same time.  Usually, we’re reminded how lucky we are to have a great health service when ourselves or our loved ones need treatment.  Rather than just concentrating on the medical centre near me, the world now knows the danger that front line medical staff are facing every day. 

We now need to be thankful for our health, nurture it, improve it and incorporate looking after ourselves and our families as part of a new way of life. 

Our mental health, too

Even people without a history of mental health issues are struggling due to worry, isolation and anxiety.  So many things are out of our control at the moment and it’s understandable that people may be having a tough time coping with COVID-19’s effects on their mental state. 

Nurturing our mental health, as well as our physical health, must be a priority. 

The importance of family

Some people have been confined to their homes with their immediate family for weeks.  It’s stressful, it’s loud and has probably caused some real tension.  However, this is underpinned by the desire to keep our family safe.  

Then there is the strain of not being able to see our family or friends is one of the most difficult aspects of the whole situation.  Realising how important our family connections are to our general happiness will help strengthen those connections. 

The separation of grandparents from their grandchildren has been particularly hard as the importance of this relationship is well established. 

The rejection of consumerism

For weeks now, we have been unable to indulge ourselves with luxury products, nights out and clothes.  Instead, some people have been faced with a lack of even the most basic products such as toilet roll, food and medicines.  This, coupled with a reduction in income has made us realise the things that we really need and cherish them. 

Once the restrictions are lifted, and people are free to shop normally again, we need have to continue to buy only those things that we need, or we truly cherish.  Cynical marketing tactics are far less likely to work on people now. 

The new normal

While it’s difficult to take any positives from the COVID-19 pandemic, recognising that our shared experience has forced us to reconsider what’s important to us. It would be a wasted opportunity if we didn’t take this opportunity to change our lives for the better.

Cover Image Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash