What COVID-19 taught us

It’s really hard to believe that it’s nearly October and autumn is here.

This obviously means big woolly jumpers, warm snuggly socks, pumpkin lattes and the crisp autumn air. Literally ALL of our (more so mine) favourite things.

This year has been crazy to say the least. We went from January, February straight to quarantine and somehow ended up in September.

It’s been a long hard road and from the looks of it, it isn’t over.

I don’t know about you but we learnt many lessons from this year and I thought it would be worthwhile to share a few things I have focused on during lockdown that have helped me change the way I deal with many things.

Gratitude.

Always be grateful. There are so many people who are in worse situations then you. We learnt the importance of gratitude more than ever as frontline doctors. Being on the frontline taught us that life is not guaranteed and that being healthy, having a meal, travelling or being able to help is a gift in itself. I brought a gratitude diary and started writing about the 3 things I was grateful for every day. It’s a great way to remind yourself of all your blessings if you are having a bad day.

I have linked the Gratitude Journal I mentioned below.

Gratitude Journal

Appreciation.

The feeling of thankfulness. Appreciate your partner, your mother, your father, your siblings, your friends, your colleagues. Life’s short so make the most of having all your loved ones around you. Appreciate where you at this very moment in time. It may be hard and it may feel like it’s never going to get better but trust me, appreciate the trials as they will shape you and make you thankful for everything you have in your life.

Kindness.

It goes a long way and can change someone’s day. It can be a smile, a hello or even a quick phone call to a friend to ask if they’re okay, or if they need anything. Baking for your neighbour or flowers for your mum. It’s sometimes difficult to be kind with your words. Your tone and facial expressions rely heavily on how you come across so mean what you say and don’t be kind for the sake of reward. Finally don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself, allow yourself the time to relax and recuperate. Give yourself the same kindness you have for others.

Balance.

Oh I used to be so bad at this one a couple of months ago. I felt like I had to do everything in a certain amount of time so I used to rush. I would want EVERYTHING to be perfect – the house, my work, my cooking, my baking and the list goes on. I was sleeping less, was always tired, eating junk, not exercising enough and then there was the lockdown. In my head having a balance meant the scales had to be ‘perfectly’ even but that’s not the case. I now understand that having a balance means I will spread my housework over the week, I will bake on my days off only, I will meal prep, I will exercise and sleep on time as they are both important to me. Balance means making time for the things that make you happy without compromising. Be organised, slow down, enjoy and make time for the things you love.

Self-care.

This is so important. Take yourself out for the day, eat well, treat yourself to a massage or stay at home and watch films all day. You care for everyone else so why not care for yourself. The better version you are of yourself, the more able you are to help others. Self-care also means looking after your mental health. Everyone feels low in mood from time to time and that is absolutely normal. Things can get too much and if that happens then you are allowed to take time off work. Only because it cannot be seen, does not mean it isn’t a valid health problem. Don’t forget that your GP is always available to talk to you about how you feel and if needed you can also contact Healthy Minds to have a chat to someone (all confidential).

Belief.

Even though I have mentioned this last, this is perhaps one of the most important things I have held onto from a very young age. Trust, faith and confidence that something bigger or better will happen. My belief stems from my religion of Islam and prayer has shaped me to always believe that whatever is happening is happening for the best. In Arabic we call this ‘Tawakkul’. We all navigate and make sense of this complex world in many different ways but whatever way we do this, there is always a belief that everything will get better. And it will get better. COVID -19 will disappear, our lives will be back to normal but we will always remember what we went through and the experiences will shape us to become better version of ourselves.

We really hope our little post helps you.

Stay safe and save lives. ❤️