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What COVID-19 taught me about myself

Written by Lifestyle

There’s a lot of negativity surrounding the current coronavirus situation. And while I’m not especially excited for the online graduation or the limited prospects of my near future, I can admit that I’ve experienced a certain kind of growth in these turbulent times.

It’s no secret that students all around the world had to move their education from classrooms and lecture halls to their bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms. In fact, every human being on this earth had to do so. However, university students have potentially been hit the hardest, as their degrees basically determine their future. The past few months have, no doubt, been a stressful period for most of us, especially those graduating this coming summer. But I am here to reflect on the positive lessons of this unprecedented situation.

Discipline has never been one of my strongest suits, yet even at the most uncertain times, I have stepped up and made myself follow through with a schedule

Discipline has never been one of my strongest suits, yet even at the most uncertain times, I have stepped up and made myself follow through with a schedule. I have become consistent with my waking and sleeping hours, which ultimately reduced the amount of insomnia I had to suffer through. Over time, I made it a habit worth keeping.

I was able to focus and concentrate on my studies better and managed to work through the entire day every day of the week. This is mostly due to the fact that a lot of the things I used to spend my time on are currently unavailable. Having to keep some of my hobbies on hold is a good reason to be upset. But the time I freed up was probably that extra time I needed to do better on my course and complete my education to a high standard.

I genuinely believe that lockdown had a positive impact on my mental health

This is not to say that I did not take breaks. In fact, I genuinely believe that lockdown had a positive impact on my mental health. I have learned to recognise when I require rest or distraction. I’ve learned to stop and appreciate all the work and effort and energy I put into my daily life. I have also found things I enjoy doing that don’t take up much time, such as Sudoku, job applications and working on my Portfolio and LinkedIn page. These short breaks are the reason I have not gone insane yet.

Surprisingly, I have also managed to eat only healthy home-cooked meals. This is largely thanks to my friend Violeta, who does most of the cooking for the both of us (I’m ashamed to admit that even locked up at home I haven’t learned to cook). But I realise now that even dishes prepared at home can be quick, healthy and delicious.

It is weird to think that for me to start noticing myself and create my own happiness, I just needed to be cut off from most of the world

It is weird to think that for me to start noticing myself and create my own happiness, I just needed to be cut off from most of the world. I have gone from wild mood swings and energy/exhaustion spikes to controlled emotions and consistent dynamic dedication. I have learned to really see myself and cater to my own needs. And that is the biggest win of the year for me.

So, here are my “Lockdown Lessons”:

  • A consistent sleeping schedule is the key to a productive day;
  • Sometimes hobbies can get in the way of studies;
  • Short breaks are a must;
  • Knowing what your mind and body need is a skill everyone should learn;
  • Cooking can be simple and tasty, without being time-consuming.

I realise this is a hard time for everyone. For some more so than others. And if anyone is seriously struggling, then they should allow themselves to take the time they need to feel better. One day this will all be over and we can resume enjoying our lives to the full again but, until then, I want to learn all I can from this isolation.

Last modified: 1st June 2020

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