22 Inspiring Lessons I Learned in Lockdown from Covid-19 Pandemic | Philippines

Photo by Michelle Ziling Ou from Unsplash

To say that living life amidst the Covid-19 pandemic is an eye-opening experience is an understatement. Being in strict nationwide lockdown for almost a year changes you. When you feel stuck in stressful events, it makes you question everything in your life: your choices, your motivations, and your purpose. Like any other adversity, this pandemic took away so many things. In these losses, we had no choice but to put on a brave face and move forward.

The whole world was shaken by the attacks on our health, safety, and livelihood. The absence of physical contact was torture in so many ways. Covid-19 has not only separated us from one another, but it also severed the emotional and spiritual connection among us. Imagine being alone inside your room and away from families and friends; not being able to go to them. Imagine being afraid for your life while feeling distraught by your brother who’s very ill on the hospital bed. Imagine putting everything on hold and every one of your plans ruined for the rest of the year. We were forced to go on even with barely anything to hold onto, and this was only the tip of the iceberg.

Every day, you woke up feeling paralyzed and restricted. Your anxiety only got worse over time as people all over the world lost jobs, families, and hopes for a brighter tomorrow. The guilt from not being able to help others consumes you and makes you want to disappear so you wouldn’t have to hear the mourns and cries of people around you. Every news you see on the television was heartbreaking, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and helpless.

Nevertheless, this pandemic broke us so we may be transformed. Little did we know, we were changing for the better albeit slowly. Even in the harshest conditions, there is a comforting prospect waiting for you to notice it. At first, I thought everything was going south and there’s no point to reach my dreams at all, but I was wrong. I was too naïve to realize that this tragedy is a painful yet necessary encounter to clear the obstructions along the way. It had to happen so I could gain insights from this experience that I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere. It reminded me that this life is transient, so I must make the most of this borrowed time.

22 IMPORTANT LESSONS I LEARNED FROM LOCKDOWN:


HEALTH AND SAFETY IS A PRIORITY


This pandemic has reminded me of the value of good health. Nothing is more important than the gift of life. It doesn’t matter if you have a huge house or a huge following on Instagram if you’re not taking care of your body. Covid-19 also exposed our lack of concern for the environment. Most times, we don’t observe cleanliness in our homes and outside. I don’t throw my garbage anywhere, but I do see people who do. It hurts me when I can’t do anything about it. It’s crucial to practice personal hygiene everywhere you go and see it as not only a habit but a responsibility to yourself and others. Exercise and physical fitness is a must.

BE MORE GRATEFUL THAN EVER


No matter the circumstances, be keen on your blessings. You are in a situation that others can only wish for. The fact you’re not fighting for your life is already so much to be grateful for. If you only open your heart to God’s kindness, you will be humbled by how much He gives you that you don’t deserve. We may have lost a lot of things but it also revealed what we need to survive and be happy.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED


When it comes to untoward disasters, it’s always wise to be prepared. Life is filled with It’s essential to not only be ready with food supplies, medicine, emergency kit, and other basic needs but also with a strategy to survive another day.

HOBBIES CAN BE LIFESAVERS


In times of crisis, the only way to make it through is to cope with great fear and stress on your own. There’s no other choice but to find a way to deal with your emotions responsibly. You can’t rely on other people to help you because they’re dealing with the same thing. Do not underestimate the severe effects of loneliness. Having Writing has played an important role in lockdown. Having a hobby to fuel your creative juices is necessary. I wouldn’t be in a better mental state right now without my blog. My blog doesn’t only keep me busy, it also reminds me that life goes on.

REST


While we have allowed hectic schedules, overwhelming pressures, and unrealistic expectations to consume us, being in lockdown helped us understand the importance of rest. I learned that rest doesn’t only refer to sleeping or taking care of your body but also giving peace to your mind. Rest also means giving yourself time to heal from your mistakes and to accept your insecurities. During months of no work, no school, no physical interaction outside your home, it made me reflect on how much of my life I’ve poured into my school and side hustles.

I realized the day is still special and productive even if I don’t stress out by spreading myself too thin. I grasped the sweet specialty of boredom and admitted that something beautiful comes by doing nothing. I appreciated more the mundane, slow days. When I had these days before, I immediately thought of them as negative, unproductive, and a waste of time. Having gone through lockdown, I had a shift in this mentality, and this is one of the best realizations ever.

BE MORE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR TIME


Another lesson I learned from the Covid-19 pandemic was to be more mindful of my time. When you’re ‘forced’ to be at home, you run out of things to do if you don’t plan out your day. The failure to set your priorities causes you to break down because you don’t see tangible results of your progress. You would start to feel insecure, weak, guilty, and useless at the same time. These are the last emotions you want to get in your head when you’re in lockdown. It’s hard to feed your mind more negativity that will eventually lead you to depression.

I always thought, “Time is fleeting; all we have is now.” I learned to get back on my feet by finding ways to be productive at home. It’s not the place that determines my productivity but in my will to take action. I pondered on the habits and activities I used to do and assessed if they still aligned with my goals in the present. I managed to explore my passions and marketed them online, hoping to get a small income in this time of crisis.

I wanted to make the most out of the year even amidst the threat of Covid-19. I believed beautiful beginnings can still happen in the ugliest circumstances, so I took a risk. I was scared about many things, but even more, letting the days pass by without evolving as a person. I stopped doing things that didn’t serve me well and focused on activities that drew me towards my purpose. Furthermore, learning to be intentional with my time molded my attitude and mentality towards optimism and resilience.

MAKE SAVINGS A PRIORITY


I can’t emphasize enough how fundamental it is to have savings especially during times like this. Money, next to health, has been People lost their jobs, businesses have closed, and economies around the world have fallen significantly. It’s important to have money Learning financial literacy is a must. No matter your age, one of the best life lessons I learned is to practice personal budgeting. It takes tough days to convince you to save your money. On good days, it’s easier to splurge your money on things you don’t need because you don’t consider the unforeseen tragedies that may come. Your money will always come in handy.

FAMILY ABOVE ALL


It’s already challenging enough to be apart from our family and loved ones, even more, when they get sick or pass away. Never underestimate the love given and shared through physical contact. If you’re with your family today, cherish every minute with them. During this lockdown, I learned the significance of a strong family connection. Being surrounded by our family, whether blood-related or people we’re loyal to, is what truly matters in this world. You could have the biggest house or fly first-class to different places, but no treasure can compare to family.

You could have all the possessions within your reach but not a single one of them will truly satisfy you. We only have too little time to make memories with them, so make each day count. Don’t hold grudges; reach out to your family and talk about your problems. Tell them how you feel, how much you love them. Your status, education, and bank account do not define a fulfilled life. Without family and loved ones to share your blessings with, you will never be happy. The Covid-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for all of us to embrace life for what it is and dedicate our time and energy to prioritize family above all.

BE KIND WITH EVERYONE’S DIFFERENT STRUGGLES


You don’t know what others are going through. Have the compassion to not have to know their problems before you show kindness.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-AWARENESS


In times of uncertainty and constant fear, this pandemic allowed me to reflect on my life on a deeper level. It made me realize that my past habits and choices didn’t make me happy or better as a person. Instead, it pulled me farther away from making a real connection with other people and with the world. I learned to let go of other people’s expectations of me and chose to hone the thing I love and believe I’m good at—writing.

The pandemic urged me to strive for personal growth that involves taking risks and impacting other people with my stories. I met a renewed, more peaceful sense of self within me by listening to nobody else’s voice but mine. I discovered more about what makes me laugh, what scares me, and what makes me love life even more, and I never felt truly liberated until now.

GENEROSITY IS PRICELESS


As if being apart from our family and friends and dying from an invisible sickness is not terrible enough, there was hoarding, panic buying, and stealing happening around the world. People were looking after themselves a little too much that there was a shortage of basic needs like food, water, and hygiene products in groceries and stores. When you share your blessings, your good deeds will return a millionfold.

It wouldn’t kill you to give some of your resources to those who barely have enough to fight another day. If you think you are struggling, think about the sick, the homeless, the people who are alone and far away from their families. During these trying times is when true generosity is measured. It’s when you sympathize with others and offer help to them even when you feel the same way.

TEAMWORK AND UNITY ARE VITAL


The Covid-19 pandemic helped me recognize the importance of accountability for everything we do. Regardless of our differences, we are all interconnected with the world and with each other, dealing with the same virus. Our actions, directly and indirectly, affect others which means other people’s lives are in our hands. We must exercise our power of choice responsibly. Amidst the pandemic, I realized some people do a disservice to others, especially the poor and the vulnerable because they choose to do things for personal gain.

They overlook the fact that some of our rights and privileges need to be sacrificed for the betterment of the common good. In this time of crisis, we shouldn’t think only of our struggles and hardships but sympathize with others as well. What you do or don’t do can alter the outcome of somebody’s life. Let us choose empathy over selfishness so we may rise above the obstacles like ambition and fame that prevent us from helping one another.

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY


The Covid-19 pandemic has cut off all lines of human contact, including work, school, entertainment, and many more sectors in our economy, affecting our work-life balance. There are only limited places to go to, so you would have to juggle many roles and responsibilities at once, all in one place. Whether you like it or not, you need to learn the importance of organization, management, and setting boundaries. We all struggled with distractions and poor self-control at first. But over time, we got out of that rough patch. Through discipline, we became wise in setting our priorities straight. The only way to get the ball rolling is to be willing to adapt to these changes.

WE’RE STRONG, RESILIENT PEOPLE


This pandemic proves the strength and resilience of humanity. We’re made with intellect and strength to overcome any adversity. We don’t realize how versatile we are until a real crisis is happening before us. I learned humans can withstand anything they put their minds to.

YOU DON’T NEED A LOT OF THINGS


Disasters like pandemics reveal what’s truly important in life. It made me realize that most of the things we desperately wanted to have before weren’t that important at all. In reality, we didn’t need them as much as we thought and we missed to acknowledge what mattered. I’ve never considered myself a materialistic person, but as for others, they began to assess their deep attachment to material things and disposed of the clutter in their life.

Sadly, we devote a lot of time and energy to acquiring more things and attaining higher status. These things only satisfy the hunger of ego but never the soul. When it breaks or gets taken away from you, you lose yourself too. It’s vital to be more self-aware on what brings you genuine confidence, so you can walk away from things that only bring insecurity.

LEARN TO SEE OPPORTUNITY IN FEAR


Even in times of struggle, there is always a silver lining. There is beauty in adversity, and it only shows if you’re willing to find it. Although people have lost their jobs, the Internet still provided them with millions of available and accessible jobs they can do in the meantime. Even if school shifted to daily Zoom meetings, students had more time to spend time with their families while continuing their education.

Even if there is the constant anxiety of losing loved ones to COVID, there are vaccines made to protect ourselves from this virus. During the lockdown, I saw an opportunity to cope with my stress and fear of hearing terrible news every single day. I finally had the courage to shift to another degree program in college because my previous one wasn’t the right fit for me. It started a rough patch (since I barely knew anyone) but over time, I got to meet new friends and enjoyed the courses being offered.

Aside from this, I also started writing my very first fiction novel and started my own lifestyle blog. People deal with fear differently, and I believe I dealt with mine productively. Instead of sulking in my room, worrying about my future, I chose to do something and stuck with it as a hobby that has now turned into a sideline together with school. If there were no lockdown, I wouldn’t have had enjoyed these amazing opportunities now.

OPEN YOUR EYES TO INJUSTICES


Even in the harshest and scariest circumstances, some people did not miss the chance to manipulate the unfavorable situation in their favor. While in lockdown, I noticed how easy it is to be blinded to the lies and injustices of the powerful, political structures especially when you’re in a bad, desperate place. It’s sad to see how evil sneaks in and poisons the minds and hearts of people, but thankfully, it did not prevail.

It’s crucial to open your eyes to injustices, no matter how small they may seem. The people who violate other people’s rights to forward their interests might look like they’re going away with it, but no one can escape from God. One common example is the blatant corruption in the government. Some powerful men and women sitting behind a desk delay and hamper the process of giving donations to the public, and even take a portion from the proceeds collected from fundraising efforts.

Another example is the prevalence of fake news in social media. In this time of crisis, the news is the most essential. We all have the responsibility to practice honesty, integrity, and kindness online. Understand that any piece of information is fundamental to saving someone’s life, so do your best to avoid the spread of fake news. Do your part by double-checking the accuracy of the news and the validity of the source.

HELP STRANGERS IN ANY WAY YOU CAN


Whether by coordinating with your local government units (LGU) or doing it by yourself, out of your own pocket, you can help strangers in these times of trouble. Start by being responsible for your choices. Stay at home as much as possible and don’t leave the house unless it’s absolutely necessary. During the lockdown, the responsible thing to do is to stay at home, strengthen your immune system, and convince others to do the same.

Fight off your boredom or the urge to go out by organizing your closet and finding clothes to donate. Check on your family members, relatives, and neighbors about how they’re feeling or what they might need. Moreover, you can set up a community pantry right outside your homes where you give food, medicine, and other necessary supplies for free. You can also participate in local or online fundraising campaigns to support volunteer organizations in your area.

Even if you’re rich or poor, your help can go a long way for the homeless, the jobless, and the sick. I realized we all have the intrinsic urge to show kindness to strangers in this time of the Covid-19 crisis. I was happy to see a lot of people reach out to the poor in my country. The very sight warmed my heart and restored my faith in humanity.

LIVE A LIFE WITH NO REGRETS


One of the highlights of my lockdown experience was my breakthrough. One day, I just got tired of living life as if I were waiting for it to end. I decided to upgrade my life by changing my old, toxic habits into healthy ones. After months of sitting still in my room and staring at the ceiling until I fall asleep, I realized life was indeed too short for me to let fear get in the way of my dreams. This pandemic helped me put things into perspective by challenging my fear of adversity with a bigger fear: regret.

I’ve seen numerous, able-bodied people die from sickness and wondered where their unaccomplished dreams go when they passed away. I didn’t want to waste my time wishing I could live a fulfilled life when I could work hard and hustle through it. I’d prefer to die with tired eyes, wounds, and scars than with nothing. I’d rather exit the world knowing I took risks, undergone trials, fought battles, and achieved great triumphs than hide in fear for the rest of my life.

PEOPLE HANDLE GRIEF DIFFERENTLY


At a time when the death happened so frequently because of the Covid-19 virus, grief and sorrow filled the air and visited every home. As if being in lockdown wasn’t already frightening, opening social media and seeing candles and condolences everywhere makes it a hundred times worse. It made me dizzy and sick to the stomach, and not to mention, insecure with my and my family’s safety and health. As a friend, I wanted to console my friends who lost their parents and siblings. I wanted to be there for them physically, but I couldn’t.

It was emotionally traumatizing to see the happiest people I knew who broke down, and in their way, gave up on life. It was horrifying to think I could be the next one to go rock bottom. Our family was no exemption from Covid-19’s wrath; we lost a few of our distant relatives as well. Nevertheless, I thank God that we didn’t lose any immediate family members. I realized, the hard way, that everyone carries and deals with grief in his/her unique way. Some shut their doors to the world and cope with the anxiety and pain alone.

Some face it straight away and pour out all their emotions in one sitting. The most helpful thing to do is to be kind and empathetic. I learned the essence of respecting the way other people live their lives because you never know the struggles they’re silently going through. It is by being present in others’ struggles, although not physically, is what counts.

FAITH IS TESTED IN TRIALS


After many months of being stuck in isolation from the outside tests your faith unlike any other. It tests your patience in maintaining a positive disposition despite the troubles you face, and it’s never easy. There are times I asked God when will all this be over or what will become of us, who are still too young to have lived an accomplished and fulfilled life. I feared for my dreams that I’m yet to work hard for, and if all my sacrifices were for nothing.

Thankfully, my faith in God has only gotten stronger over the years. When some people promote fear and harm, my faith in Him contributed to my tranquility and resilience. I did not participate in the noise, rather, I focused on God’s everlasting grace moving in the kindness of others. It’s heartwarming to see strangers helping strangers in these trying times, which only reminds me of God’s work behind all of it. I know for certain that He will not abandon us, and for this, I go to bed with a peaceful mind and heart.

THE INTERNET IS A BLESSING


Despite people using the internet as a tool for violence, crime, and chaos, we can’t deny its significant contribution to getting people back on their feet. The internet can be a wonderful place to get entertainment, motivation, and a brand new career plan. It can also be a vehicle to gather victims and hasten the process of sending them the help they need. By welcoming and adapting to this new technology, we have created a place of free, accessible information. Let’s face it, without the internet, I doubt we can survive this pandemic.

Despite people using the internet as a tool for violence, crime, and chaos, we can’t deny its significant contribution to getting people back on their feet. The internet can be a wonderful place to get entertainment, motivation, and a brand new career plan. It can also be a vehicle to gather victims and hasten the process of sending them the help they need. By welcoming and adapting to this new technology, we have created a place of free, accessible information. Let’s face it, without the internet, I doubt we can survive this pandemic.

CONCLUSION:


During the lockdown, I had plenty of time to reflect on what truly mattered to me. I pondered on my life for the last twenty years and decided I still wanted to live. Having looked back on my sacrifices and dilemmas, I gained confidence knowing I’ve been through a lot and will continue to do so as long as I breathe. I accepted this is the reality of life, and all I can do is enjoy the ride. Not once have I thought of giving up because of my faith and my wonderful support systems, like my family and friends. I’m grateful for what I have and accepting of what I have lost. In times of uncertainty and constant fear surrounding us, be respectful of others’ struggles and most of all, be kind.


What are the lessons you learned from lockdown? Share your experience in the comments section below.


“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”

 Napoleon Bonaparte

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

3 thoughts on “22 Inspiring Lessons I Learned in Lockdown from Covid-19 Pandemic | Philippines

  1. If have to argue against family being above all, some people have toxic, abusive, and bigoted family members. Often the family you pick for yourself is better than the family you’re born into. So if anything, loved ones above all

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  2. I agree with so many of these! I think that the pandemic gave us a time to reflect a lot on ourselves and how we are living, and as much as for you, writing and reading have been the only constant that kept e up during this time and i am forever grateful to that! Thanks for sharing x

    Like

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