Am I Really Thanking COVID-19?

The last 2 years have been a whirlwind for the entire world, to say the least. COVID-19 has changed the landscape for everyone. Whether you contracted the virus or not, it has left an indelible impression to last for generations. There is not an area in the world from businesses, government, schools, and especially the medical industry that hasn’t felt the wrath of this deadly virus.

In 2020 when the virus started to spread, panic started to spread just as fast. Rightfully so, as the world hasn’t dealt with anything like this in a very long time. As people started to deal with the effects of COVID-19, some decided to wait things out. Some decided to make some significant changes in their life. Some people decided to get healthy by eating better and working out at home due to gyms being closed. Also, a part of getting healthy is changing eating habits. I saw a lot more people in grocery stores purchasing healthier food options. People also decided to go back to school, mostly online, during the pandemic. Some even decided to quit their jobs entirely and start their own business. 

As bad as the pandemic continues to be, a lot of people used it as a chance to make a shift in their life. Life is about being able to adapt. Especially under conditions as bad as these. Change can be hard for some, but it is NOT impossible. When your circumstances change for the worse, sometimes you are forced to make a change. A change that you don’t necessarily want to make. However, in the end, it could be one of the best decisions you make. The toll that the pandemic has taken on people cannot at all be measured.  Everyone has directly or indirectly been impacted.

The approach I took was to give COVID-19 a different name. I called it “Shannon’s Shift”. After I realized that all I can control are my actions whether a pandemic is happening or not, I began to re-evaluate things. I mentioned getting healthy. Now granted, I am relatively healthy, but I could stand to get better in the personal health area. Self-care is another area that I decided to address. You hear a lot about self-care being important but may not take it seriously. I DID. I would take either a few hours a day or one entire day during the week to take care of myself. Disconnected the phone, no television, no social media, etc. So, I’d either read, sleep, meditate, pray, write, work on my Rosetta Stone course or my sign language course. I did things that relaxed me and that I enjoyed. I continue to do these things today. Once I got back to the grind, I was as fresh as a daisy. I was able to think clearly and have a fresh perspective of what needed to be done. As a personal mindset coach, I was already doing my sessions remotely. Either by phone or on Zoom. But I am also a speaking coach as well. Thanks to the self-care days and the change in my routine during the pandemic, I decided to coach my speaking sessions remotely as well. I never would have thought of that if not presented with the opportunity to change my habits and assess what I could do differently. I am NOT at all glad the pandemic happened. People lost their lives, jobs, activities that were halted. I also will not get into a debate about being vaccinated or not. What I will say is this surreal event forced me to change, or at least presented me with an opportunity to do so. It was up to me to look at the choices and determine how to proceed but changing is exactly what I did. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in November of 2021, there were 370,000 new quits, bringing the total up to 4.5 million. Sounds like many people decided some type of change was necessary as well!

I am by no means trying to tell anyone that COVID-19 is a good thing. I cannot speak to everyone’s situation on how to handle this. The pandemic presented the ultimate chance for us all to look at ourselves and to interact differently with the world around us. This virus exposed the world for better or for worse. I looked at it as a chance to ask myself, “Is this the best version of myself?” I genuinely pray you will ask yourself that same question. Be honest in your answer. Then act or not. The choice is yours. To COVID-19 I say, “I don’t like the casualties you caused, but you woke me up. Thank you.”

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