The biggest life lessons I learned during the pandemic

The last year has been like no other. Since March 2020, our life has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. Now, its March 2021 and it’s been one year since we face the pandemic.

If we had a time machine and could travel to February 2020, what would you tell your pre-pandemic self?

Like or not, we are all fundamentally different people now.

We lost so much else, jobs, financial security, seeing family, attending weddings, celebrating graduations, seeing the world and many simple little things that we take for granted before…

Also, we gained something as well which is life lesson.. Now its vaccinated session so let’s pray that this pandemic season will be over so I want to share what my biggest life lessons I learned during the pandemic. I hope you feel inspired by this article.

Lesson #1: Learn to survive as a new mum

To be really honest, I hate the fact that I become a mum during the pandemic. But, who am I to control this fate right? I still remember how wonderful its feel on February 2020 while I thinking of giving birth on July 2020. We prepared what the baby need and we prepared what I need after I delivery the baby and I excitedly asked my mum to come accompany me since its my first son after all. Then, the announcement of Movement Control Order ( MCO) came and its really hit me and my husband. The plan is not going like we planned. I really wished my husband with me in the delivery room but its look uncertain after MCO was announced. I slowly told myself, its okay to deliver the baby on my own, what to do its a new rule at hospital. Then, that’s matter settle!

After giving birth, another issue came. I lived in different state from my family. So, my mum need to travel to KL to take care of me. Thanks to God, the government announced that, Recovery MCO(RMCO), meaning can travel inter state. I really thanks God for this. Its a miracle. Due to this my mum able to came to take care of me. But, my mum able to take care of me just for one month due to she need to take care of my bedridden father too. This really hurt me to the core. I lost my care support. After my mum back to Sarawak, we learned to survived on our own. We hired our babysitter because I knew if its just me and my baby, I don’t really confident and I am new mum after all, there so much things to learn. I need someone that familiar with baby to support us.

I can say, due to God’s mercy, we had survived! Thanks God my son is growing up healthy. He is 8 months 10 days now. Without God and some people that God’s sent, I don’t think we will survived.

Lesson #2: A job is job but good employer is golden.

During this pandemic really shown the real side of our employer. I know, both employee and employer faced challenge during this pandemic but some of the employer not really care about what happened to their employee. All they need just output like usual, like nothing happened. I know why they are like that, they hired me to do work kan? so, what do I expect? But, work is important so the well being of employee also important. For a new mum, I really try my best to learn to balance my work and my personal life. But, since I working from home, its hard to put a barrier between both. Sometimes, my baby “meragam” as he teething during my work from home time and at the same time, I faced big challenge at work, I just can’t really cope with it. I shared what really happened to my superior but there’s nothing they can do, everyone has a hard time now. So, lastly I let go my career for my well being and family.

Lesson #3: Small gestures have a huge impact on our well being

Just a little text ” How are you?” is really make a huge impact. I remember my friends text me this during my hard time and I feel so grateful for having friends that asked me how am I doing. Before this, this little text look not so important but during the pandemic, this such a big deal. Lesson here, don’t forget to ask your friends or family how they are doing. Maybe they are too shy to reach out.

Lesson #4: Mental health is important

Never ever in my life I will “surrender” myself to Psychiatric Department at hospital. I thought I am strong and positive women, I can face everything with God on my side. But, that not the case during this pandemic. I was overwhelming with big changes in my life such as being a mum and changed tasks at my work place. I was stressed, I can’t properly release it like before. Usually whenever I feel stressed at work, I will go somewhere after work like go to shopping mall for window shopping but during the pandemic, I was work from home, there’s no where to go to release my stress. Just keep it inside and before Christmas 2020, its exploded! I feel really really down after I cannot go back for Christmas see my family at Sabah and Sarawak. I decided to tender my resigned letter as my mental illness getting worse… I feel I am going mad.

Thanks to God, I feel a lot better nowadays and I prayed I will 100% recovery soon and able to face this life braver, confident and stronger. Again, don’t ignore if you feel something wrong with your mental health, please do seek professional help.

Lesson #5: In person interaction is so important

When our PM announced that we will go for MCO start on 18 March 2020, I knew that our life will be so different. We used to going out go to church, meeting friends and family. At first, I was feel excited because I finally able to feel the work from home which I always wished before and now the wish come true! But, its not like what I imagined. The first week is so crazy! I was stressed out because everything not goes well. I can’t really adapt the change. Before this, I’m used to work face to face and I’m really comfortable with that. But, now everything goes online and there’s communication gap during the early days of WFH. Lessons learned as time goes by. From this situation, nothing beat in person interaction, the % to misunderstanding will be less. Thats about work…

When come to interaction with friends and family, I missed face to face interaction. I can deliver my emotion directly but via online, I want to cry but at other side, its stuck… its stopped the feeling and cut off the mood.

Lesson #6: Support your communities

During this pandemic, I have learned how important to have community wherever you lived. For ours, we have our church community at Cheras and during this pandemic, support from the community is so important. We can’t meet people directly but we can meet via online apps like zoom but back to lesson #5, nothing beat the in person interaction.

Lesson #7: Self care is soo important

Now I get it why karoake, saloon, shopping mall, theme park and entertainment centre exist. Before this, I never really care about their existance. For me, its just a place for some people dreams and there no related to me. Now, after the pandemic, I get it! Why people like to go karoake, saloon, shopping and etc. Its not “saja-saja” but everyone has their life issues and its so important to release the stress. In order to do this, they need to go to karoake, saloon and etc. Yesterday my aunt bring me to saloon, OMG! its feel really good and released all the stress, I stopped think about it for awhile. Life is full of issues and in order to face this, we need to do self care. Don’t keep it inside your heart as it can be exploded one day.

Lesson #8: Look at bright side to keep going

For me, the pandemic is not just give negative impact but also positive impact. There’s bright side of this pandemic. For me, its time for me to reflected on my life, finance, relationship with God, family and friends. I think I’ve never really spend time to do life reflection, all need to do is go forward and never look back. There’s positive thing about this pandemic, just think of that and keep going.

Lesson #9: How important is your quiet time with God

Jesus replied; I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who has faith in me will ever be thirsty.

John 6:35

When we face storm of life, we need to know that who is in control! To be really honest, after I getting married, I ignored my quiet time with God for almost one year. After my situation getting worse and I try to find where the point could go wrong? I asked God why this happen to me? Then, I knew, I rarely or I ignored my quiet time with God. I started to do my quiet time with God now. Its really helpful because I keep remind myself, God is in control.

Remember, before you start to lose your sanity due to overwhelming with life, don’t ignore your quiet time with God. Do it now! Don’t wait until you’re in the storm of your life.

Lesson #10: Its okay to take a break

After I face my personal health issue, I bravely take a break from my career. I feel scared to take a break actually because I’ve been working since Oct 2011 and never ever have a break other than year end holiday, take annual leave and sometimes medical leaves. Even I took up this leave from work, I still think about work or sometimes I still do work because its just feel responsibility. I never ever fully shut myself from work thinking. After what happened, I resigned from my last job to take care of my mental health for awhile. I still think to go back to work soon but I want to recover and be truly ready to back to work again.

Lesson #11: Adapt to change

Change is necessity in life both personal and professional. However the staggering pace of change accelerated by the pandemic left us feeling stunned. Supposedly, change happen in phases, take time to follow the transformation. But, the changes that we face is fast pace. Suddenly we need to work from home that we never do before, all students need to learn online…

Lesson #12 : Living the moment

Living in the moment can be hard. Its difficult to simply enjoy today, what we have today and who we get to experience it with today. We have so many demands for our attention, schedules and mental energy. Its feel so hard to concentrate on today because tomorrow already tugging on us. If we worry about tomorrow and whatever we think it might bring, we’re trying to control something that’s actually under God control. To be really honest, we don’t even know what might happen tomorrow or even later today.

Life has been always crazy but its even crazier during this pandemic.

I encourage us to find some time today to rest. Enjoy this moment, this day, knowing that God has today and tomorrow in His hands. Let God is in control.

I hope you feel encourage by this article. Feel free to comment what your life lesson learn during this pandemic? Let share with me.

Sincerely,

Aya

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