The Gifts of Pandemic According to Bloggers: Finding the Silver Linings Amid Tough Times27 October 2021
To say that the past two years have been challenging would be an understatement. For many of us, we feel like it has been one crisis after another—losing the job we have loved for the longest time, losing the chance to travel and see what the world has to offer, and, worst, losing loved ones.
Given these unfortunate scenarios, we can't help but think of ways to release the stress we are feeling inside because, to be honest, we are all mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.
But despite all the hardships and losses that the pandemic has brought into our lives, some people found silver linings. Some found the simple happiness of not commuting, some rediscovered their lost passions, and others became even more grateful for the life they have right now. To add more inspiration, we asked ten bloggers what they learned during quarantine, and their answers were moving.
1. Work-life balance
Before the pandemic, many employees struggled to find the right work-life balance. Because of the long commute hours to and from the office, or the unexpected overtimes, it became challenging to have an even distribution of time between work and personal life. That time, when we juggled our daily grind in the professional field, it was so difficult maintaining the time and energy to spend on personal life. Ending, work-life balance was far from attainable.
However, when many companies have implemented remote working, we were able to spend some parts of our days for leisure purposes while maintaining the job that sustains us. Thus, work-life balance has become achievable for many.
2. A better environment
Remember the time when you always complain about the dirty air that your skin and lungs absorb? The time when you saw the leaves of the trees full of dust that seemed like a volcano spewed volcanic ash everywhere? Or the time when the waters of the beaches smelled so bad and looked so blurry you can't even tell if it's safe to swim?
When the pandemic came, lockdowns were imposed so people were forced to stay indoors. So due to the community quarantine, we can't travel short and long distances. Hence, the roads that were used to be jam packed have been cleared and the bumper to bumper cars are no longer seen.
If there's one silver lining that COVID-19 pandemic did that will definitely change the world, it's this. Less cars mean less pollution and less pollution means a healthier environment. Should the traffic-less roads continue, the Earth will finally breathe, reset, rejuvenate, and heal itself. And the people will be able to feel fresh air.
3. Acquired new skills and opportunities
Even though our days during the pandemic are challenging, some people found little joys through new and enhanced skills, and good opportunities that resulted from tough times. Whether it's a love for baking and cooking or a newfound interest in planting, there are so many new hobbies that will take our minds off of negativity. Some bloggers also shared their learnings during the pandemic:
Mark Anthony Wagan of Tekkie Pinas: "Even before the pandemic, I am already a blogger, a freelancer, and a technology enthusiast. During this pandemic, I was able to enhance my craft more. I was able to save more and create more streams of income due to the pandemic. I was able to capitalize on this challenge into an opportunity by creating online businesses and services that can help more people and businesses trying to cope with the pandemic. I was now able to expand my digital marketing services and business consultancy not only to business owners abroad but also here in our local industry."
Aileen De Leon of bitsenbytesenpieces: "The pandemic challenged us all, a complete shift from what we used to do to the now called #newnormal. Aside from learning how to make Dalgona coffee and some ref cakes, I also learned to practice measures to push a #worldwithoutwaste.
I learned to Bokashi. It's simply waste reduction through keeping all your kitchen waste (raw fruits and vegetables, food leftovers) on a bucket, converting it to compost or soil fertilizer. You can do this with a bucket with nozzle, opaque ice cream or biscuit tubs, bunch of ipa, and brown papers. My garbage bags became slimmer while my plants and trees became healthier since then!"
Macy Santos of Lavishly Parsimonious: "Focus on healthy cooking. I am passionate about food, and being at home most days has given me the opportunity to express my love for my family through yummy healthy dishes that are just right on the budget. I love music too, and I am a band vocalist. With more time at home, I get to practice and get ready for our post-quarantine scheduled gigs. Yeah!"
Ric Jayson Abasola of Black Helios PH: "I tried new different things like creating my own digital live stream on Tiktok, where I sing songs to my viewers, which also became a regular thing for me every weekend. This is one step forward for me as a content creator. I also tried cooking new dishes- experimenting on them and serving them to my food critics.
Good thing that most of these got a passing score from them. Most of all, I was able to spend more time with my loved ones, know more about them and talk more often to them, laugh with them and have a regular coffee session with them- a real deal for me."
Jaimie Felix of The Mermaid in Stilettos: "If there's one thing that I have unleashed ever since the start of quarantine it would be my cooking skills and improved multi-tasking. Being in this new normal ain't that easy, but it definitely has its silver lining, like spending time every day with the people I love the most. I was able to spend more time with them, cook for them and care for them as I do my everyday side hustles."
Denise Sarmiento, Pisceanrat: "It's almost two years since the pandemic began. Most of my acquaintances have become bakers, plantitas, and online sellers. As for me, the best thing that I have learned to do while in quarantine is to meditate and aspire to be closer to the Father by attending everyday online Masses. Through this, I am learning the wisdom in His Word and His will. I try to combat idleness thru journaling a list of things that I need to accomplish. I wrote stories on Wattpad, also learned a new language (Spanish). I adopted new rescued kittens.
I also rediscovered the art of tea appreciation. More than ever, I have become more grateful for each second of our short, borrowed life here on Earth, and cherish precious time with loved ones. Being aware of not just our own mortality, but also the lives of other creatures, begets respect and compassion for animals and Nature."
Camilo Mendoza Villanueva, Jr. of Happening PH:" Contributing productively to health even in rest or sleep, keeping to a routine to keep mind and body at work, and treating the self to little surprise like finding a special thrift find, tasting a new dish, or watching a new movie. This pandemic taught me to love life and to make each day your best day!"
With the pandemic still far from being over, life outdoors means risk, danger, and anything negative. Some are worried about the possible health risks we could get, even when we are just grocery shopping or walking our dogs in the neighborhood. While some fear for their job stability and future. During this challenging time, the pandemic has taught us to be more grateful in the life we have, may it be in the simplest of things or the grandest ones. Read what some bloggers have to say:
Natalie Tugade of Seraphims Notes: "Being grateful for each morning and having a thankful heart is one of the important lessons; I've learned during this Quarantine. And, I cherish and appreciate each moment that I've spent time with my loved ones. I gain more knowledge in cooking different vegetable dishes, and decluttering old books and clothes clears my mind. Most importantly, having a "Me" time relaxes my body and spirit. Now, posted in a new section near the Emergency room, I appreciate the gift of Life given by our creator."
Blogger Jayson Biadog: "The best thing I've learned during quarantine is to appreciate the blessings and do the unusual things. Things that I've never done before during my typical pre-pandemic busy days. Like breeding animals like fish and dogs. I never did this before, like feeding the fish every day and changing the aquarium water every week."
Camilo of Happening PH also mentioned that " Every second of each day is a cause for celebration, every little thing I am able to do to myself and to others is a reason to be thankful and happy, because I am still around: Right here, right now—to do what I still can."
Jaimie Felix also said that "This pandemic made me realize that life is really short. We should treasure our everyday lives and thank the Lord for his kindness and the opportunity He's giving us to spend more time with our loved ones. Even if it's quarantined, I looked for different ways to spend my time the best way possible, to enjoy it and spend it wisely."
5. More time for family and oneself
As mentioned earlier, thanks to quarantine, we no longer need to spend so much time on the road due to reaching our workplace. So the time we spent commuting before can now be dedicated to our family. One of the silver linings of the pandemic is that we get to allot more quality time for our loved ones. This is the best time to finally bond with them and relieve the what-could-have-been great times when you were busy working.
"Me and my wife are now able to teach kids online or do tutorial services that helped us in our everyday income," says Mark Anthony Wagan of Tekkie Pinas.
And it is not just a gift of time for family because, with quarantine, you also get to spend some "me time" and do the things you've been meaning to do pre-pandemic life.
"One thing I learned during the pandemic is that I learned to value time for myself, and the best thing I learned is more activities with my children like simple object painting that's so fun and memorable. It's good to feel young again," shares Fe Leilanie Banzon of On Top of the World PH.
The pandemic has made many of us slow down and give us the time to think about what is really most important to us. And Camilo Mendoza Villanueva, Jr. of Happening PH agrees, too.
"The pandemic reminded me to keep to this track of daily mindfulness, moment-to-moment gratitude, and deliberate joy in everything one does, think, and feel.
While it has become more difficult to not be afraid in these uncertain times, to live simply and to work earnestly have kept me on track and steadily adhering to the essentials—self-care and general well-being."
While this pandemic has brought a lot of pain to us, it gave us a gift; a perfect opportunity to live our lives meaningfully. In the face of overwhelmingly bad news about what is happening to the world, we need to stay strong. We don't set aside the fact that the coronavirus threatens us all but what we would like you to think right now, at least for the meantime, is its silver lining.
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